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Gearbox Software has acquired the  Homeworld  franchise
Gearbox Software has acquired the Homeworld franchise
April 22, 2013 | By Kris Graft

April 22, 2013 | By Kris Graft
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    17 comments
More: Console/PC, Social/Online, Business/Marketing



Gearbox Software has acquired the well-regarded strategy game franchise Homeworld.

The acquisition is consistent with Gearbox's strategy of owning nearly every property it works on. The independent developer also owns the Borderlands, Duke Nukem and Brothers in Arms franchises.

The pairing of Gearbox and Homeworld is an interesting one. The studio is best known for its expertise in action-heavy first-person shooters, not strategy games.

There are no concrete announcements for new games in the series, but Gearbox said its first matter of business is to bring Homeworld and Homeworld 2 to "today's leading digital platforms."

Homeworld was created by Company of Heroes studio Relic Entertainment. Publisher THQ owned the franchise, but had to sell it off in auction, following its bankruptcy late last year. Relic was sold to Sega, where it is working to complete Company of Heroes 2.

Gearbox's acquisition was led by the studio's chief creative officer Brian Martel, a professed fan of the franchise.

The acquisition comes shortly after a crowdfunded attempt to buy the franchise fell short. Gearbox also outbid Galactic Civilization developer Stardock and Crusader Kings developer Paradox Interactive.

Other remaining THQ properties that were awaiting final bids include Darksiders, MX and Red Faction.

Updated with information on additional bidders.


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Comments


Ardney Carter
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Homeworld Forever: Colonial Marine

Aleksander Adamkiewicz
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Thanks, I'll go cry in a corner now.

Jacek Wesolowski
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They're going to leave only ion frigates in, but those will be the biggest, meaniest, badassiest ion frigates ever built, and their stats will be randomly generated.

Kris Graft
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Tough crowd!

Wylie Garvin
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No kidding! Why don't we wait and see if they ruin it before we stone them?

I've been playing a lot of Borderlands 2 lately, best $60 worth of entertainment of 2012 in my not-exactly-humble opinion, so I'm willing to give Gearbox a chance here.

Vincent Hyne
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Time for a Homeworld FPS on consoles.

Brandon Kerr
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I am saddened by the thought that we might never see a Relic-made Homeworld sequel.

If Gearbox can produce a sequel or spin-off with the same care and dedication that they put into Borderlands, I might be game. They know the strengths of the Borderlands franchise and build on them well. Perhaps they will look at Homeworld as closely. I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that they will try to turn Homeworld into a shooter or something like that. Of course, though, the Aliens thing is disconcerting. It'll take them awhile to get over that.

Rob Wright
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I don't want to say this is absolutely bad news, but...forget the fact that two of Gearbox's last three releases have been *poorly received* and look at their history. I see a lot of shooters and and an RTS rookie.

And that may scare me more than Colonial Marines/Duke Nukem Forever.

Carl Chavez
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Geez, all the negativity! Is this Gamasutra or Blue's News?

(Ha, never mind; I just checked Blue's News. They're taking this news even harder than you guys. :-) )

But seriously, glass houses and throwing stones and all that... it's easy to ignore this kind of whining when gamers feel like something won't be perfect. However, when developers complain about the potential for failure by other developers because of previous failures, we're in trouble: there are a LOT of developers with failures in their past, and many of us do redeem ourselves later.

Ron Dippold
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Gearbox devs two types of games:
- The Main Game they've got their A team and resources on (the older Brothers in Arms, Borderlands). These are pretty good.
- The Other Game. The neglected ones that are in dev at the same time as the Main Game. These are not very good, often horrendous. Even when they go in with good intentions, they end up sucking people into the Main Game when crunch hits.

The question then is whether we think they would make a new Homeworld a Main Game when they could instead be guaranteed millions with Borderlands 3.

The best hope is probably that they give it to a decent studio that loves the franchise and has some experience with RTSes, and just do the publishing.

Randen Dunlap
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Cause for concern is legitimate here. I don't believe developers are questioning their capability to produce a quality Homeworld game, but given recent debacles, it's been obvious where their focus has been and their willingness to "bleed" out a project in order to meet that goal.

AKA, stop biting off more than you can chew.

They will likely do fine, assuming they don't have any more questionable releases. A solid Homeworld release would probably bring back that "feel good" feeling some are missing about GBX these days.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Jed Hubic
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Gearbox is alright with me, BUT hearing that their first priority is to bring Homeworld to modern digital platforms (GOG hopefully!) makes me think they are at least down to party.

Kujel Selsuru
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GOG is the only (other then indivania) place I'll buy PC games, I refuse to support DRM and they're on the same wave length as me so if HomeWorld makes it to GOG I'll probably grab a copy otherwise I'd most likely pass.

Kujel Selsuru
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I'm happy that homeworld at least ended up with a decent developer who could do great things with the IP but only time will truely tell.

Alan Youngblood
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Am I weird for thinking that Gearbox may get some of the original devs hired on and go in a different direction than FPS because they know it's good to diversify? Besides, Borderlands 1&2 are great games. Duke Nukem could have been said to be DOA, all though it probably happened much earlier in its over a decade of development. After hearing that the kickstarter got shut down, this may be the best news for the Homeworld franchise. And let's also be honest that Kickstarter, regardless of how much it makes, is rarely a great place for AAA devs or a so-called mid-tier dev studio. (I'm acknowledging the collapse of the mid-tier category overall and lumping Homeworld into AAA, because that's the closest fit).

John Flush
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I'm mixed on the news. I loved Homeworld. I would love to see the games get a GOG release and if that is all that happens I would take it with all smiles.


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