Animal Farm, the famous George Orwell novel that we all pretend we read in high school, may not be the most obvious source material for a licensed videogame. But with the blessing of the author's estate, it's happening: Developers including Bossa Studios founder Imre Jele, The Chinese Room co-founder Jessica Curry, and A Brave Plan founder Georg Backer have announced an upcoming "adventure-tycoon game" adaptation that will "deliver Orwell's vision in an interactive format."
Players will take on the role of one of the animals at the Manor Farm just prior to the four-legged revolution, "and will follow their journey through the ups and downs of Animalism," the team explained. "The gameplay will combine story choices and the running of the farm into a consistent narrative, giving players a chance to experience the consequences of their decisions first hand."
The Animal Farm team also includes Just Flight co-founder and former Mastertronic CEO Andy Payne, Witcher and Hitman voice director Kate Saxton, and "other exceptional creative and technical talent." And while it should probably go without saying given the nature of the source material, the website at animalfarmgame.com makes no bones about the fact that this will be a very political game.
"We’re living in very disturbing times. Whilst we all thought that the world was making real social progress, we actually fell asleep and failed to notice dark corporate and political powers silencing all dissent," it says. "We are dedicated to maintaining an independent creative process; responsible only to George Orwell’s work and to our audience."
"Over the last decade some governments started using language eerily similar to what I heard growing up under a communist regime," Jele said. "So I can’t help feeling personally challenged to spread Orwell’s dystopian warning by adapting Animal Farm into a game."
More information about Animal Farm, including a release date, will be announced "at a later stage" in development.