Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak will revive the franchise in January

2016 is going to start with a bang for Homeworld fans: Blackbird Interactive announced Tuesday that Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak will reactivate the long-dormant RTS franchise on Steam on January 20. The game, a prequel to the original series, will be the first Homeworld released since 2003.

In Deserts of Kharak, players control a science expedition led by Rachel S’jet across the dying planet and “deep behind enemy lines” to chase down an anomaly that could alter the fate of humanity. The narrative will tie directly to the events of the original Homeworld series.

Though it always appeared to be a spiritual successor of sorts to the Homeworld franchise, Deserts of Kharak did not bear the series name, initially. When Blackbird Interactive first announced the game in January, 2013, it was called Hardware: Shipbreaker. Though Hardware looked very similar to Homeworld on paper and the Blackbird team includes former developers from Homeworld studio Relic Entertainment–a fact normally highlighted as a mark of pedigree–the studio initially attempted to distance itself from the franchise.

“In terms of DNA, in the same way parents’ DNA is in their children, you can say Homeworld shares DNA with Hardware in as much as it has similar parents,” Blackbird CEO Rob Cunningham told Rock, Paper, Shotgun, in Janaury 2013. “But that’s where the similarities end.”

That charade wasn’t meant to last, though. Later that year Blackbird negotiated with Gearbox Interactive, who had recently acquired the rights to the Homeworld franchise, to bring the game under the umbrella of the brand. In 2015, the studio seems pretty excited about about it.

“When we signed this project in front of the crowd at the 2013 PAX Dev,” Cunningham said in a press release Wednesday, “Randy [Pitchford] spoke about Gearbox’s commitment to quality entertainment and taking risks, and they have fully delivered on that message.”

Gaming

The history of Battle Royale: From mod to worldwide phenomenon

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in streaming and eSports in a way that might hint at the future of the industry.
Computing

Microsoft Surface Studio 2: Everything you need to know

Microsoft's Surface Studio 2 comes with a new CPU, new graphics card, and a brighter display -- but is all of that worth the higher cost? Here's everything you need to know about the Surface Studio 2.
Gaming

Immerse yourself in a new universe with these incredible PSVR games

The PSVR has surpassed expectations and along with it comes an incredible catalog of games. There's plenty of amazing experiences to be had so we've put together a list of the best PSVR games available today.
Movies & TV

Disney+ streaming service gets a new name, logo, and more confirmed content

Disney is bringing the full weight of its massive content library to its own streaming service in 2019. How will Disney+ compare to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime? Here's what we know so far.
Product Review

'Hitman 2' goes in for the kill with more of everything you love

IO Interactive and Warner Bros introduce us to ‘Hitman 2’, a sequel that embraces what made the series so unique and exceeds at delivering a more polished and complex experience.
Gaming

‘Tetris Effect’ makes the undying classic feel new again

Tetris is a game that everyone knows. The classic puzzler has appeared on just about every device since 1984. With music and visual flourishes, Tetris Effect remarkably manages to elevate the iconic game to new heights.
Gaming

Hacker finds Steam bug that unlocks free games, collects $20K for reporting it

Security researcher Artem Moskowsky discovered a Steam bug that allowed him to generate infinite free keys for any game. Instead of abusing the exploit, Moskowsky reported it to Valve, which gave him a $20,000 reward.
Gaming

‘Overwatch’ gunslinger Ashe is now available on all platforms

Blizzard announced Ashe as the latest Overwatch hero at BlizzCon 2018. The gunslinger has a history with McCree and makes use of a lever-action repeating rifle and a robotic sidekick.
Gaming

‘Marvel’s Spider-Man: Turf Wars’ sees Spidey confront the villainous Hammerhead

The second part of Marvel's Spider-Man's The City That Never Sleeps DLC swings into action on November 20. Titled Turf Wars, the new storyline is focused on Hammerhead, who is waging war across New York City.
Gaming

Mount up: Latest ‘Fortnite’ update adds powerful turret weapon, Food Fight LTM

The latest update for Fortnite added a Mounted Turret weapon to the battle royale mode. The weapon features unlimited ammunition, but it can overheat if fired too long without interruption.
Gaming

Xbox One adds mouse and keyboard support, levels playing field with PC

The latest system software update for Xbox One has added mouse and keyboard support. The support is limited to Warframe and Fortnite at the moment, with more games coming in November and December.
Mobile

Check out 30 of the best iPhone games you need to be playing

The iPhone has some of our favorite games available for any mobile platform. Here are the best iPhone games for every big-name genre, whether you're into puzzles, strategy, or something else entirely.
Gaming

The Army wants YOU … to play esports with soldiers

The U.S. Army is creating esports teams for games such as Overwatch, Fortnite, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and League of Legends. The initiative looks to boost recruitment, after missing the mark for the first time since 2005.
Deals

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.