Monday, 28 January 2013

teamPixel Hopes to Give a Home to Homeworld

The acquisition of THQ's assets is far from over.

Since the whole THQ auction is still fresh in people's minds I thought it best to start this week focusing on yet another one of the franchises that may fall through the cracks. Although a majority of the talk has been directed towards the fate of Vigil Studio and the Darksiders franchise, there were others that weren't present during the initial auction because there were simply too many things to allow for a decent auction runtime if everything were thrown up right at the outset.

Homeworld, not to be confused with Homefront which was bought by Crytek, is a deep space RTS game that earned itself a decent sized fanbase. If you're wondering why it hasn't been mentioned the reason is actually rather simple ... it hasn't really seen a release for about 10 years. That puts it rather firmly in the dormant franchise category. Such franchises were not included in the initial sale of THQ for the sake of brevity.

Just when and where these franchises will be put up for auction is unknown, but what has emerged is that teamPixel, an indie studio, is interested in acquiring the rights to the Homeworld franchise, and as such have created a campaign on the crowdfunding site indiegogo to attempt to drum up some help to get said rights.

Now, although noble I have to note that there could be some massive problems. So if you know any fans of the Homeworld series that are thinking of contributing to the campaign, they should at least recognize that the following could happen:

The most pressing concern is that when the rest of the THQ licenses go up for auction, that a company with deeper pockets may simply blow teamPixel out of the water in terms of the amount of money offered for Homeworld. Good intentions and a humble background may endear people to a cause, but in this case it far from guarantees any success.

The campaign is being ran as such that even if the goal of $50,000 is not met that those who pledged will still be giving the money. That means that even if the funding falls far short of the goal-line that people will still be giving their money. As their own FAQ explains, the reason for the flexible funding is so that they can extend the end date of the campaign depending. Something like this couldn't even be attempted via Kickstarter because they aren't promising to make Homeworld 3, rather they are only trying to acquire the rights to see if such a thing is even feasible.

I have nothing against teamPixel, they seem to be genuinely interested in getting the Homeworld series because they've enjoyed the games in the past. However, being fans of the game does not guarantee that even if they get the rights that they'll be able to make something that satisfies the rest of the fanbase. They can certainly try, but it's a larger gamble than what I think many that have contributed are giving credit for.

As of this moment the campaign is only slated to run for about another two weeks, and has only raised about a 1/5th of the lowest minimum goal funding. If there are significant developments then I'll be sure to keep you guys posted if you're interested. As for what other older franchises might show up in the future THQ auction, well that's anyone's guess. I'll definitely keep posted on that as more details come out.

1 comment:

  1. Huh. I was wondering why it took me so long to register the name "Homeworld." No wonder -- ten years between the last release and the fall of THQ? That's a pretty big chunk of time...so I guess it's just a testament to the staying power of the franchise.

    Well, maybe they'll be able to get something going with some support from the fans. If the new XCOM is any indication, there's no reason to throw out anything that isn't an FPS, right?

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