Pending Court Approval, Gearbox Now Owns the Homeworld Franchise

Posted by Alex (2036 posts) -

UPDATE: More intellectual property sale news is coming out of the THQ auction. THQ has announced that Nordic Games Publishing, a little-known Austrian Swedish publisher, has taken control of the bulk of the available auction lot, including Red Faction, MX vs. ATV, Destroy All Humans!, and Darksiders, which was the subject of much discussion following its non-inclusion in the first round of bidding. In total, Nordic paid $4.9 million for its bids.

We also now know that Gearbox paid $1.35 million for its purchase of the Homeworld franchise (which is detailed in the story below), and that 505 Games snuck in to grab the Drawn to Life series for $300,000. All these bids will presumably be finalized when the bankruptcy court reconvenes on May 13.

----

Homeworld is headed to Gearbox, provided the court approves the sale next month.

I don't think anyone saw this one coming.

Gearbox Software, the development studio behind the Borderlands series, has taken control of the Homeworld franchise. The news comes in a statement from the company, where it states that Gearbox placed the highest bid in the latest auction featuring now defunct publisher THQ's former intellectual properties.

The high bid gives Gearbox control of both of the previous games in the Homeworld franchise, as well as full rights to make new games in the series. All of this is provided the court approves the sale next month, when it is scheduled to review all the high bids.

The Homeworld games were space-faring real-time strategy games developed by Relic Entertainment, which was itself bought by Sega in the first round of THQ property auctions. According to the statement, Gearbox's first priority with the series is "to preserve and assemble the purest form of the original acclaimed and beloved games, Homeworld and Homeworld 2, with the intent of making them accessible on today's leading digital platforms."

As for new entries in the series, the statement goes on to suggest that fans take to Gearbox's forums to suggest what they'd like to see, as well as to "please try to get our attention if you have capability and interest to join the effort in developing or enabling Homeworld's future."

Staff
#1 Edited by NeoCalypso (159 posts) -

Bleh, Gearbox was WAAAY too hit or miss for this to be appealing news to me.

#2 Posted by Pixeldemon (244 posts) -

Strikes me as a calculated PR move to win back goodwill after the Aliens:CM mess.

I wonder what they paid, and how many units they'll have to sell on GOG to break even.

#3 Edited by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

<p>Just give everything to platinum games. In fact just give them Star Wars 1313</p>

#4 Posted by Climpa (1 posts) -

This is maybe litterally the worst possible outcome.

#5 Edited by Conformunist (105 posts) -

How are they gonna cram all those outdated memes into a space-rts?

#6 Posted by Rahvar (23 posts) -

Bar Borderlands 1 and 2, has gearbox even made any decent games?

#7 Posted by Alecthegamer (5 posts) -

R.I.P Homeworld

#8 Edited by mikbal (70 posts) -

FPS Homeworld.

Update: Kart Racing Darksiders

#9 Edited by HaltIamReptar (2029 posts) -

Who could possibly be excited to hear this?

#10 Posted by Hailinel (24405 posts) -

@rahvar said:

Bar Borderlands 1 and 2, has gearbox even made any decent games?

The Brothers in Arms series has generally reviewed well, to my knowledge, even if it hasn't sold blockbuster amounts.

Online
#11 Edited by Oldirtybearon (4716 posts) -

@rahvar said:

Bar Borderlands 1 and 2, has gearbox even made any decent games?

sure. Blue Shift, Opposing Force, Brothers in Arms, they've made decent to good games before Borderlands. The only real blemish on their record is Colonial Marines.

#12 Posted by Ghostin (369 posts) -

Splooge...

Why couldn't Sega have picked this up alongside Relic?

#13 Posted by LTSmash (617 posts) -

Could not be better news. They have an amazing track record reviving defunct gaming franchises.

#14 Posted by Hailinel (24405 posts) -

@ghostin said:

Splooge...

Why couldn't Sega have picked this up alongside Relic?

They probably didn't see much profit potential in it. Homeworld as a series has been dormant for years.

Online
#15 Posted by Landon (4138 posts) -

@rahvar said:

Bar Borderlands 1 and 2, has gearbox even made any decent games?

The only real blemish on their record is Colonial Marines.

You just gonna ignore Duke Nukem?

#16 Posted by Krakn3Dfx (2489 posts) -

"pending court approval"

Why do I picture the court from the end of the The Prisoner, with a monkey in an astronaut suit?

#17 Posted by Warchief (657 posts) -

This news makes me very sad.

