The classic story of totalitarian authority as told by the barnyard, Animal Farm, was first published in 1945. George Orwell sought to criticize Joseph Stalin and the Soviet regime by presenting his thoughts as a fable where animals become aware of their position as slaves to the humans and, through the leadership of the pigs, rebel against their previous masters only to discover that the pigs would over time become indistinguishable from the humans. The main lesson of the story is ‘Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
This is some pretty heavy content for what is considered a satire, so it is surprising to hear that the George Orwell estate has authorized an independent team of developers to create a video game adaptation of Animal Farm.
The team includes some really exciting developers and creatives such as Imre Jele (founder of Bossa Studios), Andy Payne (founder of Just Flight and AppyNation and ex Mastertronic), Georg Backer (A Brave Plan, Fable series), Jessica Curry (Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Dear Esther), Kate Saxon (Mafia III, Alien: Isolation, Witcher 3).
“Over the last decade some governments started using language eerily similar to what I heard growing up under a communist regime,” said Imre Jele. “So I can’t help feeling personally challenged to spread Orwell’s dystopian warning by adapting Animal Farm into a game.”
The Animal Farm game will be an adventure-tycoon style game where players will control the running of the farm and follow the journey of the animals as they begin their revolution. Each choice the player makes will contribute to the narrative and immerse players in the world of Animalism (the philosophy created by the pigs).
Andy Payne said, “I read Animal Farm when I was 11 years old and it had a huge effect on me. I wanted to adapt it into a game for about 20 years. And with the current global political situation aping Manor Farm on steroids, it is now or never.”
“My 13 year old has just finished reading Animal Farm and he has fallen in love with it and is angered by the injustices contained within, just as I was. Like all great literature it remains both timeless and timely. Musically, it’s a dream to bring it to life.” Said Jessica Curry.
Often times, video games and other media are ways to escape our current (and often upsetting) reality, but the Animal Farm video game puts a spotlight on the sociopolitical issues that we face right now. Perhaps it is telling that a novel published 72 years ago is still relevant today, but here’s hoping that the game will not only be an artistic statement, but also a lot of fun to play.
The Animal Farm game will be developed for PC and other platforms. There’s no release date set yet, but you can learn more about the game on the game’s website animalfarmgame.com and their Twitter @AnimalFarmGame.
Need more intriguing video game news? Check out next week’s Game Engine! Erika and Trisha will have special guest Anthony Carboni, gaming personality and host for StarWars.com! Watch Game Engine on Twitch every Tuesday at 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm Pacific.
What do you think about literary classics becoming video games? Is the subject just too real right now? Let us know in the comments below!
Image Credits: Animal Farm (1954 Animated film)/Ben Templesmith