Gearbox on Homeworld acquisition: “it needs a fresh coat of paint”

At PAX Australia Gearbox revealed their plans to release an HD version of the Homeworld games, as well as releasing the first two games in their current form through digital outlets. More than that, the studio’s president, Randy Pitchford, and chief creative officer, Brian Martel, talked about their reasons for the acquisition and Relic’s involvement with the new release.

“When THQ started to evaporate, Brian kept coming to my office everyday and saying, 'Hey Randy, you got to get Homeworld,'” said Pitchford. “So we became part of that process bidding on the brand."

Martel’s motivation was clear, “This is one of those games that for me sort of moved me as brand,” he said. “I was impressed with the story and it had some of the best spaceships that I have ever seen, outside of Star Wars. It was that part of it that meant something to me, so I really thought that we should get it out there for the rest of the world. And a lot of folks haven't had a chance to play it, it has only been on DVD or CD, it has not ever been released digitally."

After they were successful in acquiring the license to the series Gearbox were approached by Relic’s founder, Alex Garden. He was happy that a developer, rather than a  publisher had won the bid. He also, and this is the really good bit, pledged to support all of the Gearbox’s Homeworld projects. Hopefully, this will mean there will be some dialogue between the two developers.

Following the auction Gearbox received a hard drive “filled with everything,” Martel said. “We started an investigation into how we were going to build the game. We are going to upgrade all the ships, make it look amazing for current-gen. At this point it needs a fresh coat of paint."

Cheers, Polygon.

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VinsanityV22 avatarsubedii avatar
VinsanityV22 Avatar
4 Years ago

Weird. I still don't think Gearbox is a match for this property, but at least they'll re-release 'em. I don't expect much else to come out of this, to be honest. They're a shooter studio, and Sega owns Relic, so how much could Relic possibly do? Regardless of what Alex Garden says.

I suppose Gearbox could license out Homeworld TO someone like Sega, and they could in turn throw it at Relic at some point in the future. Like how From Software controls the Tenchu IP (or at least did for awhile), so they licensed out Fatal Shadows to SEGA and Tenchu Z to Microsoft? All they provided were the brand; From Software neither handled development nor publishing duties for those Tenchu games. That deal still hurts my head; I don't know how you get away with that.

That being said, I'm sure Sega will never work with Gearbox again after Aliens, so seriously - what the *** will Relic ever do? Nothing, that's what. We'll never get a Homeworld 3, and I sincerely doubt Gearbox will get around to HD Remakes of Homeworld 1 + 2 when they already have so much other stuff ostensibly on their plate. They got Borderlands 3 (Borderlands makes money, so of course they're gonna make more). Furious Four is still in active development. They claim they'll return to Brothers in Arms. Duke Nukem is something they acquired as well; seem in no rush to start up work on a new one of those. I'm sure I'm forgetting some other stuff.

Borderlands is great and all, but Gearbox is not the most consistent, nor trustworthy, developers out there. They talked a lot about Duke Nukem Forever. And Aliens Colonial Marines. Randy Pitchford and co. are GREAT at talking. Not so much on the delivering. So I'll believe this rhetoric when, and if, it ever becomes more than just talk.

subedii Avatar
4 Years ago

I think everyone would have been happier if Sega had taken this instead.

You know it's funny, if 10 years ago you told me that Sega would be out of the console making business and be a key player in publishing good PC strategy games, I'd have called you crazy. Moreso if you'd told me I'd be happy that Relic had been bought by them.

Yet here we are. And props to them, Sega genuinely seem to have done well by the developers they've had under them. They seem to understand that these devs have a good thing going with their franchises and don't appear to be unnecessarily interfering with them to "jazz up" the series and make them blandly mass market action-lite games.