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Hardware: Shipbreakers marks 'the dawning of a new era in 3D RTS,' developer says

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Hardware goes stand-alone

Blackbird Interactive's upcoming sci-fi strategy game, Hardware: Shipbreakers, will be a stand-alone downloadable title that will mark "the dawning of a new era in the 3D RTS game experience" that shares its DNA with Homeworld, according to Blackbird's Dan Irish.

A trailer for the game was released earlier in the month showing a stylized desert planet populated with ships, loading docks, trucks and aircraft. No gameplay footage was shown and, at the time of writing, no gameplay has been revealed. But Irish confirmed to Polygon that the social elements of the game that were originally reported on have since been changed and Hardware has pivoted away from Facebook to be a stand-alone title.

"Facebook as a platform doesn't support all of the features that our fans want to see," he said. "[So we're doing] a stand-alone, downloadable game that has a client-server architecture, like League of Legends or Path of Exile.

"Hardware and Homeworld inevitably share much of the same DNA, and that's a good thing."

"There are some social elements like clan support, leaderboards and in-game chat, but it is not focused on being a 2D game on Facebook. We're way beyond that now and our fans want the full 3D experience."

According to Irish, Blackbird has received many comments and emails from fans of Homeworld — a game Blackbird's CEO Rob Cunningham worked on — and with Hardware: Shipbreakers, the developers want to create something that is as "cool, as innovative and as exciting as Homeworld was in its time," Irish said.

"Hardware and Homeworld inevitably share much of the same DNA, and that's a good thing," he said. "Homeworld was a fantastic game and we want to recapture that. But what we're offering with Hardware is really a different kind of RTS experience that isn't found in Homeworld or any other RTS."

Irish told Polygon that Hardware shares the elements that made Homeworld "iconic," like "a unique art style, stunning gameplay visuals, lots of magical moments and an epic, deep fiction.

"This is all a backdrop to compelling RTS gameplay built around the game mechanics that are proven to be fun," he said.

Hardware will be a free-to-play game. A full gameplay reveal is expected in June. The game's platform and release date have not been announced.