Follow on G+ Follow on Twitter Subscribe the Facebook page Subscribe the RSS feed Receive notifications of new posts by email A Cause for the Homeworld Franchise

By on January 25th, 2013 10:51 am

Indie game development company teamPixel is on IndieGoGo looking for funds to go after the Homeworld franchise IP. THQ, the company supposedly holding the IP rights at the moment, is going through a bankruptcy process. And so, teamPixel came forward and is now requesting the help of fans to try and acquire the sci-fi RTS franchise during the next insolvency auction.

With the HW IP on their hands, teamPixel proposes to put the original HW series on GOG and Steam; develop a HW version for mobile devices with touch controls and, no more no less than to develop and deliver HW3.

They think $50.000 would be enough for them to acquire the IP; 100k would get all the Homeworld series titles on GOG and Steam for free; 250K for the original Homeworld on mobile devices with touch technology; 500K would get all the series titles on mobile devices; and 750K would be enough to develop Homeworld3.

As a big fan of the Homeworld series I have to admit that the prospect of seeing the old titles available on digital stores again, and a new installment coming to life in the near future are very seducing thoughts indeed. But, gosh, how feasible is this really? The indie devs are offering a refund guarantee. But how exactly would that work I don’t know. What guarantee do we really have?

And, what about Relic, the former developers? They are part of Sega now. Maybe they would be the best candidates for the task? If that’s on their hands to decide, or in their plans of course. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what comes out of this.

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  1. caekdaemon says:

    Relic still have the rights for the Homeworld franchise, and Sega might just get them to develop one. To be honest, I think this is a scam.

    • Loyal_Viggo says:

      Yeah, there does seem to be some confusion about who actually owns the rights to the IP, and I would not be surprised for the whole thing to simmer down to a court case taking several years…

      Meanwhile nothing happens and people forget about it as newer things come on the horizon.

    • AstralWanderer says:

      The Homeworld series has been quite high up on GOG’s Most Wanted list – see – so if GOG haven’t been able to get distribution rights, what chance does an indie studio (with no apparent track record in IP negotiation) have?
      It’s sad to see such a great series lie fallow for so long but the “intellectual property” industry have delivered bigger screwups before, so perhaps it’s better to cherish the two great games Relic delivered (Cataclysm was by another developer) and to look to other series that can take up the mantle.

  2. Jeff P says:

    I don’t know about a scam, but I seriously doubt that an unknown indie could do justice to the title. Homeworld was one of the few games I’ve played through completely several times, never tiring of it. The game oozed atmosphere: from the moody, haunting music through the tense narration and spectacular combat to the gripping narrative, it was truely a rare gaming experience.

    I own all three of the HW games (Homeworld, Homeworld II, and Cataclysm) and firmly believe the original was easily the best of the series. How likely would it be for an indie developer with no portfolio to duplicate, much less improve the game, when the original developers couldn’t?

  3. Chris Biot says:

    I think it’s bad to create a Kickstarter for getting the IP of a game. Copyright is a delicate matter and should not be tackled by a small group of “Indie developers”. Besides I really doubt that they will succeed.

  4. Fimbul says:

    strange thing. JUST BE WARNED, IT’S A FLEXIBLE INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN! THEY GET YOUR MONEY, ANYWAY!!!! if campaign succeeds or not.

    • Adam Solo says:

      Yes, I noticed that too, and I was quite shocked as well. I was about to write something about that. But, then, they said that they intend to refund people if they don’t succeed on acquiring the IP (don’t know how they intend to do that though). So, I think it doesn’t matter if it’s a fixed or flexible campaign. Assuming the thing is legit, which until proven otherwise one can assume it may be.

      The thing is, let’s say they get $50.000 to $90.000, and do acquire the franchise, then, there’s no guarantee that they will deliver anything with it. At least judging from their goals alone. Only $100.000 seems to get people something. Maybe any updates will clarify this. Until then it’s probably wiser to be cautions about this, at least until it’s clear how do they intend to refund people. After all, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”.

  5. Ashbery76 says:

    I have a bad feeling about this.

  6. JohnR says:

    Very cool. I wish them the best of luck. Homeworld is certainly a series worth saving.

    I think PC Gamer magazine said it best when they did their original Homeworld review back in the day: Homeworld is very special in that synergies are in full force with the game. That is, the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts (namely the game play, visuals, story, and music).

    I also loved Cataclysm. In some ways it was even better than the original because the alien nemesis was cool and creepy. I thought H2 was a letdown though. It was not bad, it just wasn’t great like the first two. I played through the whole thing (of course) and hardly remember it today.

    BTW, I ran across someone named Karen S’jet in Star Trek Online. lol

  7. t1it says:

    I prefer Relic to get their hands on it. Christ…

  8. farcodev says:

    Relic or die.

