Hardware: Shipbreakers partners with Gearbox to use Homeworld licence, gets new name
Well this makes things easier. Between free-to-play revivals and Kickstarter, we spend a lot of time saying things like "from the makers of..." and "a spiritual successor to..." Basically, everything short of "look, they're remaking that game you liked, only they're not allowed to call it that because of law." For upcoming free-to-play RTS Hardware: Shipbreakers, it was the spectre of Homeworld that we were awkwardly dancing around. Not any more: Gearbox, the new owners of the Homeworld IP, have partnered with developer Blackbird Interactive to allow them official use of the licence.
As part of the deal, the game will now be titled Homeworld: Shipbreakers, and receive financial and production support from Gearbox. "These guys have been funded by private equity, but it's clear it was going to take many millions of dollars more," Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford told Polygon. "We're giving them the brand and the resources to make this happen. Now, these guys are cooking and with the money they have now, they can grow the team.
"Gearbox is not in the best spot to make a sci-fi RTS successor," Pitchford continued, referring to the studio's FPS focus. "We've become expert at production and that's where we can help. I mean, we shipped Duke Nukem Forever, we didn't build it but we made sure it came out. And that's a fucking miracle." I'm not sure that's a helpful comparison, given the final quality of DNF, but judging from the small snippet of game footage previously provided, Homeworld: Shipbreakers definitely shows promise.
Gearbox are also planning to create HD remakes of the previous two Homeworld games. As for Homeworld nee Hardware: Shipbreakers, you can find more information through Richard Cobbett's recent preview.