Sci-fi real-time strategy game Homeworld 3 will be released on March 8, 2024, developer Blackbird Interactive and publisher Gearbox have announced — over 20 years after its predecessor, Homeworld 2, came out.
The release date is just a little later than the February date set when Homeworld 3 was delayed in early 2023.
If you’re impatient after such a long wait for a new mainline Homeworld game, you can start playing 72 hours early, on March 5, if you pre-order the Fleet Command or Collector’s Edition of Homeworld 3. Pre-orders are now open.
Homeworld 3 will launch on Steam and the Epic Games Store, and it will also come in Standard and Deluxe flavors. The $79.99 Deluxe Edition adds the Year One Pass, which will feature expansions for the co-op, roguelike War Games mode. The $89.99 Fleet Command Addition adds the early access plus a soundtrack and some digital collectibles. The $174.99 physical Collector’s Edition adds a lithograph and some ship figures.
There’s a huge level of anticipation for Homeworld 3 in the PC gaming community, and not just because it’s been such a long time coming. The original games, with their trademark full-3D space combat, were much admired but seldom imitated.
Blackbird Interactive was formed by Rob Cunningham and Jon Aaron Kambeitz, who made the first two games at Relic Entertainment, and many other members of the original team have joined them, so the authenticity is there. Blackbird always wanted to return to Homeworld, but rights holder THQ refused. After THQ went bust in 2013, Gearbox acquired Homeworld and worked with Blackbird to launch a spinoff game and a remaster, but it has taken this long to get a full-fledged sequel off the ground.
The good news is that it seems to be hitting the spot. Previewing Homeworld 3 in 2022, Polygon’s Charlie Hall wrote that “the experience was [...] stunning. This is Homeworld the way I remember it, with its signature three-dimensional space combat lighting up the darkness on my computer screen.”