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Good Shepherd to develop games based on Rebellion’s comic books like Judge Dredd

Bynewsmagzines

Jul 19, 2023
Good Shepherd to develop games based on Rebellion's comic books like Judge Dredd

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Good Shepherd Entertainment, a division of Devolver Digital, has partnered with Rebellion to make games based on Rebellion’s 2000 AD comic books.

The comic book property, which Rebellion purchased in 2000, includes intellectual properties such as Sláine, Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper.

The agreement includes game adaptations of stories from 2000 AD, as well as Rebellion’s other comic intellectual property including Roy of the Rovers and Battle Action.

Good Shepherd has been producing games since 2011 with hits like Monster Train and the Transport Fever franchises.

Amanda Kruse, head of business development and publishing for Good Shepherd, said in an interview with GamesBeat, that the adaptation space has been strong in recent years as game makers go after entertainment brands like John Wick.

“We are huge fans of Rebellion and 2000 AD,” said Kruse. “It’s still early days, but building this out with partners who understand the art of adaptation across mediums has been incredible. We are excited to bring fans the hits they are expecting, but even more excited to play with the deep cuts in the library.”

Rebellion was founded in 1992 and is one of the world’s most successful independent game studios. It wants to bring these stories to new generations who will experience them for the first time through the partnership with Good Shepherd.

“My brother Chris (co-founder of Rebellion) and I have read 2000 AD from issue No. 1, and we look forward to seeing some of these stories brought to life with Good Shepherd,” said Jason Kingsley, CEO of Rebellion, in a statement.

Big ambitions

Good Shepherd’s mission is to pair world-class developers with beloved IP, giving them unprecedented access to create memorable and impactful game adaptations in fan-favorite worlds. Through strategic partnerships with some of the industry’s most notable names, including Lionsgate, Dark Horse, Disney, MGM, and Epic, Good Shepherd has turned a lot of IP into hits in video games.

“The ambition is that this will be a longstanding relationship between the two companies,” Kruse said. “The new strategy behind Good Shepherd is to do adaptations and bring back the cool factor to licensed games.”

She added, “Like, couldn’t we give a little of [Devolver’s] ethos to that version of the industry? I think we’re trying to do something a little more left of center. Killer Clowns From Outer Space is a good example. No one was surprised that we were going to do a multiplayer game based on the license.”

Taking risks

It reminds me of Marvel taking risks on franchises like Deadpool, rather than trying to do yet another serious superhero movie.

“Why Rebellion? It’s like they were a no-brainer, right? When I think about it, doing licensed games and comics are a perfect fit,” Kruse said. “When we’re looking for a partner, we want someone who has a robust library with a lot of tonal differences and places to play around. You also need a partner. For me, that’s a little further into the conversation. If you want to get weird and cool with it, and a little bit funky and unexpected, that’s the place where good art really thrives.”

Rebellion now operates across books, comics, TV and film, but at its core, it’s still a leading developer and publisher of games like Sniper Elite and Aliens vs. Predators.

In an email to GamesBeat, Rebellion’s Jason Kingsley said, “We have been approached numerous times in the past by companies looking to use IP, however this time the partnership felt right. Good Shepherd has real pedigree in working with much loved licenses, publishing great games, made by great people. It is also able to reach an indie community that is beyond what we usually have access to. At Rebellion we are always looking for new ways to tell engrossing stories, and this partnership with Good Shepherd will allow us to do just that. As a long term gamer and lover of comic books, I cannot wait to see what they create.”

2000 AD is currently on issue No. 2,334. Judge Dredd first appeared in the second-ever issue of 2000 AD in 1977 and his appearance would kickstart a massive, globally recognized franchise spanning two films (Judge Dredd, 1995, and Dredd 2012), five video games and numerous novels.

Rogue Trooper first appeared in 2000 AD in 1981, portraying the adventures of a Genetic Infantryman named Rogue as he searched for the Traitor General. These bloody, sci-fi adventures have turned Rogue Trooper into a recognized franchise featuring three novels, two board games and three video games, including 2006’s Rogue Trooper developed by Rebellion for PC, Xbox, PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Wii.

The last 2000 AD game was Rogue Trooper Redux in 2017. It’s not clear yet when the games are going to debut.

“It’s really exciting to work with these guys,” Kruse said. “They’re so cool. It’s a real privilege.”

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