Blackbird Interactive announced today that its upcoming space opera RTS Homeworld 3 has been delayed. Instead of arriving in the first half of 2023 as expected, the studio now says it will be out in February 2024.
"Our primary goal is to deliver a Homeworld experience that lives up to the standards set by its predecessors and is worthy of this series' incredible legacy," Blackbird said. "Homeworld 3 is shaping up to be exactly that, but in order to fully realize that vision we need more time to refine and polish the game.
"We deeply appreciate your passion and dedication to this game, and we are working hard to get Homeworld 3 to you as soon as we can."
In an FAQ, Blackbird said the delay wasn't caused by any specific issue, but simply a desire to live up to the "iconic" standards set by the previous games in the series: "This work takes time, especially when we are raising the bar on what players will experience in the Homeworld universe."
It also said that the scope of the game hasn't changed—"Gearbox and Blackbird Interactive plan to deliver on all of the promises made so far"—and emphasized that the studio's four-day work week, which Blackbird moved to in 2022, is not responsible for the delay.
"In fact, the team is able to achieve as much if not more when given the additional personal time," Blackbird said. "Being able to draw inspiration from time spent with family and friends and on personal hobbies has fueled a lot of the innovations we can’t wait to show off in the lead up to launch."
We are moving the launch of Homeworld 3 from the first half of 2023 to February 2024 so that we deliver the quality experience that fans deserve. pic.twitter.com/DaCX4eFMm4May 25, 2023
The original Homeworld was a well-deserved hit when it came out in 1999 and spawned two sequels, Cataclysm in 2000 and Homeworld 2 in 2003. After that, it fell into disuse until Gearbox released remastered versions (excluding Cataclysm, the source code for which has been lost) in 2015. The ground-based prequel Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak followed in 2016, and it too was an outstanding game: "A great tactical RTS with all the gorgeous aesthetics and atmosphere of the original series," we said in our 90% review. The all-new Homeworld 3 was announced a few years later, in 2019.
This will be Homeworld 3's second delay: It was originally supposed to be out in 2022, but Blackbird pushed it to 2023 in order to avoid having to crunch on it. A solid release date hasn't yet been set but Blackbird said it will be announced "as soon as we have it." The studio also promised to reveal more about what we can expect from the game in "our biggest Homeworld 3 progress update yet," which will take place later this summer.