EA’s ‘Dante’s Inferno’ game confirmed

December 15, 2008

Fourteenth-century epic poetry is coming to videogames.

EA confirmed that its Redwood Shores studio is creating a game adaptation of The Divine Comedy by Dante Aligheri by showing a teaser trailer at the 2008 Spike Video Game Awards, now available at the game’s official site. No release date or platform information has been given.

Called Dante’s Inferno, the game is based on the first third of the poem, Inferno, in which a character based on Aligheri is lost in a dark wood, attacked by animals and brought to the underworld by the Roman poet Virgil. There, Dante travels through the nine circles of hell, viewing sinners who are trapped in eternal, gruesome and often ironic punishments. The poem continues in Purgatorio and Paradiso, in which Dante visits the Mountain of Purgatory and the nine spheres of Heaven.

No gameplay features have been announced, though EA describes the game as a third-person action-adventure. EA has not said whether the game follows the story of The Divine Comedy or uses it only as background for the game’s world. The trailer shows glimpses of creatures along with descriptions of some of the spheres of hell, then a medieval warrior breaking down a door and plunging a cross into a creature’s head.

Variety had reported EA was also discussing movie rights with some studios, which follows EA’s recent trend of licensing out IP for film projects such as Mass Effect, Army of Two and The Sims.

EA Redwood Shores, based in Redwood City, California, have previously developed Dead Space, The Godfather and The Simpsons Game among other titles. Dante’s Inferno is being executive produced by Jonathan Knight, who according to Moby Games, was most recently the creative director for the DS version of The Simpsons Game and lead producer for The Sims 2.

Industry analysts have criticized EA lately for relying too heavily on future projects based on original IP instead of stable franchises. Sales of recent games like Mirror’s Edge, Dead Space and Army of Two have not been as strong as predicted.