Today developer Visceral Games announced that it has teamed up with book publishing giant Random House to release a “special edition” of the 14th century Italian poet Dante Alighieri’s ‘Inferno’ as a means of promoting the upcoming action game Dante’s Inferno.
The paper back book will feature cover art similar to the videogame’s box art, as well as an introduction by executive producer Jonathan Knight and a sixteen page art section that shows “the evolution of characters and environments from the classic poem to the video game.”
Jonathan Knight stated: “We are so grateful to have the opportunity to work with Random House on this project. Through the creative process of developing this game, we have grown quite close to the literary works of Dante Alighieri. It is his vision that we are adapting for this new media, and new audience. The game is a celebration of Dante, and we hope gamers will be encouraged to go beyond the game and explore the classic text that has inspired us so deeply.”
Michael Braff of Del Rey editorial (the sub-label Random House will be publishing the book under) said, “Visceral Games and EA have provided us with an amazing opportunity to bring one of the great works of classical fiction to a new group of fans. Their stunning and inventive take on Dante’s Inferno will be sure to wow players around the world and we are extremely proud to be able to provide those individuals with insight into the creative processes involved in adapting Dante to a new medium.”
Maybe it’s the English major in me, or just the book collecting prick, but I can’t fathom how this collaboration worked out. I assumed that most of the literary world, myself included, shared the same disgust with EA’s desecration of a classic piece of literature. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with EA making an action game set in Hell where you kill lots of monsters that are based on a book written 700 years ago. I just happen to be appalled that they had the nerve to attach Dante Alighieri’s name to a game that he has no way of approving.
I also am disheartened by Random House going along with EA in order to make a few bucks off of misguided kids who think The Divine Comedy is some blood soaked gore-a-thon. Do you guys share the same sentiments, or am I just being an over protective prick who feels self righteous defending his field of study?