Hardware: Shipbreakers Is Now Homeworld: Shipbreakers

By Jim Rossignol on September 2nd, 2013 at 1:00 pm.


Yes, Gearbox have loaned Blackbird, a startup made from former-Homeworld devs and others, the right to call their fantastic-looking RTS Homeworld: Shipbreakers. Fashionable news shapes over at Polygon report that a deal was signed at PAX last week:

“We wanted the project to live and thrive and grow,” said Blackbird chief creative officer Aaron Kambeitz. “We didn’t want it to go to a publisher that would let it die. We reached out to them and congratulated them on [winning the IP] and that turned into a friendship.”

And into an extension of the Homeworld universe.

It’s an interesting move by Gearbox, not least because it allows them to address the scepticism over them picking up an RTS name. Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford spoke specifically about that, saying: “Gearbox is not in the best spot to make a sci-fi RTS successor… 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.”

Will Shipbreakers turn out to be a fucking miracle too? I sort of hope so:

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104 Comments »

  1. rustybroomhandle says:

    I do hope they rethink the business model then too.

    • Cinek says:

      In did. The current F2P + horribly expensive alpha access with no real benefits to the user is a joke.

      F2P itself is a bad start – everything they added on top of that is only a pile of rotten eggs. Wish they would make it pay-once-play-forever like Guild Wars 2, and just sell expansion packs on top of that.
      It also seems that they have no plans for real Single Player mode, which is very sad, as large chunk of what made Homeworld universe so popular is it’s singleplayer (though yes – a multiplayer of first Homeworld was extremely popular).

      • Gnoupi says:

        (Actually, GW 1 was the “pay for expansions only”. GW2 is “pay once, play forever, please come to our in-game shop where you can buy some items for real money”)

    • Falcyn says:

      Randy Pitchford on Twitter:

      “With our investment, Homeworld Shipbreakers can be a proper commercial release. No need for F2P.”

      https://twitter.com/DuvalMagic/status/374575147547496448

  2. DatonKallandor says:

    Gearbox showing that they have no idea what Homeworld is.
    Shipbreakers is the antithesis of everything Homeworld stands for.
    It’s a PvP focued, Free to Play, singleplayer-less browser-based, “social game”.

    All they’ve done is ensure it gets more positive press from clueless media who don’t have the base integrity to actually look into what Shipbreakers IS and more money from clueless players who read aforementioned clueless media.

    • Vandelay says:

      You mean the makers of Homeworld don’t know what Homeworld is?

      They are the ones that instigated this, not Gearbox.

      • Dolphan says:

        Well, they have said in the past (on this very site IIRC) that it has little in common with Homeworld other than similarities in the art style, so this bit does seem to be purely marketing. The game looks great though. It’s not browser-based anymore (as if that’s even relevant in these days of Unity), and it is supposed to have singleplayer, just probably not a story-led campaign.

      • Lawful Evil says:

        He mentioned Gearbox, not Blackbird (that has Homeworld veterans). Regardless, Shipbreakers has little to do with Homeworlds, in my opinion. Art assets, music and UI do not make this game as valuable as Homeworlds are to me.

        • DainIronfoot says:

          Really? Personally the look, sound and feel of Homeworld are a big part of it. If all I’d wanted was a game that replicated the 3d strategy aspect of it, I wouldn’t worry about the fate of the IP so much.

          Obviously we all want a proper new spacey Homeworld someday too.. but this game always felt like it was almost the Homeworld universe anyway, so this news is a nice surprise.

          • Lawful Evil says:

            Oh, I agree that art direction, music and sounds, as well as some other things are quite important to Homeworld (2). But still, in my opinion (which You are free to disagree of course), the emotional plot/story, as well as 3D space which was fully utilised (this is questionable though, but still) were something I consider a natural and necessary part of a Homeworld game. Shipbreakers has impressive art assets and art direction, the music is being composed by Paul Ruskay (composer of music for Homeworlds), and now there is a chance to integrate some Homeworld lore into it, but without singleplayer *quality* campaign I am just not that interested.

