TLDR: ArenaNet was almost certainly working on some sort of project set in the DUNE universe which was canceled around the time of the layoffs. See Imgur links below.
Recently whilst looking into some Guild Wars 2 art I discovered a very strange logo on Luke Nalker's (ex-Arenanet artist) portfolio (nalker.com) under work for ArenaNet.
The logo in question: https://i.imgur.com/0zLPe7D.png
For those who aren't aware 'Arrakis' is the fictional planet from DUNE, Frank Herbert's novels and the film that was delayed last year. This lines up with the desert imagery in that logo, alongside the four other additional marks on Luke's site: https://i.imgur.com/4nkm9na.png. One which I'm fairly certain is a representation of sand worm.
Naturally I was curious, so after a bit of Googling to see if anything came up, I found this on Robert Kury's (ex Arenanet character artist) portfolio (Works by Ronald) under Arenanet… Project 'Arrakis': https://i.imgur.com/yRzgFbS.png
It looks like ArenaNet were 100% working on some sort UE4 project set in the Dune universe.
Some high-res images from his portfolio here: Project 'Arrakis': (Canceled) – Imgur
I haven't seen this be reported anywhere else as of yet, but If you want even further evidence – the Anet cancellations and layoffs happened in Feb 2019. Just DAYS later, Funcom (another company known for MMORPGs) announces an online Dune survival game is now in development at their studio. https://pr.funcom.com/Funcom-Delves-into-the-DUNE-Universe-with-a-Gaming-Deal-with-Legendary. And who immediately moved over to Funcom after being laid off? Robert Kury.
Purely speculation of course, but what I think might have happened is that NCSOFT canceled this dune project along with others, laying off the people involved, and then potentially the owners of the Dune IP scramble find another company (Funcom) to take it forward? And Ronald Kury moves over with the project from anet to Funcom.
Additionally, back on Luke Nalker's portfolio, there are also other logos too. 'Artifact', 'Canoe' and 'Generation'. Could these also be canceled Anet projects?
- Custom 2d miniatures – Help needed
- I really miss the Weapon Foundry info on weapons!
- Has anyone been able to get NVE (Natural Vision: Evolved) to work with Luke’s R.E.A.L. VR GTA 5 Mod? It seems to almost work.
More about Guild Wars 2Post: "Canceled Anet DUNE Game?" specifically for the game Guild Wars 2. Other useful information about this game:
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