#18 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4716 posts) -

@landon said:

@oldirtybearon said:

@rahvar said:

Bar Borderlands 1 and 2, has gearbox even made any decent games?

The only real blemish on their record is Colonial Marines.

You just gonna ignore Duke Nukem?

They didn't develop it. Even when they bought the IP and tried to make Forever functional, it was Triptych Games that cobbled it together and made something out of the whole mess.

#19 Posted by chilibean_3 (1635 posts) -

sadtrombone.mp3

#20 Posted by BlastProcessing (916 posts) -

@landon said:

@oldirtybearon said:

@rahvar said:

Bar Borderlands 1 and 2, has gearbox even made any decent games?

The only real blemish on their record is Colonial Marines.

You just gonna ignore Duke Nukem?

Can't blame them for Duke, all they did was polish a turd.

#21 Edited by Funkydupe (3311 posts) -

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.... -inhale- ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

#22 Edited by NoCookiesForYou (759 posts) -

I am both excited and terrified at the same time.

#23 Posted by benu302000 (213 posts) -

So long, Homeworld.

#24 Posted by Veektarius (4772 posts) -

Sometimes, we gamers forget that just because a studio makes its name with a game based around lowest common denominator humor doesn't mean that there are no creative forces in that studio that can create something serious. That said, they seem to lack any sort of strategy chops on their CV whatsoever.

#25 Posted by HatKing (5886 posts) -

Who could possibly be excited to hear this?

At least they'll probably do something with it? I'm trying to be positive here, but I think this is better than the alternative; that being, the franchise going away forever. I'm not the biggest Gearbox fan, in fact, sometimes I feel like I might be their biggest opponent (poor word choice). I outright disliked Borderlands 2, and I only mildly appreciated the original. I'm too much a coward, and a fan of the films, to see what they did with Colonial Marines. And, well, the little I've played of the Brothers In Arms games never impressed me enough to garner my full interest. Not even going to bother mentioning Duke Nukem, I'll just tell myself they had barely anything to do with that game - despite the way Pitchford defends it. Having said that, I don't think they're a bad studio. Well, I think they have the potential to be more than what they are, anyway. Point is, I'm willing to give this a shot. It (probably?) won't be a first person shooter, so they're already out of their comfort zone. And they won't want to drop the ball again, after having their names on two pretty fucked up entries in two separate and somewhat loved franchises (Aliens and Duke Nukem - though I've always disliked Duke Nukem).

Or, they'll just shit out a sloppy, generic 'reboot' of the series in FPS form - The Homeworld. Oh shit. That's probably what's going to happen, huh?

#26 Edited by Landon (4138 posts) -

@landon said:

@oldirtybearon said:

@rahvar said:

Bar Borderlands 1 and 2, has gearbox even made any decent games?

The only real blemish on their record is Colonial Marines.

You just gonna ignore Duke Nukem?

They didn't develop it. Even when they bought the IP and tried to make Forever functional, it was Triptych Games that cobbled it together and made something out of the whole mess.

Does that even matter? They will forever be known as the company that finally put out Duke Nukem, only to be met with scathing reviews.

#27 Posted by Funkydupe (3311 posts) -

Gearbox can say whatever they want, they stand accountable for their actions when they sign the dotted line and put the games out for us to buy. They can't just hide behind the "we didn't start it, they did!" excuse forever when EVERYTHING they touch turn to fucking SHIT AND ASS.

#28 Posted by Ubersmake (754 posts) -

Good, now *someone* can get this series back up on Steam/GOG/everything else. Seriously, I don't have my discs anymore, and I don't even know if Homeworld 2 will run on Windows 7 x64 without any fuss.

#29 Edited by rebgav (1429 posts) -

If we're talking 'Gearbox the videogame developer,' this is kind of cool news. I would be interested to see what they do with the property.

If this actually means Homeworld is in the hands of 'Gearbox the avante-garde assemblage artiste' then... hey, Borderlands 3 will probably still be pretty awesome.

#30 Posted by Fistfulofmetal (683 posts) -

I'm glad such a trustworthy company with impeccable integrity ended up with the IP.

#31 Posted by Sporkbane (185 posts) -

I can't say this is great news. AFAIK, Gearbox doesn't have great RTS experience, and I certainly have no interest in playing a homeworld FPS.

Not to mention, the overall quality of Gearbox games isn't exactly stellar. Borderlands 1 and 2 are both serviceable, but not great games, and Aliens and Duke Nukem don't exactly instill much confidence.

