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: