Gearbox is going hard with the big news today. The company's publishing arm is partnering with developer Blackbird Interactive on Homeworld 3, a full-fledged sequel to the beloved 3D space real-time strategy games. It's only in the pre-production stage now, and fans have the option of supporting through a 30-day crowdfunding campaign on Fig set at a $1 goal. That shouldn't be too hard to hit, right?
Blackbird Interactive's founder, Rob Cunningham, was art director on the original Homeworld, and the studio previously partnered with Gearbox on the Homeworld prequel Deserts of Kharak in 2016. Members of Gearbox publishing who helped shepherd 2015's Homeworld Remastered Collection into being will also contribute to Homeworld 3's development. The Fig page for the sequel does not specify a release window, nor if it will come to any platforms other than PC.
In the announcement trailer, a trio of recon ships is shown approaching a hyperspace jump gate in what looks like an ancient, derelict vessel. At the moment the ships enter the activated gate, we catch a glimpse of a woman who appears to be cybernetically linked to a ship. We're guessing this is a hint at the return of Karen S'jet, main character of Homeworld and Homeworld 2.
Originally developed by Relic Entertainment, Homeworld and its sequel still stand out amongst the few strategy games that have commited to making real-time 3D space combat work. THQ acquired Relic in 2004 and then sold the Homeworld intellectual property to Gearbox in 2013. Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, the 2016 prequel, rolled the Homeworld story back to a time before the series' protagonist's race discovered hyperspace technology. Making a Homeworld game that was planet-bound could've been a huge missed opportunity, but Rock Paper Shotgun co-founder Alec Meer found that Deserts of Kharak managed to feel like a Homeworld game nonetheless. With a return to space in store, Homeworld 3 could feel that much more like the real deal.