            Still, I am not being that negative about this (although it might seem), because this game looks promising nonetheless, but I just cannot accept F2P singleplayer-less “Homeworld”.

          • Werthead says:

            I’m pretty sure there’ll now be a stronger SP element to it. Maybe not much, but IIRC the reason that HARDWARE didn’t have a SP element is the expense. With Gearbox rolling up with the warchest, that’s not so much of a limitation any more.

            It’s also pretty much impossible to make SHIPBREAKERS a prequel to HOMEWORLD without some kind of storyline. Presumably the game culminates in the discovery of the first Hyperspace Core in the wreck of the Khar-Toba. You need some sort of narrative to get that across, and I’m not sure if it will resonate or work well as part of some MP map.

            Plus if they are positioning SHIPBREAKERS and the remade HW1+2 almost as a new franchise for modern gamers, it’d make sense if they had a consistent structure across all three titles (i.e. a robust SP campaign with a MP element rather than a MP-focused game with some minor SP elements).

    • Strabo says:

      It is F2P? Because the Hardware: Shipbreakers page wants me very much to pay 49 USD (or 99 USD for Beta Access).

    • stahlwerk says:

      Someday, I wish I’ll get what it is that’s seemingly, obviously, inherently evil about Free-to-Play.

      Isn’t it kinda what we had with shareware games for almost 30 years now?

      • Jason Moyer says:

        No, it’s nothing like shareware. If Doom had been free to play, at the beginning of the first level you would have been able to pay $20 to get a BFG 9000.

        • Ergates_Antius says:

          Name *one* F2P game that supports your analogy.

          • KhanIHelpYou says:

            Warframe.

            The moment you start you can pay money to buy the very best warframe, which comes with an orokin reactor and a frame slot. You can also buy some of the better/best weapons right off the bat, again coming with catalysts. This is mitigated a tiny bit by a ranking system that level locks equipment but its really not been fleshed out well at this point. Maybe in the future.

            Its a co-op lootfarm where within 10 seconds you can pretty much invalidate the point of the entire game by getting the best equipment, turning the game into easy mode with nothing to strive for.

            Its a great game and the weapons are a little bit cheaper than £28 but its a fairly similar situation to being able to grab the best gun in doom at the start of the first level. Also you can really feel the F2P driving other game design decisions. Your looking at 200+ hours to get to the same level playing free that you can get in less than 10-20 by paying.

          • Ergates_Antius says:

            Stop undermining my argument with evidence!

          • aepervius says:

            Anotehr recentely discussed example on RPS : MechWarrior online and cooling shot.

          • j4mmy says:

            Warframe doesn’t really fit. Yes you could buy a weapon or warframe right off the bat, but it would still lack the mod cards to make it super effective. The only real way to get those is through playing the game, as buying mod card packs has a good chance of getting you a small assortment of random useless cards for a ridiculous price.

          • sebmojo says:

            MWO isn’t a great example of pay to play – the ‘real money’ cooling shot is mostly replicable with ingame currency and in any event only gives you a couple of extra shots in a given ten second period over an entire 5-10 minute game. Not game-breaking in the slightest.

            MWO has any number of flaws, but pay to play is not one of them.

        • stahlwerk says:

          Hm, if F2P implicitly means microtransactions*, then yeah, I’d see your point. Does it, though?

          *) and also an exclusively vanity or lazyness-based Play economy.

          • The Random One says:

            Usage’s gotten rather fuzzy lately, but yes, F2P does imply microtransactions. Free games are still just free (or freeware). F2P implies the games are free to PLAY, but there are things in the game you need to pay to get.

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          Also you would have walked at half the speed and pay $5 to walk at normal speed for an hour.

        • Apocalypse says:

          God I am lucky that the first part of doom was indeed free and idkfa.

      • BobsLawnService says:

        In my head free to play can work. Provide a base, compelling game for free and then charge a few bucks for episodic content and real cosmetic/ convenience items. Think the old shareware model but add interesting missions and adventures available for a decent cost. If you design your tools correctly you can create new content with a reasonably small staff. If you make your game fun people WILL pay without you having to resort to cynical cash-grabs.

