Sci-Fi Strategy Game Homeworld 3 Pushed Back by Almost a Year

It’s strange to say this but delay tweet pic texts have become the norm for the gaming industry. Most likely a result of the pandemic, as most studios had to close doors and work remotely, game delays happened very often a few years ago.
Homeworld 3 key art 7 photos
Photo: Blackbird Interactive
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Unfortunately, the trend continues even though we’re long past that. It’s hard to pinpoint the main reasons that game developers aren’t realistic about launch dates and as long as they won’t learn from their mistakes, we’ll continue to get these delay tweet pic texts that have become the norm.

This time around it’s one of the games that I’ve been extremely excited to play, Homeworld 3. Despite its name, this is the fifth game in the series, and it’s being developed by Blackbird Interactive, which has many of the key developers of the first two Homeworld games.

Unlike the previous title, Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, the upcoming game is a direct sequel to Homeworld 2. Development of Homeworld 3 started back in 2017 and benefited from a successful mixed crowdfunding/investment campaign on Fig, even though it was already fully funded by Gearbox, the current owner of the Homeworld IP.

Originally slated for a 2022 release, the game was delayed to the first half of 2023. Unfortunately, developer Blackbird Interactive has just announced that Homeworld 3 will now launch sometime in February 2024. It’s unclear what’s really keeping the studio from delivering what they repeatedly promise, but it might have something to do with the fact that Gearbox has been acquired by Embracer Group in 2021.

Homeworld 3 screenshot
Photo: Blackbird Interactive
In a blog post on Gearbox’s website, the studio explains that its primary goal is “to deliver a Homeworld experience that lives up to the standards by its predecessors and is worthy of this series’ incredible legacy.”

The good news is that the studio believes that the game is truly a worthy successor, but they need more time to refine and polish the experience: “Homeworld 3 is shaping up to be exactly that, but in order to fully realize that vision we need more time to refine and polish the game.”

Gearbox’s statement also includes some answers to hypothetical reasons behind the delay, such as the fact that the developers have moved to a four-day work week. The publisher claims that this isn’t the reason the game has been delayed, and neither is the scope of the game, which remains unchanged. There doesn’t seem to be any technical issues leading to the game being delayed either.

It makes it even harder to guess what’s the real reason behind the multiple delays, so let’s just assume that the studio needs more time to fine-tune their work to avoid another Redfall or The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, some of the biggest disappointments this year.

I know many fans of the series are very disappointed that their favorite game is getting another delay, but as Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto once said: “a delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.”

Along with the delay announcement, Blackbird Interactive confirmed plans to share with the fans its biggest Homeworld 3 progress update later this summer. I sincerely hope that this won’t be limited to some artwork like we’ve been served a few years ago.

It seems that fans reacted positively to the delay announcement, and I tend to agree with the general consensus that it’s better to postpone the launch of a game rather than rush it to meet some quota.

If you’re one of the many fans who pre-ordered the Collector’s Edition, you will receive it at launch, Gearbox says. Also, the publisher states that no changes have been done to the contents of the Collector’s Edition, so there’s no reason to worry just yet.

Homeworld 3 Collector's Edition
Photo: Blackbird Interactive
Set after the events of Homeworld 2, the upcoming title is expected to introduce new gameplay features like huge space structures, as well as massive megaliths and trenches. Also, developers announced that in addition to the extensive campaign mode that favors solo gameplay, Homeworld 3 will include a new co-op mode that will mix elements of Homeworld’s real-time strategy gameplay with a roguelike structure, just like the recently launched Everspace 2.

Although Blackbird Interactive has already shared the system requirements for Homeworld 3 on Steam, these might not be final. Suffice to say that the fifth game in the series will be quite demanding. You’ll need a PC equipped with an Intel i5/AMD Ryzen 5 3500X at the minimum to run the game, as well as 16GB RAM and at least a GeForce GTX 1060 / Radeon RX 580.

For the time being, Blackbird Interactive confirmed that Homeworld 3 will launch for PC only. However, that doesn’t come as a surprise since none of the previous Homeworld games made it to consoles. A few of them have been released on Mac, but PC remains the main platform for the series.

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