Gearbox acquires Homeworld franchise

When game publisher THQ filed for bankruptcy in December, most of the firm's assets and intellectual property went to Clearwater Capital Group, which pledged to invest additional capital to keep select projects afloat moving forward. Clearwater didn't pick up everything, though. Some of THQ's IP, including the rights to the Homeworld franchise, were put up for auction.

A crowdfunding effort managed to raise nearly $60,000 to bid for the franchise, but that turned out to be nowhere near enough. According to Forbes, Homeworld sold for a cool $1.3 million. Gearbox Software bought the franchise, and the developer has confirmed that it plans 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."

In a subsequent forum post, Gearbox clarifies that its initial focus is on getting the original games "running on modern PC hardware and available on digital PC platforms." You can probably expect them to pop up on Steam. Whether Homeworld will migrate to smartphones and tablets, as was planned by the outbid Kickstarter group, remains to be seen.

While the post on Gearbox's site doesn't say that a new Homeworld game is in the works, it does solicit suggestions for the future of the franchise. You can hit the developer's forums to chime in with your ideas. Given the Gearbox's excellent work on the Borderlands games, there's reason to be optimistic about Homeworld's future. However, Borderlands was a new IP that was conceived entirely in-house. Gearbox's recent record with third-party properties isn't nearly as good: Aliens: Colonial Marines was panned by critics and gamers alike, and Duke Nukem Forever didn't fare much better—though it wasn't developed entirely by Gearbox.

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