For those of you who keep up to date with gaming news, you may already know that THQ has finally gone into bankruptcy and has slowly auctioned off everything it owns.
The one thing that it holds is the contract for the Homeworld series, which was created by Relic Entertainment back in 1999. Relic itself was a part of THQ, but luckily it was saved by the good people of SEGA. However the whereabouts of the Homeworld contract is still hazy.
However although the fate of Homeworld itself is still unclear, there is still a light at the end of the tunnel, and it is rather bright.
A small Canadian games company known as Blackbird Interactive has started developing something rather special. They are currently producing a game called ‘Hardware’ and from first impressions it has managed to give an exciting buzz to the Homeworld fans. Why? Well if you are familiar with the Homeworld franchise and look on Blackbird Interactive’s website, you can instantly see strong links between the two games.
- Both games have strong art resemblance
- Hardware is set on a desert planet, strikingly similar to Kharak, the home planet of the Kushan race in the first Homeworld game.
- Hardware is a game about finding space ship wreckage and salvaging parts from it. Strongly similar to the events that occurred before the first Homeworld game.
- The Blackbird Interactive production studio has visible Homeworld posters and concept art on their walls.
So could this finally be an answer the Homeworld fans are looking for? In a way yes and in a way no. Hardware is in fact a totally different game to Homeworld despite their similarities.
Here is a brief description of Hardware:
“Long March Industries (LMI) is a ruthless interstellar megacorporation that owns all rights to LM-27, a mysterious and hostile desert planet littered with the buried wrecks of ancient starships. LMI oversees a galactic gold-rush as prospectors and fortune seekers converge on LM-27 in search of the untold riches buried in its burning sands. In this persistent multiplayer game, players command a fleet of massive vehicles as they explore, salvage and fight for fortune and survival in the worldâ€™s first planetary-scale social strategy game.”
So there you have it. The two games appear to be linked but overall, no, they’re not.
HoweverÂ there is more to this than what meets the eye. Hardware is in fact inspired by Homeworld. But that is mainly due to the fact that it is made by half of the original team who created Homeworld itself. The CEO of Blackbird Interactive is non other than Rob Cunningham, the art director of Homeworld, Homeworld 2 and co-founder of Relic Entertainment.
So although this isn’t a Homeworld game, it is still very, very promising. After all, these guys developed a game that was revolutionary at the time and won Game of the Year 1999.
I’m also very excited about this game as not many other games have gone down this “Mad Max” style route. Sure you’ve got games such as RAGE and Borderlands but they’re totally different. This game seems to be more inclined towards Halo meets Jak 3. (In other words, you drive about in wastelands/alien environments, shooting the living hell out of everything and scavenging artifacts.) Plus, it says that it will be the worlds firstÂ planetary-scale game. Another revolutionary feature from the same people! Forget about how you find maps in games such as Battlefield 3 or ARMA being huge as this may just top the lot. It is known that the people from Relic, or in this case, Blackbird Interactive, like to make huge games. Homeworld 2 was going to be so large, that fighters could skim down cracks in giant derelicts similar to that from Star Wars, but they scrapped the idea due to time. However now they’re an independant company, they can develop large, excellent quality games again! The artwork looks great, the plot sounds great, hopefully soon we could see some development footage of the game and finally see what lies in store.
As for Homeworld, the franchise is said to go on auction later this month. But whoever it’ll go to is unclear. Many indie games companies who are huge fans of the series or are backed by the fans may get the chance to acquire it. So it isn’t entirely over just yet.