Here's to hoping they don't ruin a franchise that is loved by all.

#32 Posted by Murdoc_ (338 posts) -
#33 Posted by Dezztroy (787 posts) -

This is pretty terrible news. Atleast Homeworld 2 still has extensive modding being done to it.

I can't wait for the terrible reviews and Randy having another breakdown on Twitter.

#34 Posted by beeftothetaco (421 posts) -

"with the intent of making them accessible on today's leading digital platforms."

RIP

#35 Edited by Funkydupe (3311 posts) -

If they mess this up I will go to war. WAR.

#36 Posted by kalmis (1558 posts) -

Gearbox? Not sure about that.

#37 Posted by NoelVeiga (1093 posts) -

Cool, we'll get digital re-releases of Homeworld, which is a good thing.

Also, I am AMAZED by how quickly Gearbox has gone from do-no-wrong to "they suck". Guys, they just put out Borderlands 2. They are still making more Borderlands 2. You really need to be more selective with the hate-train, people are just jumping on board, not paying the ticket.

#38 Edited by Scroll (594 posts) -

It almost feels like Gearbox is personally trying to crush my dreams with the weight of shitty games.

#39 Posted by Pixeldemon (244 posts) -

@landon said:

@oldirtybearon said:

@rahvar said:

Bar Borderlands 1 and 2, has gearbox even made any decent games?

The only real blemish on their record is Colonial Marines.

You just gonna ignore Duke Nukem?

Can't blame them for Duke, all they did was polish a turd.

They chose to put their name on it and sell it. They convinced a lot of people to buy it who would not have done so otherwise. So yeah, you can blame them.

I instantly disliked Gearbox when they put out the PC version of Borderlands, which was an extremely crappy port of a mediocre game. Now they are one of the most extreme DLC peddlers in the industry, and haven't done anything to inspire customer goodwill.

#40 Posted by Winternet (8014 posts) -
@climpa said:

This is maybe litterally the worst possible outcome.

What if Zynga bought Homeworld and it became a facebook Farmville-like game? I'm pretty sure that going to Gearbox is very far from the "worst possible outcome" scenario.

#41 Posted by SasquatchRuby (68 posts) -

that's the one we've been waiting for - someone now has to explain to me if Gearbox is good or bad for this franchise - Homeworld outside of Relic????

#42 Posted by masterpaperlink (1836 posts) -

they better hire the best dam spaceship artists in the industry

#43 Posted by Funkydupe (3311 posts) -

@pixeldemon: I think Borderlands 2 plays like CRAP on the PC as well. I have no idea why some people like that game.

#44 Posted by Stimpack (849 posts) -

I can't say this is the best news in the world, but it's not like I was really invested in the Homeworld universe anyway. I never honestly thought that anything would be done with Homeworld again anyway.

#45 Posted by dudeglove (7758 posts) -

@climpa said:

This is maybe litterally the worst possible outcome.

Could have been worse; could have been Square Enix.

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#46 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3228 posts) -

@haltiamreptar: I don't know why but I laughed forever reading that. *sigh* poor, poor gearbox...

#47 Edited by Dagbiker (6967 posts) -

The high bid gives Gearbox control of both of the previous games in the Homeworld franchise

I see @alex is one of those people who doesn't think think Homeworld: Cataclysm was cannon.

Online
#48 Posted by MikeJFlick (443 posts) -

I really wonder why Sega didn't nab it, they obviously are trying to broaden their road in the PC market.

#49 Edited by Funkydupe (3311 posts) -

@mikejflick: Do they have the cash to buy stuff left and right? I thought Sega wasn't doing too good, am I wrong?

#50 Posted by SomeJerk (3216 posts) -

After Opposing Forces, Gearbox have gone to shit more and more. I remember FPS games from the 90's so I don't rank the Borderlands games high at all. This is better than EA or Activision getting it but wow do not expect anything besides moneyhatted reviewers making an 80+ metacritic score from this.

For that matter, I would say this right up in Randy's face in person if I was asked to tell him my personal opinion of this. I would also offer to work for Gearbox for a few months to clear things up based on feedback from the kind of people who aren't the kind who played Borderlands 1 religiously up until Borderlands 2 and then went hardcore 5/5 into Borderlands 2, but instead from gamers who want good games.

AND I'M GOING TO PULL A KNIFE IF SOMEONE TALKS SHIT ABOUT OPPOSING FORCES

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