Frank Herbert's sci-fi novel Dune is soon to be an open-world multiplayer survival game. Credit: Handout.

The transformation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel Dune into an open-world multiplayer survival game has garnered the interest of Chinese giant Tencent Holdings. The firm has offered to pay a 27% premium to purchase Norway’s Funcom, the game’s developer.

Tencent, which is already Funcom’s largest shareholder, would pay NOK17 (US$1.89) apiece, the Netherlands-headquartered firm said. That offer results in a NOK1.33 billion (US$148 million) valuation, Yicai Global reported.

Founded in 1993, Funcom is known for its online games Conan Exiles, Secret World Legends, Age of Conan, and Anarchy Online, the report said.

“We are impressed by Funcom’s strengths as a developer of open-world multiplayer, action and survival games,” said Steven Ma, senior vice president of the Shenzhen-based buyer.

The Chinese gaming giant purchased nearly 29% of the target firm’s equity last October after acquiring stakes in global game developers such as Supercell, Ubisoft Entertainment, and Epic Games, the report said.

“Tencent will provide Funcom with operational leverage and insights from its vast knowledge as the leading company in the game space,” said the latter’s Chief Executive Rui Casais.

The deal is not expected to result in changes in Funcom’s management or staff, the report said.

According to RockPaperShotgun.com, Dune, is an endless saga centred on Arrakis, a barren and inhospitable planet which is the only known source of a magical drug, the spice melange.

This is the key to space travel —  it can aid magic powers and it extends life. The planet is also infested with giant sandworms, creatures hundred of metres long, making a move away from solid rock very deadly.

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