It’s easy to have lost sight of it amongst the more contemporary series flying off to new owners today, but, for me, one of the most important prizes up for grabs in the great THQ auction was the fate of the Homeworld series, which even 10 years since its last release remains one of the most beloved and respected PC properties of all time.
While the original three titles were published by Sierra, THQ later purchased the rights to the series to complement their acquisition of Relic, the team behind both Homeworld and Homeworld 2. With THQ now no longer around, those rights have to go somewhere, right? But where?
Unlike other more high profile properties, there was no word from THQ in its main letter on the fate of Homeworld, meaning that like other “legacy” franchises, it’s still under legal lock and key.
There has been movement today, though, from about the only place you can expect Homeworld movement these days: its fans. Rob Santos, the boss of a fledgling outfit known as teamPixel — which “for over eight years [has] specialised in web design, web development, desktop software and mobile applications,” according to Santos — told us over email that his company had tried to join in on the auction for THQ’s franchises, but was told that Homeworld was part of a ” legacy assets bucket” and wouldn’t be up for bidding until a later date.
Until then, he’s got a movement going called “SaveHomeworld”. Setting up an IndieGoGo page, he says teamPixel is looking for funds to do three things: get the original Homeworld on digital retailers Steam and Good Old Games (it’s not available for either), develop a touch-based version of the game for mobile platforms, and ultimately, develop Homeworld 3.
That last one is a pretty lofty goal for a studio nobody has ever heard of, especially one with a lack of game design experience, but you’ve at least got to admire their spirit, because if there’s one property above all others that deserves to find a good home at the end of this mess, it’s Homeworld.
Remember though: Santos’ company may not be the only ones interested. If these older series weren’t up for grabs today, who’s to say that when they are made available, someone like EA or Ubisoft doesn’t swoop in with their millions and snap it up?