The New Homeworld Game Is Out Next Month

The New Homeworld Game Is Out Next Month

Well, this is a surprise. Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak — a game we heard nothing about for years until it broke cover in October — is coming out soon. Very soon.

Deserts of Kharak is a prequel to the space-faring Homeworld series, set on the planet…Kharak, and is basically Homeworld, only with a ground. One neat twist is that you’ll be involved in the expedition that uncovers the buried starship that leads to the events of Homeworld.

It’s due out on January 20. If you think it looks and sounds very similar to Homeworld, that’s because developers Blackbird are made up of a bunch of former Relic employees, art director Rob Cunningham.


  • What’s the story behind the development of this game? I know (or at least I think I know, if memory serves…) it started out as Shipbreakers with no ties to Homeworld other than some people who had worked on them (was it the first, second or both? Just artists or what?). What happened after that? How did it become directly connected to the Homeworld series? I seem to remember it being canned at one stage too or was that just a bad dream?

    Have to say I’m pretty excited, can’t wait.

    • The short version that I remember is that Gearbox bought the rights to Homeworld series and then offered Blackbird cash to integrate Shipbreakers into Homeworld instead of just making it s spiritual successor.

    • Relic, who made Homeworld, went up for sale as part of the THQ breakup.
      Homeworld was being sold separately.
      When Gearbox bought Homeworld they reached an agreement with Blackbird (the people making Shipbreakers) to make this game a part of the Homeworld continuity… and Gearbox agreed to publish this game.

    • Around the time where Blackbird was garnering support for Shipbreakers Gearbox came along and offered a partnership, which gave them access to the Homeworld Franchise. This allowed them to switch it from a F2P model that they were initially aiming for and placed the game within the Homeworld Universe. So, they kept the gameplay more or less the same but changed the story to suit the canon, which is the warring time of the Kithhid before they discovered the navigation stone that indicated their homeworld.

      Turns out before they were dealing with Turanic Raiders, an intergalactic empire and all that other nonsense they were quite happily killing each other over the little resources they had available on Kharak.

  • Steam only? Boo! Boo I say!

    I see more and more PC games saying “requires a Steam account”. I don’t like Steam. I sure wish developers would move away from that bothersome system rather than towards it. 🙁

    • The question is what would they use instead?

      Companies were using all kinds of unbelievably shitty DRM controls that broke games and PC gaming was rotting on the vine. Steam made games easy to publish, easy to market, easy to control with DRM that isn’t too intrusive, fosters game communities without the need for hosting their own forums, and allowed all kinds of nifty analytics and patching. It single handedly turned PC gaming into a massive, fairly healthy industry again.

      I’m not a DRM fan in general, but cloud saves, account sharing, inbuilt communities, general convenience, and an online store with some really good value for money makes it worth it for me. Most people feel the same way.

      DRM is always going to be an easier sell when you add value (like Steam) instead of taking it away (like Securom etc). Steam did that. Especially compared to their two major competitors EA and Ubi, both of which are overpriced and generally pretty awful. GOG is making some good inroads, so maybe soon they’ll be a real competitor. That would be good to see.

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