A Twitter reply from Gearbox president Randy Pitchford has confirmed that Homeworld: Shipbreakers , the game formerly known as Hardware: Shipbreakers , is no longer planning to use a free-to-play business model. While you could reasonably argue that Twitter isn't the best medium for divulging information about the funding plans of an anticipated RTS resurrection, realise that it could be worse. He could have done it as a Tumblr gif wall.
Here's what Pitchford had to say:
@Giolon With our investment, Homeworld Shipbreakers can be a proper commercial release. No need for F2P. September 2, 2013
He's referring to the recent partnership between Blackbird Interactive, developers of Homeworld: Shipbreakers, and Gearbox, which allowed for the use of the Homeworld license, and guaranteed them financial and production support. Thanks to the Gearbox money hose, the former spiritual-successor - now an actual successor - can drop the controversial free-to-play model it was originally planning.
Despite the funding switch, the game's developers are still selling the $100 VIP package , which promises "guaranteed access to the Hardware: Shipbreakers Closed Beta". If you were previously planning to buy that package, it might now be worth waiting until the game's website updates to at least reflect the new name. It's likely the team's plans for pre-release funding will have changed significantly in light of Gearbox's intervention.
We've contacted Blackbird Interactive for clarification, and a less character limiting confirmation.