When it was announced earlier this year that Gearbox Software had acquired the Homeworld IP, many fans weren’t sure what to make of the news. The fact that the studio is known for FPS games led some to believe their beloved space RTS was about to undergo a major shift in genre.
However, plans for a remaster of the first two mainline games in the series did a lot to assuage these worries — and based on some promising screens and details that came out of PAX Australia last weekend, fans of the series have plenty to be excited about.
Representatives from Gearbox briefly discussed Homeworld Remastered as part of their panel at the convention and showcased off some of the remastered cutscenes being recreated by the original team alongside some impressive in-game stills. It was made clear by studio head Randy Pitchford that everything possible was being done to get the original team involved with development — as he put it, “let’s get the band back together, and lets do it right.”
Specifically mentioned by Pitchford were Relic Entertainment co-founder Luke Moloney, art director of both Homeworld and Homeworld 2 Rob Cunningham, and sound designer for the series Paul Ruskay. Much of this talent is now at Blackbird Interactive, working on the Gearbox-published prequel Homeworld: Shipbreakers.
Over the last few years, titles like Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous and Sins of Solar Empire have proven that there’s still an audience hungry for games that take place amongst the stars. Just last week, the classic X-Wing and TIE Fighter flight simulators were released after years of fan demand. Homeworld might not share the same genre as these games, but it does share a similar space-based setting, which may have gone out of style for a few years but seems to be back in vogue. The same can be said on the film side with Star Wars making a big return next year, Interstellar opening in theaters this week and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy breaking all sorts of box office records.
The best part is, Homeworld Remastered isn’t being rushed. Pitchford went on to say that Gearbox ais completely focused on getting the game made, and having it be the best that it can be rather than being tied (read: rushed) for a release date. He did mention that his personal estimation is that the remaster will be finished by February 2015 — upon completion, it will be “modestly priced” for a Steam release.
Also announced as part of the panel was that the European allocation of the game’s collectors edition was available for purchase via Amazon. The special package contains a keychain, a Pride of Hiigara Mothership replica and an artbook — fans wanting to get on board will have to be quick, as the US allocation sold out very quickly.
Homeworld: Remastered is set for a PC release in early 2015.