As the new owners of the Homeworld IP, Gearbox has agreed to license the property to and fund the former Relic staffers working on what has just been upgraded from a spiritual successor to true sequel.
Polygon reports Hardware: Shipbreakers has been retitled as Homeworld: Shipbreakers thanks to a deal between Gearbox and Blackbird Interactive.
The deal, which was signed at the developer version of PAX last week, also includes financial backing; although Blackbird is privately funded, it did not have the resources to complete the project, which Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford said required “many millions of dollars more”. Blackbird is hiring more staff as a result of the financing.
Pitchford said he and Gearbox chief creative officer Brian Martel would rather spend the company’s money on helping Homeworld: Shipbreakers come to life as a quality game than blow it “on a bunch of super cars”, and noted that Gearbox itself is not well-equipped to develop a sci-fi RTS.
Blackbird CEO Rob Cunningham said Gearbox’s acquisition of the Homeworld IP in THQ’s dissolution was timely, occurring just as the team began to think about looking for a partner to complete Hardware. Blackbird had bid for the Homeworld property itself, and struck up a friendly relationship with Gearbox after reaching out to congratulate it on winning.
Gearbox still intends to deliver remakes of the first two Homeworld games.
Since announce, Hardware: Shipbreakers has been an obvious successor to Relic’s Homeworld series, and Blackbird boasts several former Relic employees among its ranks.