I know that the video games Dune II/2000 and Battle for Dune are not considered canon with the 1984 movie, despite sharing props & overall look-and-feel. The games themselves do not mention the events of the books, and the political/economic structure shown no longer exists after the events of Dune (the first book). This leads me to believe that they take place at an earlier timeframe, but a quick search failed to reveal any official word on when they take place. And the books DID reference previous wars over control of Arrakis, so it should be possible to shoehorn the plot into the timeline.

Assuming a somewhat-intact timeline, approximately how long before the first book would the games take place? Or is this semi-intact timeline even possible?

2 Answers 2


According to the Producer of Emperor: Battle for Dune, the game series (Emperor being the direct sequel of Dune 2000) was set several centuries before the events of the Dune novels

IGNPC: Tell us a little bit about the story if you can. We know you said that the game take place a few centuries before the story in the novels, but can you be more specific about the setting for the conflict?

Chris Longpre: The Emperor has been assassinated by the Lady Alara (in Dune 2000), leaving no heir and a huge power vacuum. Each house is laying claim to the throne, but each realizes that controlling Arrakis, home of the spice, is the key to winning the Imperial throne. It finally blossoms into war among the three most powerful houses, the noble Atreides, the insidious Ordos and the evil Harkonnen.

EMPEROR: BATTLE FOR DUNE INTERVIEW - Producer Chris Longpre talks about the sequel to one of our favorite games.


They simply don't fit to the same time frame, if anything they are "alternative history". While you could be generous with Dune II saying that it takes place some time before the first "Dune" book, because Herbert didn't (please correct me here) mention how Harkonnens took the possession of the planet, even then the ending would make no sense with the winner becoming new Emperor.

Dune 2000 is even less closer to the canon with dead emperor starting the whole war. The guild and Tleilax treason also never had place... But if we assume that it's alternative history (without Paul being born) then it would take place few years after the ending of the first book, because Baron Harkonnen during the campaign dies of the old age.

EDIT: The Emperor in the Dune 2000 is called Emperor Frederick IV, not Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV, same with Baron Harkonnen who doesn't have first name (so it might not be Vladimir). So its quite possible that action takes place long in the past before books when House Corinno briefly lost power.

  • Could you jam in the plot at a much earlier time, say like 1000 years before the original book? I haven't read the prequel books so not sure.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 18:23
  • Maybe - its possible that House Corinno lost power for a generation or two (winner of the game becomes new Emperor)
    – Yasskier
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 18:54
  • I just found that Dune 2000 emperor is not the same emperor from the book
    – Yasskier
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 18:56
  • Shaddam IV (the Emperor at the time of the book) was the 81st member of the House of Corrino to sit on the throne. So if we overlook the player becoming Emperor - or assume he's adopted by the Corrinos for political reasons - then I thought maybe it was possible to shoehorn it in generations before the book. Your answer is still probably the right one, though - there's just no easy way to paper over the continuity cracks.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 19:08

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