Seminal 1945 novel to debut on PC and Mobile this autumn, with indie developers The Dairymen and Nerial working with the full endorsement of the Orwell estate
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
George Orwell, Animal Farm
London, United Kingdom, 17th August 2020 — Today marks 75 years since George Orwell’s wildly influential literary novel Animal Farm was first published. Now a small collective of indie developers and the estate of George Orwell are proud to announce that the legendary work is set to make a fresh impact via the artistic format of the 21st Century: video gaming.
Animal Farm will be an adventure game that immerses players in Orwell’s story. By choosing which of the animals’ wishes they follow – and who is ignored or sidelined – gamers will influence the critical events that define the fate of the farm. Players must devise strategies to balance resources, defend the farm, and keep the animal population happy. With its evocative 1930s painterly graphics, Animal Farm puts the player at the centre of an allegorical revolution and enables them to experience firsthand the corrupting nature of power.
Orwell’s Animal Farm can be wishlisted on Steam from today.
The indie developer collective consists of The Dairymen (Andy Payne founder of Just Flight, AppyNation and Imre Jele founder of Bossa Studios), and Nerial, the creators of the BAFTA-nominated Reigns series, who bring their unrivalled skills in streamlined and powerful storytelling to Animal Farm.
Imre Jele, Project Founder:
“Animal Farm is a literary masterpiece which uses deceptively simple language to accurately describe the downfall of communism from the dream of equality into totalitarian oppression. The fate of the farm was all too real for me growing up in totalitarian Hungary.
History seems to repeat itself. And once more, Orwell’s classic has become a painfully relevant warning as some Western democracies started using tools and language eerily similar to those of oppressive regimes of the past.
I’ve long wanted to explore how, through video gaming, we could design an experience which immerses the player in Orwell’s vision, and in Nerial we found the perfect partner to make this happen.“
Tamara Alliot, Founder, Nerial:
“When we got the opportunity to work with Imre, Andy and the estate of George Orwell to bring Animal Farm to a gaming audience we grabbed it with both hands and set out to make a game that truly honours Orwell’s parable. We were able to bring our genre experience to the project thanks to Reigns, and writer, Emily Short was excited to adapt the text and use her narrative design prowess. Emily has painstakingly studied Orwell’s text to ensure authenticity and verisimilitude.”
Bill Hamilton, literary executor to the estate of the late Sonia Brownwell Orwell:
“Works of art are great because they have universal meanings which resonate anew with every new generation. We are delighted to be working with passionate and creative makers of videogames at The Dairymen and are excited to see them shine a new light on Orwell’s perennial classic.”
The game will be narrated by Abubakar Salim who amongst other roles played Bayek in Assassin’s Creed: Origins. His performance was directed by Kate Saxon, who has worked on a series of high profile video games including Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture, Alien: Isolation, The Witcher 2 & 3 and others.
Follow us on Twitter: @nerial @AnimalFarmGame
About The Dairymen
The Dairymen consists of The Dairymen (Andy Payne founder of Just Flight, AppyNation and Imre Jele founder of Bossa Studios), and is an anagram of Andy and Imre. The two-person team was founded to make Animal Farm into a videogame for our times and introduce the novel and George Orwell to new generations of fans.
Nerial, best known for the Reigns series of games, is an award-winning indie game studio founded by Francois Alliot in 2013. Nerial makes deep narrative experiences with simple game mechanics. All art has been created by Helen O’Dell, with code by Ludwik Bacmaga. The team is working with Emily Short, known for her interactive fiction, narrative design, and conversation modelling. Emily is currently the Creative Director at Failbetter Games. The original music is composed by Murugan Thiruchelvam.
About George Orwell’s Animal Farm
George Orwell’s fable of revolutionary farm animals – the steadfast horses Boxer and Clover, the opportunistic pigs Snowball and Napoleon, and the deafening choir of sheep – who overthrow their elitist human master only to find themselves subject to a new authority, is one of the most famous warnings ever written.
Rejected by such eminent publishing figures as Victor Gollancz, Jonathan Cape and T.S. Eliot due to its daringly open criticism of Stalin, Animal Farm was published to great acclaim by Martin Secker and Warburg on 17 August 1945. One reviewer wrote ‘In a hundred years’ time perhaps Animal Farm … may simply be a fairy story: today it is a fairy story with a good deal of point.’
Seventy-five years since its first publication, Orwell’s immortal satire remains an unparalleled masterpiece and more relevant than ever.