Homeworld: Shipbreakers Won't Be Free-To-Play

Homeworld: Shipbreakers Won't Be Free-To-Play

Gearbox honcho Randy Pitchford says that his studio's involvement means that Homeworld: Shipbreakers no longer has to be a free-to-play game.

Gearbox announced last week that it's hooked up with Blackbird Interactive, the studio founded by former members of Relic, to assist with the development of the Homeworld-esque game Hardware: Shipbreakers. It's a significant move because Gearbox picked up the rights to Homeworld in April, allowing it to turn the "spiritual successor" into a full-on sequel.

Good news for fans of the franchise, yes, but simply slapping the Homeworld name on it doesn't change the fact that Hardware was intended to be a free-to-play multiplayer RTS, not necessarily the kind of follow-up people were looking for. But there's more to Gearbox's involvement than just a new name.

"With our investment, Homeworld Shipbreakers can be a proper commercial release," Pitchford tweeted last week. "No need for F2P."

It's kind of odd that Pitchford tweeted about this a full week ago and it's only just getting mainstream notice now, but hey, better late than never - and very good news indeed. I'm suddenly a lot more interested in this sequel than I was yesterday.

Source: Twitter


It's kind of sad that the guy is saying "You can't get it for free anymore, you have to pay for it" and everyone, including myself, thinks its a good thing.

It's kind of sad that the guy is saying "You can't get it for free anymore, you have to pay for it" and everyone, including myself, thinks its a good thing.

It's an even split. Lately I see all these articles and people sad that so many new MMOs have subscriptions and F2P games gain box prices. Every single one of these I've actually been excited by. People tend to forget that for every person saying "F2P or bust" there is another saying "full price or else." The more people argue about it the more distracted we get from the real important issue:

If the developer finds a payment model that takes some form of stress off their chest then we should be happy for them. That clear head will ultimately lead to a better game. Payment models 99% of the time are completely arbitrary, and discussions about them often distract from the real deal.

I really couldn't be much more excited right now!

On another note; a lot of people are worried about Gearbox, but I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt because, as far as we know, they're only funding the project, and the only games they've messed up, in their defence, were a collection of scraps from various different developers that they somehow needed to stitch together. Brothers in Arms and of course Borderlands are both testaments to their ability when they aren't building on a bad foundation. And after the outrage they received over their marketing of Colonial Marines, they'll probably go out of their way to make sure they don't do it again. They're unlikely to pass on an opportunity of redemption such as this.

It's kind of sad that the guy is saying "You can't get it for free anymore, you have to pay for it" and everyone, including myself, thinks its a good thing.

I don't find it sad at all.

Even from the very first F2P browser games the implication has been that they make money by walling off content or making it so grinderific to access that paying is the only option. Even then a set number of people have to keep paying all the time or the game stops and nobody gets to play. Despite the F2P name it's really a horrible combination of always online DRM and a subscription system added into non MMO type games.

Thinking a F2P game is 'free' has always struck me as naive, paying for and getting a game is much better, except when it's really just an excuse for some DLC hawking, which is another gripe altogether.

I would be delighted by a general backlash against F2P games and even F2P mechanics full stop (hello EA).

The trouble is simply that free-to-play is such a crapshoot. It can be good, it can be awful, but sooner or later it almost always ends up in imbalance, with people who are willing to sink big bucks into it gaining a big advantage over those who are not. Devs have to make money, you can't blame them for it, but variable monetization inevitably means imbalance. By charging the same price and giving the same game to everyone, the playing field stays level and the experience, or at least the potential for experience, remains the same. In the eyes of an awful lot of people, that's a better option.

The only issue I have with most F2P games is that they tend to be multi-player only. I just can't get into those games no matter how hard I try. I only enjoy them when I can meet up with a group of friends to play. I get no enjoyment playing by myself. The fact that this is getting turned into a new Homeworld game and is most likely dropping the F2P aspect, makes me happy as I have to have a narrative in a game, even if it's just barely there, to enjoy it.

Meh if it is homewolrd, then np, if it is a go in a lobby and kill stuff, then it really isnt homeworld. and if it was another game that they stuck the homeworld name on then it probably isnt homeworld, but after DNF and ACM randy can generally suck it and shove his tweets up his arse.

The primary issue is that there is a huge risk that the game becomes more about monetization than actually being a game.

I came in here expecting to be pissed, that it would be some kind of subscription model.

But I must say, I am thrilled to hear that it is getting a standard release!

Good job Gearbox! You are getting my confidence back!


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