        • stahlwerk says:

          Exactly. If it gets people to play a genuinely good game that would otherwise skip it for price of entry reasons, I’m all for it. If they like it, they can still choose not to pay, or pay for content, perks or a (subjectively) improved experience. I think the moral duty lies with the devs to ensure that the total cost of ownership* of a complete** f2p game amounts to the upfront equivalent sum.

          I wonder what happened to the “What $10 can buy you in …” column.

          *) ownership in the broadest sense
          **) complete in the sense that the game can be meaningfully experienced from start to finish. Pure cosmetics excluded, in other words.

      • bills6693 says:

        The way I see it, there are several ‘problems’ with F2P.

        Firstly, there is a force on having to focus on progression and grinding. Generally there is a dual currency system, where you can either play the game to get more currency to buy things, or pay real money to buy it. To encourage the player to pay real money, you shouldn’t be able to access things quickly or easily through gameplay. Which often means hours of grinding to be able to access the things you could alternatively pay a small sum for.

        Furthurmore, there is a real need for you to pay. They need to get people to pay lots of money to support those that do not pay any money.

        To put into example the problem with Shipbreakers being F2P is easy. It is a game based on scavenging wrecks for loot. So the whole point is you find a wreck, you fight off hostile players/forces, and gain hard-won loot. But the real problem is that you can EITHER do that, OR you can pay money to get cool stuff. Which kind of ruins the whole point. Also, there is going to have to be a looong progression with lots to unlock, and you will only be able to get a little bit from each ship, which means a long grind to get higher level things which you can alternatively spend £5 to skip.

        Sometimes F2P can be done well. League of Legends for example. Also TCG/CCGs are and old and classic game that fits into this genre well, as that has always been their market model in essence.

        It is difficult to explain, but there are pretty negative side effects from making your game F2P, and the only real positive is that everyone can play it to an extent. But it really ruins the experience, making your wallet the biggest factor rather than your skill. They are often very grindy rather than fast and fun.

        I for one would rather get the whole thing, in one package, for one payment, than get a pay-gated grinding-focused game. Which is what the F2P game will be.

      • Phasma Felis says:

        The standard F2P model is “make a compelling game with well-balanced progression, then fuck up the progression on purpose and make players pay to stop being frustrated.” It pretends to offer free fun, then yanks the fun away and demands a bribe–usually not just a one-time “get the full version” payment, but regular payments continuing for as long as you still want to play the game.

        Yes, it’s *possible* to make F2P games that don’t suck. Perhaps you have only played one of the tiny handful of games that do that, and failed to notice the thousands and thousands that suck.

        • stahlwerk says:

          That sounds about right, yeah, maybe it’s a case of selection bias. I generally try to avoid playing games that suck, free or otherwise.

      • WHS says:

        Free-to-play is usually designed to be money pit in the way that shareware isn’t. Shareware gave you a sample and then let you pay for the full product; F2P generally asks you to keep paying throughout the game.

        In economics, this is called price discrimination: finding methods to make consumers pay more for something as they become willing to do so.

        But it doesn’t work unless the number of things you can spend money on is effectively inexhaustible. F2P games frequently make a lot of money from a handful of extremely dedicated customers, who spend hundreds or thousands of dollars in a game.

        The problem with this approach from a consumer’s point of view is that you’re encouraged to keep spending money up until just before the point you don’t really want the product anymore. Imagine if other things were sold like this. You’d go to buy a pair of shoes, find one you’d really wanted (and thus thought was a good bargain), and the salesman would continually ratchet up the price until your excitement turned into ambivalence, stopping just before you decided the price was too high. It would be exhausting and financially draining.

  3. Rossi says:

    So erm, wheres the bit in space?

    • frightlever says:

      Reminded me of Total Annihilation.

      But yeah, pointless franchise-pillaging to get press. I don’t see that it matter whether some of the devs worked on the Homeworld franchise – if they did, their work there clearly didn’t mean as much to them as it did to fans of the games.

