Well now, can’t say this was entirely expected. Gearbox Software has revealed that they were the highest bidder for the Homeworld IP during a recent bid held on 15 April 2013; the same bid at which teamPixel failed to win the rights. According to reports, they paid about $1.35 million for the series. The sale is likely to be finalised on 13 May providing there are no objections to the sale; there probably won’t be any at all.
Revealing the news on their website, Gearbox said that their chief creative officer Brian Martel spearheaded the acquisition. Martel “has great love and respect for Relic’s brilliant, fun and innovative game.” Moving forward, Gearbox plans to make the original two games “accessible on today’s leading digital platforms”. That means we’ll likely see the games being released on Steam, GOG and more at some point in the future. That’s great news indeed.
Insofar as future Homeworld games are concerned, Gearbox has opened up their forums to fans in order to hear what everyone wants.
It’s an odd pairing, Gearbox and Homeworld, but that’s probably due to the developer’s legacy. They’re very much an FPS studio and while you could argue there were very basic strategy elements in some of the Brothers in Arms games, this will be their first real stab at the real-time strategy genre. And it’s a pretty damn lofty first stab; when it comes to RTS games, it doesn’t really get any more revered than the Homeworld series.
While Gearbox might be in the Internet dog box thanks to recent failures like Duke Nukem Forever and Aliens: Colonial Marines, it’s only fair to remember that they have provided the world with a lot of great games. They were also integral in making Half-Life the series it is today – a fact that a lot of people seem to forget. Still, as a primarily FPS focused development house, they’ve got their work cut out for them… and a legion of devout Homeworld fans that will be scrutinising their every move.