2000AD is far better known in the UK than it is in the US, but a few of its stars—particularly Judge Dredd—have made something of a splash over here. That’s a situation that publisher Rebellion is apparently looking to change and capitalize on. As reported by Bleeding Cool, co-founder Jason Kingsley said at the company’s recent 40th anniversary event that it will begin licensing its library of characters to other game developers.
That includes the ubiquitous Dredd, but also other tough guys such as Strontium Dog, Rogue Trooper. I am also contractually obliged to note that our global editor-in-chief, Tim Clark, who grew up on 2000 AD, would like to see games based on ABC Warriors, and Bad Company. I suspect that last one might run into some trademark headaches with EA.
Kingsley told Bleeding Cool that other developers have previously seen Rebellion as a competitor, but said he wants to give licensees the freedom to expand upon its library with their own ideas.
There have been a few 2000 AD-licensed games in the past, but despite properties like Dredd and co being obvious fodder for such things, they haven’t fared particularly well. Rogue Trooper in 2006 was entirely forgettable (and I mean that literally—I’d forgotten all about playing it until today) and the 2003 game (2005 in North America) Judge Dredd: Dredd vs. Death was, in our estimation (via Metacritic), “as imaginative as dry, unbuttered toast.”
Opening the door to licensing could result in a Warhammer-like over-saturation situation, where the games are a dime-a-dozen and generally not very good. But with any luck at all, a bigger, deeper-pocketed publisher will pick something up and run with it. A Watchdogs-style open-world game set in Mega-City One, maybe built around an ongoing conflict between the Judges and the Judda? Yes, please.