      • Ergates_Antius says:

        Or maybe they just realised that the existance of this game wouldn’t have any real impact on the fans’ enjoyment of the old games.

        Not the sane ones, anyway.

    • Dozer says:

      It takes place on the surface of a planet. As any fule kno, planets travel through space.

    • Werthead says:

      In the sequel.

      Less facetiously, the HOMEWORLD series was about the plight of the Hiigaran/Kushan people. HOMEWORLD 1 was the story of them getting back to their home after the planet they were exiled to, Kharak, was blown up. HOMEWORLD 2 was the story of them surviving an alien attack and fulfilling their mystic space destiny. HOMEWORLD: SHIPBREAKERS, set on Kharak, seems to be the story of their planet-bound, inter-clan warfare and the discovery of the Hyperspace Core that allowed the Mothership to be built in the first place.

      Playing the long game, this may allow them to make a proper HOMEWORLD 3 set in space, but with the ability to also fight battles over planetary surfaces by combining both approaches. Which could be very tasty.

      • Phasma Felis says:

        Is this hypothetical, or are they *actually* mutilating the Homeworld backstory from “the Hiigarans believed they were alone in a hostile universe until they discovered a vast and ancient ark buried beneath the desert sands, its starmap pointing the way to their Homeworld” to “Kharak always had a million kabillion starships just lying around, and probably one of them has a starmap I guess, but it’s not in this game”?

        Because that would be really, really terrible.

        • Werthead says:

          We’ll have to wait and see. As far as retcons go, I’ve seen far worse. However, it’s also possible they’ll change the crashed starships to half-buried cities or something (the Hiigarans did settle more widely but then retreated to the poles as they realised how inhospitable the desert environment was), or may just good old-fashioned ‘resources’.

          • Bugamn says:

            Then they’ll have to rename the game again. ‘Shipbreakers’ imply that there are more than one ship.

            Maybe this game takes place in another planet, which is used as a graveyard for ships, after the return to Hiigara?

  4. Prime says:

    Homeworld: IP Breakers.

  5. GernauMorat says:

    I really hope I’m wrong about this one

  6. tigerfort says:

    Given the general opinion held of Duke Forever, lets hope this is a miracle of a slightly different class….

    • baby snot says:

      You know they’re aiming pretty low when they feel like they have to swear in a comment or press release. That or Pitchford is just a potty mouth.

    • Squirly says:

      I think he’s just talking about the fact that it got released which, if you consider the game, is an even more amazing miracle than he’s willing to admit.

      • Baines says:

        The only “miracle” is that it came out when no sane developer would have released it.

        A real miracle would have been to release a good DNF. Anyone can bundle up a half-finished mess and sell it for a quick buck. Just look at Aliens: Colonial Marines. Which was also a Gearbox release.

  7. Borgadzim says:

    I don’t know, but the video itself looks, sounds and feels like a Homeworld game, even if it is in a desert. But yeah, it can still suck…

    • Dozer says:

      It’s the completely calm “They’ve shot me and I’m dead now” radio voiceacting, the wailing singers in the background music, and the ‘Boop/Dwmmm’ noise when going to the strategic map.

    • Taidan says:

      If I recall correctly, the first Homeworld game started off in the desert. With a bunch of sweet-looking vehicles unearthing a partially buried spaceship, coming to think of it.

      *Quick search*

      Yah, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrW4jkQdmjI

  8. Gap Gen says:

    I suppose the good news is that Gearbox might sanction/fund a proper (i.e. space-based) Homeworld game.

    • Yargh says:

      Well, for the moment they are funding an updated re-release of the first two Homeworld games instead.

      This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I find that they stand the test of time pretty well already.
      Hopefully they are also talking to these guys: http://www.homeworld2complex.com/index1.htm

      • Gap Gen says:

        That’s good news. I was put off playing Homeworld 1 after the fact due to the fiddly controls, but I would totally play a remastered version with better graphics, interface, etc.

        • mouton says:

          I could settle for just making it work well on modern machines. Or at least on 5-year old machines like mine.

      • vivlo says:

        Are they really ? what’s taking them so long time ?

