Homeworld 3, which was expected to launch later this year, has been delayed. Blackbird Interactive and Gearbox Publishing announced today that in order to give the developers enough time to make the game without crunch, they have pushed the release into the first half of 2023.
"Delivering Homeworld 3 at the highest quality is the top priority for Gearbox Publishing and Blackbird Interactive because we recognize the special place this series holds in the hearts of players," the delay message says. "This passion from players fuels the work and the additional time will allow us to make good on our commitment to quality in a healthy and sustainable way for all those involved."
An update on the launch of Homeworld 3: pic.twitter.com/uKc5jPOctoJune 10, 2022
The word "crunch" isn't used anywhere in the message, but it's clear that's what the studio is talking about. Working excessive hours over weeks and months in order to meet deadlines, aka "crunch," has been a common practice (and open secret) in the industry for years, but recently some developers and studios have begun to push back against it. The director of The Witcher 4, for instance, recently pledged that crunch would not take place on his watch—a big promise, given that CD Projekt is notorious for its history of brutal crunch on previous games.
Blackbird also said that it will share "the deepest look yet" at Homeworld 3 later this summer at Gamescom, which is slated to run August 24-28. It showed a spot of new in-development combat animation, too, showcasing the capabilities of a new kind of strike craft:
"These strike craft pop from behind cover for a strafing run while the frigate's guns reload. Caught in this pattern, the more powerful frigate will be chopped to bits."- @InsideBBI Hide, seek, and destroy in this new update from the #Homeworld3 team.https://t.co/3ySFYJwr8I pic.twitter.com/uJgViP5I8zJune 10, 2022