Developer Relic Entertainment smashed the RTS gameplay formula to pieces with their release of Homeworld back in 1999. The game took tons of Game of the Year awards for its space based setting that looked great and used its third dimension in a way that hasnít really been equaled since. A stand alone follow up, Homeworld: Cataclysm) was released a year later by the former Barking Dog Studios (now Rockstar Vancouver) and in 2003 Relic released a sequel, Homeworld 2.
It wasnít just the cool visuals or the use of true 3D space that made Homeworld and its sequels so memorable for many. It was also the overall presentation, with its epic storyline to its music and sound to its unusual unit and technology tree structure. Homeworld remains a game that, while some have approached its quality, few have actually achieved.
Odds for Revival:
Possible. There was a published rumor in Game Informer magazine a few months ago that Relic, now owned by THQ, was trying to buy the Homeworld property rights from its current owner Vivendi Games but there has not been any confirmation of this bit of news. Oddly enough, a development team composed of former Barking Dog members are working on a game called Sword of the Stars that combined turn based strategy with real time 3D space combat. Our view on this is that the Homeworld name and the overall quality of the series itself will become hard to ignore and that a new game in the series will eventually happen. The big question: Will Relic be in charge of its development?
Originís space combat-sim series is one that even non-gamers may know of, thanks unfortunately to the awful movie adaptation that was ironically directed by the gameís creator Chris Roberts. That shouldnít take away from the game series, however, which mixed in a deep (for games, anyway) storyline with some fast paced space action gameplay. There were several games in the series released by Origin in the 1990ís and were some of the first games to use live actors for cut scenes (yep, Mark Hamill as Christopher Blair was an acting powerhouse)
Itís been a long time since the last game in the series, Wing Commander: Prophecy, was released in 1997 but we still think that Electronic Arts (the owners of all the former Origin properties) would get a lot of mileage out of a new game, especially if they get a top notch development team to handle it. The name recognition alone would help sales.
Odds For Revival:
Unlikely. We hate to say it but space sims, once a huge gaming draw, are now down to something of a niche market for the indie developer set. We still think a new Wing Commander series would work well but for now it doesnít look like Electronic Arts would be interested in reviving this franchise anytime soon
Developer Volition gave Wing Commander a run for its money in the late 1990s with two games in this fully 3D space combat-sim series that were published by the now (almost) dead Interplay. The first game, Decent: Freespace Ė The Great War was released in 1998 with the next game, simply called Freespace 2, shipping out in 1999. Both games used terrific looking graphics, a fun single player campaign and more.
Volition was bought by THQ soon after Freespace 2 was completed and in 2002 decided to release the entire source code of the game to the public. This led to a number of free stand alone games being released with the Freespace 2 source code (including an impressive Babylon 5 total conversion). The game itself is also free to download thanks to a general license agreement.
Odds for Revival:
Unlikely. Volition has moved on to other games with its new owner THQ, including two Red Faction titles and the upcoming Saintís Row and thereís no indication that the team is working on any Freespace follow-up. However with all of the Freespace 2 mods and TCs out there, fans of the franchise have a lot to check out if they want to find and download new additons and with Interplay barely a company nowadays, we suspect that someone could buy the Freespace license from them at a pretty cheap price.