A crowdfunding campaign for Homeworld 3 is now live on Fig, the curated platform that allows people to actually invest in a video game’s production, rather than just donate to it. As a direct sequel to 2003’s cult classic RTS Homeworld 2, Homeworld 3 is in very, very early development, and publisher Gearbox would very much like you(!) to
foot the bill become a part of the production.
“We’ve been craving the right opportunity to dive deep with a community in a way only crowdfunding offers,” says the campaign summary. “With Homeworld‘s incredibly patient and thoughtful community, we’ve got exactly that opportunity.”
This is, supposedly, why the campaign has a goal of but a single dollar, which has already been exceeded 80,000 times over. “We want it to be clear that the game is on a solid foundation, funding-wise,” according to the campaign’s FAQ. “We’re partnering with Fig to give back to longtime fans who have sustained Homeworld for 20 years by giving them a chance to invest in Homeworld 3‘s success and help us understand the game they’ve been dreaming about.”
Far be it from me to doubt the sincerity of these sentiments, but it’s a little naive to think that the purpose of this crowdfunding campaign isn’t, first and foremost, to reduce the amount of Gearbox capital being spent on the production of Homeworld 3. Developer Blackbird Interactive is staffed by a number of veterans from Relic Entertainment, which created the original Homeworld and its sequel, and I don’t doubt that those individuals are invested in the franchise they helped originate. I’m just saying, it’s probably a duck, you know?
As for actual specifics about what Homeworld 3 is, we know that it’s a direct sequel to its predecessor; that it’s a real-time 3D RTS; that it will support some form of multiplayer, and that’s about it. “We’re incredibly early on in this project — only a few months into pre-production,” says the listing.
If you’re unfamiliar with game development lingo, “pre-production” is all the stuff that happens before anyone sits down and actually starts coding the game. This is where concept art is created, story ideas and character arcs are outlined, and general gameplay concepts are fleshed out as documents for programmers and designers to implement during actual production.
At “only a few months into pre-production,” a game exists mostly as a plan and/or dream, which will undoubtedly change over the course of its implementation. One would expect a studio at this stage to have produced a flashy teaser trailer (check), some rad concept art (check), and a vague, pitchable idea of what the final product will be (check).
Blackbird and Gearbox are aiming to release Homeworld 3 sometime in the fourth quarter of 2022, which is an appropriately futuristic year to launch a spaceship RTS. Blackbird has committed to releasing the game on PC, but says that it’s too early to begin discussing potential availability on other platforms. This is, presumably, something that you would be able to influence as a backer, which you can become for as little as $50. But if you were to invest in the game, at say, $500 per share, development might give a little more weight to your request for a Wii U port.