The inspiration of many movies, ads and other creations, George Orwell is finally now seeing the adaptation of one his works into, yes, a videogame.
In a press release today, a team of developers announced an upcoming game based on George Orwell’s classic Animal Farm.
For those unfamiliar with the novel, Animal Farm is a largely allegorical tale about the dangers of Stalin-era communism, dictatorships and demagogues. The “Animal Farm” in question is Manor Farm, where the animals who live there stage a revolution and take over the homestead, founding their own form of government in “Animalism”.
The independent development team working on the game includes team members from such hits as Fable and The Witcher III, as with Georg Backer and Kate Saxon; people who know their stuff and have won awards for their work. The game itself is said to be an “adventure-tycoon,” taking place in the story’s original Manor Farm, with the player controlling one of the animals just before the revolution, following “the ups and downs of Animalism.” Gameplay is said to focus on player agency, with a direct focus on experiencing the consequences of decisions.
This kind of novel-to-videogame adaptation isn’t something we’ve ever really seen before. Classic novels are generally new territory for videogames, and it suggests something about their rising legitimacy as an art form, that they should be able to do things like this. We don’t yet know anything about how the game looks or how it might turn out, but it helps that the project seems to have a team that is passionate about its development.
Andy Payne, founder of Just Flight and Appy Nation, described his motivation in making the game:
“I read Animal Farm when I was 11 years old and it had a huge effect on me. I [have] 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.”
It’s cool to see the bridging of concepts across what has usually been a very strong divide between literary classic and videogame. Only time will tell how this turns out, but the signs are promising for now, at least.
The Animal Farm videogame will be developed for PC and as-yet-unspecified “other platforms.”