Homeworld_(video_game)_box_artFor better or for worse, my family's computer in the late 90's was a Macintosh Performa. Sadly, this made me miss out on AOL "pr0gz" like AOHell, Fate X, and similar, but worse still was not being able to play PC classics like Homeworld in their heyday. Originally released in late 1999, Homeworld was the very first fully 3D RTS in that the ships you controlled could be moved in any direction rather than being locked on a 2D plane like most RTS games out there. The game eventually saw an expansion, Homeworld: Cataclysm as well as a full sequel that was released a few years later.

Unfortunately, like far too many games of that era, the rights to Homeworld became mired in various weird business deals as it got acquired by different publishers before being finally rolled into the THQ katamari. When THQ went bankrupt earlier this year, the rights for the Homeworld series were once again up for grabs and Gearbox Software were the highest bidder.

Gearbox's plans for the series were fairly nebulous:

Brian intends as first priority to direct Gearbox's interest to preserve and assemble the purest form of the original acclaimed and beloved games, Homeworld and Homeworld 2, with the intent of making them accessible on today's leading digital platforms.

"Leading digital platforms" for a PC game typically means "Steam" these days, but we might see more than just a boring old PC re-release. Per a twitter conversation with TouchArcade reader @nayansthankiya and Gearbox President Randy Pitchford, Gearbox is "thinking about" an iPad port, as well as how gameplay would work with the touchscreen.

Yeah, I know, a vague one-off tweet is about as far as you can get from any kind of confirmation on something like this, but it's super encouraging that they're even thinking about this. What's curious about these old games is that mobile hardware now is basically way better than the PC's we played these games on over a decade ago, so hurdles for ports are largely limited to intelligently implementing touch controls and jumping through the zillion flaming hoops for rights to the IP.

Either way, if we hear anything else, we'll post it.

  • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

    I had it on my Windows machine of the time, and as much as I liked the look and feel, the keyboard/mouse ergonomics never quite clicked with me. I think it could be nice on tablets if they can figure out selection vs rotation. It definitely seems possible.

    • LearnIIBurn

      I agree. For some reason the keyboard and mouse controls for Homeworld are some of the only controls that have stuck with me over they years. Ill reinstall Homeworld occasionally and start playing and remember all the controls like clockwork. Not sure why :). I could totally see the game working on touchscreen no problem.

    • DemoEvolved

      Extremely super easy. 1 touch == selection boxes, 2 finger pinch spread == zoom, 3-4 finger swipe == adjust camera.

      • 28monkeys

        And BOOM! You ruined the perfect game.

  • zergslayer69

    Glad we're getting these awesome classics on ios. Just waiting on that Freespace 2 port someday, if ever.

    • SoyGreen

      My word... that would be fantastic! Especially with the forthcoming controllers.

      • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

        I like the cut of your gib, sir.

    • LearnIIBurn

      Wow. I never thought labour Freespace 2 on a mobile platform. Could be absolutely amazing!

  • lordyokomoto

    Hmm cool , now Warcraft PLEASE ;)))))))))

  • Aventador

    Why are they just "thinking" about it , Homeworld can work on touchscreens as already demonstrated in Kickstarter campaign with guys who wanted to acquire rights for game ( failed short of money though ) and if they want bags of money it should be ported to iOS asap, it can bring them same , if not bigger amount of money than Steam anyway.

  • AKLT

    I only played the sequel Homeworld 2 and rocked my world.

    Would like to see how this pans out.

    Though I suspect it would be a iPad exclusive game. Either way, Excited I am.

  • RickyBrooke

    Please port these awesome games over to iOS! I would purchase these games and the expansion packs in a heartbeat...

  • thehype

    Plz plz plz... Do it! 10 bucks? I'm in! 20 bucks? I'm still in! πŸ˜€

    They'll make dollars over dollars!

    • tinkie277

      ..... and pounds πŸ™‚

  • the_kernel

    I can think of a good 20 people that would buy this if they did it. Myself included. Most classic and epic space rts there was. I play galactic conflict to get my homeworld fix and it juste doesnt suffice.

  • LearnIIBurn

    All these developments with the Homeworld franchise lately is really getting me excited. Remakes of the original and sequel would be awesome. Moving it to mobile as well would be absolutely brilliant. I hope to see a modern sequel on a new engine as well :).

    I always hoped the series would get to the point where ship damage was much more detailed. I want to see ion cannons ripping open the hulls of large ships and people flying out of the hull breach and so on. That would be so freaking awesome!

    Gripped on all this news! Even if it is just a tweet.

  • echo_pdx

    Oh man...what I wouldn't do. Classic RTS games would be so much fun on iPad, and Homeworld really is one of the all-time greats. I wonder if they'll tweak the mission layout at all...these games were notoriously hard since it was so easy to end up with less of a fleet than what you'd really need for later missions, and there's no way to correct that other than loading a save from a previous mission - the save slots required for classic-style Homeworld might be tricky on iOS - or starting the whole game over. This lead to much more limited strategy options than what I, and many others would have liked. I don't see modern gamers being too keen on hopping back three or four missions to build a better fleet, either. Not that I wouldn't play it through on iPad one way or another, of course. πŸ™‚

    More of this sort of thing, please!

  • Peter

    Wow, lot of memories from that game. Bring it on!

  • Bool Zero

    I'd pay in kitten souls for a port of that! At the time it came out it was revolutionary in that it was a true three dimension RTS that demanded that you think strategically in every vertices. Giving it touch controls seems almost common sense and the most natural control scheme to implement with this game, though I worry as to how they can deal with the minutiae of hotkeys that while not necessary are very helpful...

  • RickyBrooke

    The galactic backgrounds in these games are STILL one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in any computer game... I remember stopping and staring at them for hours on my old PC with the mothership floating in endless space .... Wow great memories... If I can own these games in my pocket on my iPhone it may just bring a tear to my eye...

  • worldcitizen1919

    I absolutely loved Homeworld! PLEASE bring it to ipad. I'll pay whatever you want. Make it a full price game no IAP's and it would sell for minimum $20.

  • marc0313

    So when we getting Arkham Series ported :D. No? No? Ok.

  • http://endekks.tumblr.com endekks

    They also have "been thinking about" putting Borderlands 2 on the Vita. And much as I play my iOS devices more than anything else as of late (only free time is train commute time from Yokohama to Shibuya) I would consider any distraction from porting the best game ever to a portable device which could totally handle it the worst thing ever to happen in the history of this universe.

  • flashbackflip

    One of my 'best games ever' list..

    Watchlisted and hoping for a stealth release as it happened with KOTOR

  • jForsythe

    God I hope this game comes out (of the closet.JOKE!!!) for us on iOS.
    Loved this on the PC years ago.

  • SlowPC

    When they first purchased the licence during the THQ they did say that tablet builds would be in the future for this franchise and this "new" news just adds more to it. πŸ™‚

  • worldcitizen1919

    Home world is one game I really miss.