Turns Out Gearbox Is The Highest Bidder On Homeworld

Illustration for article titled Turns Out Gearbox Is The Highest Bidder On emHomeworld/em

Gearbox today announced that the mysterious highest bidder on Homeworld was actually them.

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Luke gave us a rundown on the runners up last night, but the winners of the RTS series once owned by THQ wouldn't reveal themselves at the time.

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The only other details Gearbox mentioned in today's announcement included their dedication to preserving Relic's franchise, and making those experiences available on "today's leading digital platforms." So it sounds like they want to bring Homeworld and Homeworld 2 to modern platforms.

Gearbox is perhaps most favorably known for their action/RPG Borderlands franchise and the Brothers in Arms series. CEO Randy Pitchford promises Brothers in Arms is still getting new titles, and we're sure to see more Borderlands 2 content, as well. The team of developers has also dabbled in bringing franchises—Duke Nukem if you're keeping track—back to life before. It wasn't the successful resurrection people had hoped for, though. They also recently released Aliens: Colonial Marines, which was a shocking mess.

Homeworld feels like it could be unfamiliar territory for Gearbox, considering it will be their first strategy title, but we can leave Luke to the speculation on how that might actually fare.

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DISCUSSION

Just quoting myself from the Gearbox forums:

So, Homeworld. When it comes to games I can't buy on gog.com and/or Steam, Homeworld is the second most-important franchise there is to me (No One Lives Forever being first). In terms of favorite games, it, as a series, is in my top five.

But... I have my reservations. Homeworld, as an RTS, is a PC-only franchise. I worry that Gearbox might try to do silly things and release console versions somehow—that any future Homeworld game might lose its complexity and pace if it tried to release on a platform that didn't use a mouse and keyboard.

The current game, as it stands, has a lot of failings when it comes to things like proper widescreen, online support, and stuff like that. The current gold standard for a rerelease of a video game is Age of Empires II HD, which went so far as to bring widescreen support, fix online, and, most importantly of all, support Steam Workshop for mod support.

Homeworld is a game famous for its mods. After all, Complex, the best of them, is featured in the Mod Hall of Fame, alongside mods like Counterstrike.

Also of great concern is Gearbox's performance as of late. Aliens: Colonial Marines is widely considered one of the worst AAA releases of this generation, and rumors have been swirling that individuals at Gearbox might have done some unsavory things in regards to A:CM. I, personally, had been looking forward to a great Aliens game for YEARS, and knowing that A:CM was essentially an outsourced port that couldn't even live up to early live demos was a major disappointment.

Then there's Duke Nukem Forever—now, granted, DNF was mostly developed by Tryptich, to the best of my knowledge, but it was still [i]bad[/i], and that's a problem.

Then we've got Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway. While well-written, and fantastic looking (especially for an early-gen title), the core gameplay was seriously lacking. By the end of it, I'd made up my mind that I'd never play it again, despite the writing. It just wasn't [i]fun[/i].

And then there's Borderlands. Now, don't get me wrong: Gearbox has generally done the [i]best[/i] DLC out there, releasing big, meaty expansions with lots of stuff to do. Unfortunately, Gearbox's policy lately has been to release a shit ton of miscellaneous skins, to release little more than a level cap DLC as the final part of the Season Pass (rather than a big episode), and... well, the three Borderlands 2 DLCs that did come out seemed a lot more repetitive, failing to live up to the big DLCs of the original game, especially Armory. Plus, the level design on the Big Game Hunt kind of sucked.

Honestly, if it weren't for the fact that Borderlands was fun with other people (but I can't think of a single game that isn't fun in co-op), and if it weren't for the fact that it was funny as hell, I'm not sure I'd actually [i]buy[/i] video games from Gearbox.

The level design's never very great, the asset quality kind of sucks, until Borderlands 2 I didn't think they could release a good PC game, they really need to pay better attention to AI, the core shooting mechanics could be a lot better...

Gearbox is great at presentation. They're great at personality. But the content's kind of lacking.

So, on one hand, holy shit, Homeworld. I'm incredibly excited by this.

On the other hand... Gearbox. I'd recently decided I wouldn't be buying any future (or already unpurchased) Borderlands 2 DLC, and had decided simply to wait for the review of whatever they do next.

This is a company I once wanted to work for with every fiber of my being. In some ways, I still do (because I like their personality and would like to help them make better games—though after my graduation from game design school this fall, I'll be transferring into film, so it's unlikely that this will happen). But... yeah.

They've kinda squandered the goodwill I offered them.

What happened to the guys who made the best Half-Life game ever?