THQ docks Homeworld license

Publisher confirms ownership of rights to Relic Entertainment's epic-scale intergalactic RTS; no new games announced.

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Best known for its critically acclaimed Warhammer 40,000 and Company of Heroes real-time strategy games, Relic Entertainment has been making an impact on the RTS scene since its maiden effort in 2000 with Homeworld. One of the first truly 3D RTS games, Homeworld gained critical acclaim for its stunning graphics and engrossing storyline. Unfortunately, considering that both the original and its 2003 sequel--Homeworld 2--were published and owned by Sierra Entertainment, the game license seemed to be doomed to indefinite purgatory when THQ acquired Relic in 2004.

However, now that seems to not be the case. Over the weekend, a member of Relic community site Relic News unearthed a filing at the United States Patent & Trademark office that indicated the Homeworld trademark had passed from an attorney at Sierra Entertainment parent company Vivendi to one associated with THQ in July 2006. The forum post quickly led to speculation that THQ had acquired the Homeworld license and that Relic would soon get cranking on Homeworld 3.

THQ has now confirmed to GameSpot that it has indeed acquired the Homeworld license. Nevertheless, the news was tempered somewhat when the THQ rep declined to comment on whether Relic was currently at work on a new game in the franchise. Relic is currently developing in conjunction with Iron Lore Entertainment Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War: Soulstorm, the third stand-alone expansion to its far-future RTS series, for release in spring 2008.

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