Northgard developer Shiro Games' sci-fi strategy game Dune: Spice Wars now includes multiplayer support following the launch of its its first major early access update.
Dune: Spice Wars was well-received when it launched into Steam early access back in April, but several key features were missing from that initial release, including all-important multiplayer support. Shiro eventually confirmed multiplayer would arrive this "summer" as part of its inaugural development roadmap, and that day is finally here.
According to today's patch notes, Dune's multiplayer can utilise both dedicated servers and peer-to-peer connections, and enables players to try their hand at 2v2 matches or test their mettle in four-person free-for-alls, playing as Atreides, Harkonnen, Fremen, or Smugglers.
Shiro notes any open spots in a match can be filled with AI-controlled factions - difficulty setting for these range from easy to insane - and a suite of customisation options are also available, enabling players to adjust map sizes, victory conditions, sandworm, storm, and Sietch activity, and more per game.
Today's update also features a number of major overhauls for existing systems - every development tree has been reworked with a focus on synergy between factions, for example - and content additions includes new political resolutions, new events, and new regions.
Multiplayer is the first major update for Dune: Spice Wars, with Shiro's roadmap promising plenty more still to come ahead of its full release in 2023, including a new faction and victory condition, spaceports, ships, and other advanced units, plus councillors that can double as special agents or fighting units with unique abilities.
If you're interested in checking out multiplayer, there's an added incentive to do so right now, as today's update is accompanied by a 20% discount on Steam. That means you can pick Dune: Spice Wars up for £19.99 instead of the usual £24.99 until 23rd June.