EA and Del Ray and Dante team up to go to Hell

In what I can only describe as a slight blow to literature everywhere but an interesting opportunity for literate gamers, Dante’s Inferno is being republished.  In book form.  By Electronic Arts.  Oh, with Del Ray (ne Ballantine ne Random House) doing the bulk of the dead tree work.

Don’t worry though, the fine folks who brought you Spore aren’t re-imaging Hell as cutesy cartoon demons that dance and mate without genitalia.   They’re relying on Henry W. Longfellow’s translation.  He gave us the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere so is probably cool.

EA and Del Rey have spiced up an already hot commodity with artwork from the game and a new cover that Dante would surely approve of. Or not.  Here’s the skinny:

book_cover

Today, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) and Del Rey Books, an imprint of Ballantine Books at the Random House Publishing Group announced that a trade-paperback edition of the classic poem Inferno, part one of The Divine Comedy, will be distributed to booksellers nationwide on January 19, 2010. This special edition of the canonized poem commemorates the launch of the highly-anticipated Dante’s Inferno video game from Visceral Games. The new edition features an introduction written by Dante’s Inferno Executive Producer, Jonathan Knight, who offers insight into the process of adapting the dark masterpiece into the interactive medium. The book also features a 16-page, full-color art insert showcasing the evolution of characters and environments from the classic poem to the video game.

“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,” said Jonathan Knight, Executive Producer at Visceral Games. “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.”

“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,” said Michael Braff of Del Rey editorial. “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.”

Created by Visceral Games and available worldwide on February 9, the Dante’s Inferno video game is set in Dante Alighieri’s vividly imagined nine circles of hell – limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, violence, heresy, fraud and treachery. Players take Dante on an epic descent through hell, battling their way through a terrifying gauntlet of demons to reclaim the soul of his beloved Beatrice.

Dante’s Inferno the video game will be released for PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system and Sony PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) on February 9, 2010. A free demo is now available for download on the PlayStation Network and on Xbox Live. Dante’s Inferno is rated M for Mature by the ESRB and 18+ by PEGI. For more information on Dante’s Inferno, please follow Dante’s Inferno on Twitter at www.twitter.com/danteteam, and visit the game’s official web site at www.dantesinferno.com, where the team explores a new circle of hell, with new content and updates on the ninth day of every month.

[tags]EA, del rey, dante, other things that rhyme with ‘ay’, literature, video games[/tags]

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