    Meanwhile Homeworld 2 + Complex 8.3.3 deliver the job :)

    • Master Payne says:

      HW set the standard for space operas with immersive single player campaigns, cool and eerie music, gigantic backgrounds and such attention to detail that even the turrets on ships moved! I loved watching my Mothership ‘give birth’ to a new destroyer and zooming in real close to listen to the command chatter more than any upcoming battle. Even the harvesters could be heard scraping resources off asteroids and proclaiming, “We’re all full here – heading in.” Damn I’m getting all teary eyed. Battles actually required quite a bit of tactical thinking and were spectacular. I have yet to find a space game that comes close to Relic’s attention to detail in every aspect, and unlike recent titles (looking at you SOTS), everything from the UI to voice overs to ship models was polished.

      As farcodev mentioned, Complex is a great fill-in, but while those devs have done a spectacular job of reinvigorating HW with new ship models, enhanced AI, and a more ‘complex’ UI, the biggest drawback is no multiple core processor support. So no matter how much the devs tweak and streamline the original code the game always bogs down after and hour or so. Occasionally I even have problems with video resolutions because back in the day 1280 x 800 was a big deal.

      If teamPixel can convince me they are able to overcome the processor bottlenecks, screen resolution issues and implement some type of campaign or diplomacy features, not unlike the well conceived but poorly implemented SOTS, I’m all in. If they plan to just re-imagine it like another Star Trek series, forget it.

      *** On a side note @ Adam – if you could have your Web guy or girl increase the font-size in your CSS for this class “.commentlist li, #commentform input, #commentform textarea” people like me with aging eyeballs would be extremely grateful! 0.9em is just a tad bit too small. Thanks!

  9. Right, they actually said they would refund if they did not win the IP bid, meaning maximum expenditure of 10% (I think that’s gogo’s rate) but if they win the IP and do nothing with it then basically Darktroopers vs Militia

  10. Gjd says:

    How do you play this game on monitors with higher native resolution? Can you still buy them online? Tx!

    • Adam Solo says:

      There are HW and HW2 DVDs available for purchase on Amazon and eBay. But, check system requirements, particularly the operating system.

      As for the big monitors check here.

  11. LeoCeballos says:

    I have some seriously mixed thoughts about this, but I have to admit at one point I totally thought “If only I had the money I’d grab those rights and do something with them”. I would agree that the best thing would be to get a new Homeworld from Relic. But even if Relic has the rights, will we? Who honestly thinks Sega bought Relic for Homeworld rather than Dawn of War or Company of Heroes? If Sega wants the rights, they’ll get them. They may have them already, if they were owned by Relic rather than THQ (not sure how that would work). There isn’t much difference between Sega sitting on the franchise and doing nothing and some indie group sitting on them and doing nothing, except the indie group is more likely to push the process through Between the indie guys possibly trying and doing a “meh” job of it and Sega sitting on it and doing nothing, again, I’d give the indie team a shot.

    And frankly, if the indie team doesn’t manage to do much, I see it more likely that they’ll resell the rights than Sega, which again might be content to just sit on it.

    Then again, if Sega/Relic does intend to make a new HW, then these guys should just shut up and go away. And there is always the slight “scam” possibility.

  12. Alphard says:

    Sounds fishy.

    Who or what that “teamPixel”? Never heared of them before.
    Any achievments in industry? None.
    Any famous names behind? Again none.
    Only sweet blah-blah-blah on site.
    (I was particularly touched by “Help us put the Homeworld franchise back in the hands of gamers”)
    It just like patent trolls to me.

    It seems they only want rights to Homeworld franchise for future reselling because it highly doubtful for them to develop AAA title or it will be muddy stream of trash & crap.
    And they want to obtain it with our money.

    Moreover I don’t want Homeworld not from Relic team (just remember MOO3 or Starcon3 fails and you will understand me).

    So I pray that this attempt failed.
    It will be better for Homeworld to be dead but untouched.

  13. John says:

    I’m surprised more people don’t know this. First and foremost Relic stated in the Relicnews forums that they do not intend on making another home world… This was before THQ went under. Truth of the matter is that it’s borderline impossible to sell publishers on such a “risky” ip like homeworld. It was an incredible game that just didn’t sell well.

    That aside NONE of the original developers are even employed at Relic. They’ve all moved on, if there is any one company that should acquire the ip its blackbird interactive. This has the highest concentration of devs who worked on the series.

    Bottom line? I’d stay away from this crowd funding thing, and dont expect Sega to publish a homeworld game. Along with what I just told you, homeworld was not included in the purchase of relic. The ip is still in thqs hands.

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