So Gearbox Software was the highest bidder in the auction for the Homeworld license.
While the identity of the winner was kept confidential until yesterday’s announcement, we already knew who the runners-up were – Stardock, the guys behind Sins of a Solar Empire. And in third place was Paradox Interactive (known for Majesty, Magicka and, most recently, the best trailer of 2013), who graciously conceded defeat via the following tweet –
We finished 3rd in the Homeworld auction; I would have loved to work on that IP but wish the winners all the best and hope for a great HW3
— Fredrik Wester (@TheWesterFront) April 19, 2013
A great Homeworld 3 – now, I don’t know much about Mr. Wester, but he’s rather effectively summed up what every Homeworld fan has wanted since 2003. Of course, since THQ’s tragic demise, question marks hung over the future of the franchise, let alone any possible sequel; now, at least, we’ve got room to hope on both those fronts.
However – and this is the bit that concerns me – is Homeworld in safe hands?
The answer, quite clearly, is no.
Earlier today, THQ took the wraps off Company of Heroes 2, a sequel to the much-loved 2006 original, scheduled to release in early 2013. Set amidst the frozen battlefields of World War II’s Eastern Front, players will be tasked with taking charge of the Red Army and repelling the legions of Nazi invaders. Sounds tough, but worry not – history relates that the Germans did come a cropper in Russia, partly because they failed to take into account what Ned Stark kept banging on about, and partly because of the Red Army’s aptitude for sheer bloody-mindedness. (Also, I’ve heard that, in Soviet Russia, cold catches y- come on! You knew that was coming.)
Company of Heroes, for me, was the game that made strategy gaming sexy again when it released – kind of like what Call of Duty 4 would do for shooters a year later – and, as a result, I am positively besides myself with excitement that it’s getting a sequel. I’m also glad to see Relic exploring the Eastern Front, as it’s hitherto been woefully under-represented in gaming. Relic’s also bringing an upgraded Essence Engine to the party, which should result in “increased graphical fidelity and new environmental destruction.”
If I’m honest, that’s not even really necessary – CoH was pretty darn close to perfect, by my reckoning. Just give me more of the same, THQ – don’t fix what isn’t broken – and we’ll both be laughing. You, all the way to the bank; and me, all the way to Berlin.
Full press release after the break.