“The mothership is standing by…”
Amid its large-scale presence at the PAX South gaming convention in San Antonio, independent developer Gearbox Software offered a glimpse of Homeworld Remastered Collection, the long-awaited, ultra high-definition remastering of the acclaimed strategy series. The Texas-based developer also announced that the game will be released for PC on February 25, 2015 (yes, just a month away) with pre-orders open now on Steam for $34.99 – currently just $29.74 with a 15% pre-order discount.
Homeworld Remastered Collection updates and introduces the landmark space strategy games to modern audiences. The collection includes Homeworld and Homeworld 2, painstakingly remastered by Gearbox in cooperation with key members of the original development team and members of the series’ passionate fan community. As a free bonus, this collection also includes the original versions of Homeworld and Homeworld 2 with compatibility updates, preserving the purest form of the original releases. Anyone who purchases Homeworld Remastered Collection will also receive free access to the Homeworld Remastered Steam Multiplayer Beta when the collection releases on February 25, 2015.
The Homeworld series has a long legacy and is regarded by many as one of the best strategy series of all time. Following its release in 1999 by publisher Sierra and developer Relic Entertainment, Homeworld received several Game of the Year awards and redefined the RTS genre. Its sequel, Homeworld 2, launched in 2003, and was similarly praised by critics for its innovative controls and changes to multiplayer. Brian Martel, Gearbox Software’s Chief Creative Officer, has great love and respect for Relic’s brilliant, fun and innovative franchise and personally spearheaded Gearbox Software’s acquisition of Homeworld from THQ in 2013.
The first-ever gameplay footage – shown this weekend to a packed room at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio and available here on YouTube – highlights the extensive effort that has gone into updating the games for modern audiences. Homeworld Remastered Collection refreshes these tremendous games with new, high-resolution textures and models, the latest graphics-rendering technology, as well as a fully remastered score and new voice recordings from the original cast.
Gamers who purchase Homeworld Remastered Collection will also receive access to the Homeworld Remastered Steam Multiplayer Beta, which kicks off alongside Homeworld Remastered Collection on February 25, 2015. Competitive multiplayer modes for Homeworld and Homeworld 2 have been joined to offer players access to races, maps and game modes from both games in one integrated multiplayer experience. This beta combines code from over 15 years ago with newly-written changes, and will be shaped by fan feedback as development progresses.
“Homeworld is among the greatest strategy games in history, and we’re very proud of the work our team has put into bringing this exceptional series to modern PCs,” said Brian Martel, Chief Creative Officer at Gearbox Software. “We received a lot of great feedback from the passionate Homeworld fan community, and we hope to deliver a game they – and new fans from around the world – can get lost in for countless hours to come.”
In addition to re-releasing Homeworld and Homeworld 2 in both Classic and Remastered form, Gearbox Software has paired with Blackbird Interactive – a studio founded by Homeworld veterans Rob Cunningham and Aaron Kambeitz – to create an all-new entry in the Homeworld series for PC. Titled “Homeworld Shipbreakers,“ the upcoming strategy game takes place before the events of the first Homeworld and serves as a prequel to the series. More information on Shipbreakers will be announced as development progresses.
“It is a very special and rare thing to see a project so close to your heart not only get re-released, but remastered with such loving care and attention,” said Rob Cunningham, who co-founded Relic Entertainment and served as the original art director of Homeworld . He later co-founded Blackbird Interactive, which is developing Homeworld Shipbreakers. “That fact alone is a wonderful privilege for me, but it is beyond rare to be working on an all-new entry as well! I have been sucked into a bubbling time-vortex hot tub of Homeworld – and I love it.”