  9. Rossi says:

    If it were a game where we travelled as space prospectors from planet to planet in search of salvage with RTS in space and on the ground, then I can see the appeal.

    Just on the planet? Erm, no.

    • Werthead says:

      That would be a pretty different game. I can imagine it being a possibility for HOMEWORLD 3 though. And yes, I think what they’ll do is finish off SHIPBREAKERS and then move onto a ‘proper’ HOMEWORLD 3 at that point, possibly with a much bigger budget if SHIPBREAKERS and the HW1/2 remakes do really well.

  10. c-Row says:

    Does anyone remember the exact date the comment section turned into a collection of negative nay-sayers who shit on top of every cake? Jeez…

    • gunny1993 says:

      Cake makes you fat and increases the chance of Diabetes, Alzheimers, MS, H.I.V, African Sleeping Sickness and Vertigo

      Fuck cake

      • Dozer says:

        In Australia, you are legally required to use the tongs provided to take loose food items (such as cake) off the shelf. The actions you encourage would be in significant breach of this regulation, in addition to several others, and would result in serious fines at the very least.

        • gunny1993 says:

          In Australia I would be more worried about the mother fucking land sharks hiding the cake.

    • Gap Gen says:

      Yes, I’m not sure quite what spawned this. Granted, if this was the only new Homeworld game ever to be made then it might be disappointing, but as it is it’s a pre-existing upcoming game that’s just been renamed (and presumably the story tweaked a bit to fit the universe, too). I’d welcome more diversity in the Homeworld universe as long as some of the games are space RTSs. And hell, a new Ground Control-style game? I’m totally up for that.

      • Baines says:

        A similar argument was made by people to defend Duke Nukem Forever, that it didn’t matter that the game was lousy because it was just a necessary sacrifice to allow Gearbox to make new Duke Nukem games.

        • Gap Gen says:

          Except Hardware: Shipbreakers wasn’t having any reported problems, unlike Duke Nukem Forever. Like you imply, it’s a little early to say what they’ll do with the license, but giving it to a team made of original Homeworld devs seems like a promising sign. And I still think there’s a good chance this’ll be a good game in its own right.

    • stahlwerk says:

      It’s just amplification. The Signal-to-Noise Ratio has remained constant for a good time now.

      • TsunamiWombat says:

        From our perspective, the people who get happy about being pee’d on are the ones who are the noise element in this metaphor.

        And yes, you are getting louder every year as people forget what good service and good product actually are.

        As far as things go, this isn’t that bad – it’s not like they took Homeworld and made it an FPS (Syndicate), but it’s still a cynical PR stunt and a move to profit off the Homeworld IP without taking any time to actually make something for it themselves.

        • mouton says:

          I think the issue is not the existence of criticism but how it is expressed.

    • qizarate says:

      It’s pretty bizarre, no? The game has already been in development for a while, and for all we know it was the Hardware devs who went to Gearbox requesting use of the Homeworld IP. Regardless, they’re fully on board with it – and these are the guys who made homeworld we’re talking about. The existence of Hardware doesn’t negate the possibility of a space-based homeworld sequel – in fact, if hardware is a success attached to the Homeworld IP this is going to improve the chances of a proper homeworld sequel. I really don’t get where the massively negative reaction is coming from, as a huge Homeworld fan i’m very pleased that this is happening.

      • Gap Gen says:

        The only risk is that Gearbox didn’t exactly achieve massive critical success with the Duke Nukem or Aliens licenses, but I presume this game won’t suffer the same development chaos that those two did.

        • Hmm-Hmm. says:

          As far as I’m aware, the game is the responsibility of Blackbird alone. So.. I don’t know why mishandled development by Gearbox would be an issue here.

          • Gap Gen says:

            Right, unless Gearbox decided to muscle in for whatever reason since it’s their IP. I presume and hope that this won’t be the case, and obviously the Duke Nukem debacle wasn’t entirely their fault as they were mainly polishing an existing turd.

    • Bluenose says:

      It started turning this way when the comments section on PC Gamer went kaputt.

