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GOG brings 17-year-old Homeworld expansion Cataclysm back from the dead

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Homeworld: Cataclysm, the standalone expansion to the magnificent trans-galactic RTS Homeworld, was not included with the Homeworld Remastered Collection released by Gearbox in 2015. The reasons still aren't entirely clear, although Fists of Heaven does a good job of summarizing the confusion and conflict over ownership rights, missing source code, and whether or not the code was really needed in the first place. The bottom line, though, was that Cataclysm was not coming back. 

But now it has come back, though not remastered and with a slightly different name—Homeworld: Emergence (opens in new tab)—but playable out of the box (in the digital sense) and exactly as it was when it was new. Set 15 years after the story told in Homeworld, Emergence follows a minor mining clan called Kiith Somtaaw, which stumbles upon a deadly nanobot infestation that threatens to overwhelm the galaxy. It features the same basic gameplay as its predecessor, expanded with new ship and technologies, and "enhanced fleet management" that makes corralling your forces in real-time 3D space a little bit easier. 

"The source code is in fact lost, but we didn’t need it to work on the game and make it compatible with modern OSes," a GOG rep explained. "We worked closely with Gearbox Software and used the builds we had in-house." As for the new title, that's a precautionary move. "'Cataclysm' is now a registered trademark of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., and the game has been renamed to avoid confusion," GOG said.   

Homeworld: Emergence is available now for ten percent off its regular $10 price until June 29. GOG has also picked up the newer, ground-based prequel RTS Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak (opens in new tab), which is 66 percent off ($17) until June 29, and has the Homeworld Remastered Collection (opens in new tab) on sale too for $12. 

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.