The Dark Side of Devotion:

Will Love Tear Us Apart?

Mighty Box Games
Based in Malta, Europe

Release date:
May 31st, 2013


Press / Business Contacts:



Will Love Tear Us Apart? is a free-to-play browser-game about relationships on the brink of breaking up. It is inspired by Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart and follows the song in delivering a dark and frustrating perspective on love. Each verse in the song is represented by a level in the game.

WLTUA encourages players to reflect on the darker side of love: mis-communication, emotional impasse and the sadness of separation. Solace may be found in the brief moment of lightness that comes over us when we come to terms with the reality of an irreconcilable relationship.



How does one go about adapting a song or poem into a game?  This was the initial seed of the project that would become Will Love Tear Us Apart?  Its creator, Gordon Calleja, started mulling over this issue in the Summer of 2011. Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart quickly presented itself as the perfect candidate for his project.  He saw each verse of the song as a different game environment, rendered in his mind’s eye as Dürer woodcuts.

The initial design was developed with Mighty Box Games, an independent indie game studio based in Malta.  The project received funding through the  Malta Arts Fund. Lightning struck early in the project, with a wrist injury forcing the original artist, Steffi, to leave the project. But the all-Maltese team of Gordon, Marvin, Fabrizio, Thom, Mark, and Costantino (an Italian infiltrator), regrouped around visual artists Anthony and Nel to move forward with the project.


Development Notes

The design of the game levels was based on the thematic concerns of the verse they represent. Gordon’s emphasis on expressing theme through both game mechanics and aesthetics created interesting tensions in the design process, resulting in scenarios which deliver the desired thematic experience whilst going against what is conventionally considered good game design. Although an effort was made to streamline game-play, the bias on theme marks the emotive experience. What guides this game is an ambition to frustrate, upset and sting the player into remembering the dark days preceding the death of a relationship.



Game Trailer

Gameplay Video

Image Gallery

Download all


Selected articles

Click on the name for the full article

Alternative Press
"The game itself is haunting, gorgeously crafted, and as fittingly bleak as its source material. Governed by its thematic and emotional elements, Will Love Tear Us Apart is a prime example of artwork expressed through the medium of game design."
by Philip Obenschain

AV Club
"An impressionistic, interactive art piece, with all of the action revolving around your confused, feckless direction of a couple as they bicker, reconcile, and swell into grotesque demon-people for no reason, just like in real life"
by Sean O'Neal

"One of the most iconic and instantly recognizable songs about heartache, pain, and the crushing sadness of a failing relationship...turned into a video game."
by Hanuman Welch

Rolling Stone US
"Because nothing takes the sting out of romantic turbulence like playing a video game about romantic turbulence"
by Erin Coulehan

PC Gamer
"This is the perfect way to convey the feelings of an oppressive relationship."
by Cara Ellison

"for players who believe games can be a vessel for emotions beyond fun and success"
by Tommy Rousse

"a unique and intriguing game offering an experience that is more accurately termed artistic and reflective than objective-driven"
by Bethany Quinn

Joy Division's classic song 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' has inspired a new computer game which sees players re-enact the final days of a relationship.

Consequence of Sound
"the future of video games is now: European developer Mighty Box Games has designed a game inspired by the iconic Joy Division. We’ll wait a few minutes while you immediately cancel your Xbox Live memberships"
by Chris Coplan
"A brilliant, dark, puzzling and confusing interpretation of the Joy Division classic,
Will Love Tear Us Apart? blurs the boundaries between art and videogame, but crucially is an incredibly novel way of interpreting a piece of music"

Fact Mag
"she's lost her controller"

"Mighty Box pretty much nailed Joy Division's mood...the world's most depressive videogame."
by Kyle McGovern

Rolling Stone Italia
"Se queste sono le premesse ci aspetta un’esperienza assolutamente devastante."

La Repubblica.IT
"Il gioco è difficile, affascinante, misterioso, psicologico, triste, scuro, non è un gioco, in fin dei conti"
by Ernesto Assante

"Will Love Tear Us Apart accurately simulates what it's like to be a 13 year old Maltese teenager who just broke his heart for the very first time"
by Chris Person

"Will Love Tear Us Apart? transforms Joy Division song into a game"
by Megan Farokhmanesh
"the game is as an interactive meditation on the nature of love"
by Matteo Bittanti
"Thinking of Joy Division’s signature depressing and gloomy songs, what did you expect? To have fun? Get your browser and Prozac at the ready, because the game is available"
by Lori Keong
"If love is a game, you've never seen one like this".
Interview with Gordon Calleja by Teodor Reljic.

Will Love Tear Us Apart is now Online!