    • mouton says:

      Then again, Gearbox has become quite a polarizing company recently, did it not. The kind of company who say “they are fans of a franchise” and then do something that indicates the opposite.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      The year was 1873

  11. Bull0 says:

    Do they really get to call themselves “experts at production” given that they also shipped Aliens: Colonial Marines?

    • stahlwerk says:

      Trial by fire.

      It’s more of an honorary title, anyway.

      • Bull0 says:

        Gearbox get permanent goodwill from me because of Half-Life Opposing Force, which was wonderful, even though I’m pretty sure I haven’t really enjoyed anything with their name on it since.

        • Gap Gen says:

          The Borderlands and Brothers in Arms series were pretty good.

          • Bull0 says:

            Yeah, I accept that they’re popular series, but they never clicked for me. I find Borderlands in particular to be a chore to play. I’ve only made fleeting attempts to play Brothers in Arms games.

          • Gap Gen says:

            I agree that while I enjoyed Borderlands, it wasn’t my kind of game – a lot of level grinding and busywork (which admittedly was always fun to look at and well- written). I did like BiA, being a fan of tactical shooters. The last one was, well, odd, but Hill 30 and Earned in Blood are fine games if you like flanking and stuff.

    • fish99 says:

      From what I read they didn’t contribute a huge amount to the production of Colonial Marines, just the last six months which I imagine was mostly a salvage operation, kinda the same as with Duke.

      • Baines says:

        It depends on who you listen to.

        One of the anonymous Timegate claims was that Gearbox broke the game during their “salvage operation,” with a rush job attempt to jam Timegate’s assets into a weaker engine. Gearbox cut stuff and redid levels for the same reason, which lead to the major difference in appearance, some of the broken AI (because the level geometry was changed but the AI wasn’t), and stuff like animation glitches.

        • Bull0 says:

          Either way when you talk about being “production experts” when a product you produced was universally panned you’re either totally out of touch or you’re all talk, and Colonial Marines is a Gearbox product with Gearbox’s name on it.

  12. Tei says:

    I have never been convinced why “branding in games” is a Thing. I know why they made it, it increase the number of sales, but Is also a reason to avoid originality. Reusing existing characters and worlds, means that you are not creating new characters and world.

    brands are
    – good for the publisher (they give less power to devs, and more power to something they control)
    – good for the owner of the brand (they increase the value of the brand, and maybe free money)
    – bad for the developers (always everything is bad for the devs)
    – bad for the public (we get less original stuff)

    so, brands are bad.

    homeworld was hella cool, but now we will never know about this hardware world, and looked like interesting.

    • stahlwerk says:

      Brands are not bad for the public: They provide familiarity in style, tone, setting, cast, (expectations / implicit guarantees of) Quality.

      Also, existing brands don’t prevent new (original) brands to be created.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        Everything doesn’t have to always be IP.
        Just make up something. No one tries to tell a good story, it has to establish IP, look really cool, fashionable, hip.
        I’m with Tei, enough with all the recycled ideas! This constant IP stretching certainly does hurt the consumer who enjoys originality.

      • Tei says:

        I think we need Romeo and Juliet on a Star Wars settings, with the script of Titanic. With Ben Afleck as Romeo, Emma Heming as juliet, and Gerard Depardieu as Quasimodo.

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          Nah, we need three of those all to be released a year apart but hyped together as a trilogy

    • Cinek says:

      Wow… you seriously assumed that “new and different is always better”? Wow…. just: wow.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        It wasn’t a blanket statement. But I’m sure he’s glad you are so awe-struck with “wows.”

      • Apocalypse says:

        New is always better.
        Seriously, don´t you read the blog?

      • Tei says:

        Meeting new people is not always good. You sometimes meet disgusting people. But is better than solitude.

        New stories, new ideas, is how we find the ideas we really love. If we stay with the first ideas we find, we will never find ideas we can really love.

  13. TsunamiWombat says:

    PR Maneuver and clever business dunk to push the labor of a genre you don’t know onto another developer, pure and simple.

