Surprise! Homeworld 3 is in development with a weird twist

Gearbox Software
Gearbox Software /

20 years after the release of the original Homeworld, the beloved real-time strategy franchise will return with Homeworld 3.

Of all the announcements to come out of PAX West, this weekend, it’s going to be hard to top the one made on Friday: Homeworld is returning.

Yes, the beloved space-faring, real-time strategy franchise is getting a new installment courtesy of Blackbird Interactive, the studio behind the recent Homeworld Remastered games and the prequel Deserts of Kharak. But there is a weird catch to its development funding.

While Homeworld 3 is already in pre-production with Gearbox publishing, the game is also going to be crowd-funded via Fig. Apparently the reason behind this is to give the passionate community a chance to offer their input in the development of Homeworld 3. The first part of their crowdfunding pitch actually sounds pretty enticing, as there’s mention of a backer-only survey:

"This is your chance to tell us what you expect of Homeworld 3, including its features, priorities, and even what the collector’s edition will include. We’ll share the data we’ve received from you throughout the game’s development and show how its influenced the scope and priorities of Homeworld 3. It’s a unique experience that only Fig can offer and we’re excited for the most open development process in both Blackbird’s and Gearbox’s history."

But then it sort of derails into some sketchy used car salesman pitch.

"Of course, because it’s Fig, there’s the unique opportunity to invest in Homeworld 3’s success. You don’t just get the game. You get a chance to profit too."

Regardless of what happens with the Fig campaign — which has already raised more than $143,000 — Homeworld 3 is going to be released. I guess this is just another way to make some money, by enticing backers with the chance of input.

As for the game itself, Homeworld 3 is a “true sequel” to the original. Blackbird promises a “gripping continuation of the story, fully 3D combat, and classic RTS elements.” Talk is cheap though, so check out the trailer.

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Released in 1999, the original Homeworld was a critical and commercial success, selling over 500,00 copies in the first six months. It’s also the highest-rated computer game of 1999 on Metacritic with a 93, so take that for what it’s worth. It was praised for its high-quality graphics and revolutionary gameplay systems, particularly its use of full 3D.

Living up to this sort of fame won’t be easy. I don’t really expect any new systems or mechanics that will again revolutionize the genre, but I do like the sound of “an incredible scale of space and conflict.”

Homeworld 3 isn’t slated to release until Q4 2022, so we’ve got some time go wait.