  14. RProxyOnly says:

    I love the homeworld series… I just can’t play it.. I’m no good at strategy and get my arse kicked all the time, I’ve given up playing, which is a great pity becaue I LOVE the feel and atmosphere of the games..

    I need a fourth option Expert, intermediate, beginner.. and fucking stupid :(

  15. Werthead says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how they are going to do this. One way appears clear:

    Originally, HARDWARE: SHIPBREAKERS was about a bunch of mercenaries scavenging space-wrecks on the desert planet LM-27. It’s fairly easy to change LM-27 to Kharak, the planet the Hiigarans were exiled to in the original HOMEWORLD. Instead of the different mercenary groups there’s the different kiith (clans) all scouring the planet for resources.

    Some retconning may be required. In the original game there was only one wrecked starship, the Khar-Toba. Presumably they will change this so that there was a whole bunch of ships that crashed and the different kiith are scavenging them.

    Something that I think is now much more likely is some kind of SP campaign. Finding the Hyperspace Core and beginning the construction of the Mothership is a logical place for the narrative to end, and some sort of campaign before that in which the player-controlled Kiith (it could be Somtaaw again, for amusement’s sake) have to make their way to the wreck of the Khar-Toba is possible. It might only be a short campaign (say a few missions) but that would still be interesting, especially if the rest of the game remains FTP. But for all we know, Gearbox’s money means they are going to completely transform this into a SP RTS with a robust multiplayer component. With Gearbox on board, Blackbird are not as limited as they were before with resources.

    I can also see how Gearbox will package this: SHIPBREAKERS coming out ahead of the remade HW1 and 2, with Blackbird then starting work on a ‘proper’, space-based HW3 for afterwards. This could work out quite well, if it all goes to plan.

    Heck, they could combine the ideas: a grant strategy HOMEWORLD where you build and move around space fleets, fight space battles in a HOMEWORLD-style engine and then fight ground battles in a SHPBREAKERS one? THINK OF THE AWESOME.

    • Serenegoose says:

      I don’t even think you’d need to have finding multiple crashed ships for the concept to work. The whole backstory in the manual’s pretty explicit that the finding of the khar-toba is what stops the kiiths bickering for a while. Change the premise from ship salvage to them fighting over mundane resources (farmable land, oil, water, coal) and then introduce the salvage concept as a big almighty squabble to be the first to secure the khar-toba, and you’re done.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-coMknSMHDw

      Though even in homeworld 1, it quite clearly shows that along with the khar-toba, 4 other ships make kharak landfall, though you would have to retcon the story if the hiigarans were to -find- them.

  16. Harlander says:

    I rather like the idea of different game genres within the same setting. It worked to an extent for Star Wars, for example.

  17. newguy2012 says:

    Given Gearboxes rather dicy history this could get ugly.

    Was hyped for shipbreakers but then it went f2p?

    2 scary stains on a very exiting game otherwise.

  18. Cytrom says:

    In any case, Hardware: Shipbreakers was a godawful title, the world is a bit better place now, that there isn’t a thing called like that.

  19. crinkles esq. says:

    No longer F2P confirmed:
    “With our investment, Homeworld Shipbreakers can be a proper commercial release. No need for F2P.” — https://twitter.com/duvalmagic/status/374575147547496448

    Note that Blackbird has some founders of Relic, including Rob Cunningham who was art director for Homeworld 1 and 2, as well as Aaron Kambeitz, lead artist on Homeworld, and Cody Kenworthy also from Relic (wonder if he has a master programmer twin Ken Codeworthy).

    The video above seems a little dodgy in terms of animation (aircraft movement is rather jerky for atmospheric flight) and texture/modelling, but the art style is definitely Homeworld.

    I know it’s Gearbox, but I have a good feeling about this. Hopefully Blackbird can staff up and create something truly worthy of the Homeworld name, and Gearbox will stay out of their way. If all goes well, this could be a lead-in to a proper Homeworld 3.

  20. Werthead says:

    Gearbox have shown off what HW1 and 2 will look like in HD with a sneak peek of a couple of updated models:

    http://kotaku.com/lets-see-how-hd-the-homeworld-remakes-really-are-1241794614