On March 21, 2001, Sierra confirmed that HOMEWORLD 2
was in development by Relic Entertainment, and was scheduled for release sometime in 2002. An official announcement was supposed to be made on May 17th, 2001 (at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles), but
that date came and went without any such announcement, and HW2 was not shown
publicly at E3.
On May 15, 2001, Relic sent out the following statement:
Afterward, Relic was strangely silent on the matter, refusing to explain why the
announcement was delayed. As there had been a fair amount of hype over the
impending announcement, including a Sierra website with a countdown to May
17th, it would be fair to say that some were a little
upset over the unexplained silence.
Relic Entertainment would like to confirm reports that Homeworld2, the eagerly anticipated sequel to 1999ís "Game of the Year", will not be shown publicly at this yearís E3 expo in Los Angeles.
Homeworld2 is still on track to be released in 2002, and the entire Homeworld2 team is working hard to redefine the RTS genre a second time.
More information regarding the status of Homeworld2 will be released as it becomes available. Please direct any inquires regarding the game to
Toward the end of August, rumors began to trickle out of Relic that
Homeworld 2 had been canceled, and these rumors were reported by several major
news sites. Anonymous contacts from within Relic confirmed that the game was
no longer in active development. On August 20, 2001, responding to rumors that
Homeworld 2 had been
canceled, Sierra marketing director Craig Davison released this statement:
According to a different Sierra statement, these negotiations
had been going on
since before E3, which partially explained why everyone had been so
tight-lipped about the game. There was still no official
word from Relic on the matter.
are currently in negotiations with Relic regarding the Homeworld 2 contract. As
of right now nothing has been decided and thus the status of the game is just
as it was yesterday: in development.
At about the same time, RelicNews
released the first
concept art for the game, in the form of a
movie-style poster. This image was from a flyer
that was originally intended to be released at E3. Something
had happened at the last moment that prevented this
On November 12, 2001, after Alex Garden had strongly hinted
in chat rooms that a release of Homeworld 2 information was
imminent, Relic announced only some Impossible Creatures
(formerly Sigma) info and a site redesign. An unused graphic showing a previously unseen
HW2 vessel (the battlecruiser) as part of the new
Relic website design was leaked and then suppressed,
suggesting that Relic had planned to release information that
was pulled back at the last second.
On May 16, 2002, Alex Garden and a few other Relic and
had a brief IRC chat where he announced the following:
Homeworld2 is on track and going strong... And is going to
be be released in 2003...
Nothing more specific was revealed about the game, except
to say that the www.homeworld2.com
website would not be updated until 2003; implying that no further information
would be released until then. The
following excuses were given for the E3 pullback and media
for why it's taken so long to get new information out there,
we re-worked the design and this resulted in a longer
schedule, but ultimately a better game. We're very happy with
it, and we are really enjoying working with Relic on such a
Sierra's Genevieve Ostergard:
Relic's Alex Garden:
E3 2002 is really about 2002 titles and Homeworld2 is a
2003 title. If there is anything that you guys have taught us
it is that we should focus on the game and not on the PR. We
want to stay focused until we're really ready to blow you all
away. Hang in there!
Anyhow, it seemed that the mysterious Sierra vs. Relic catfight
was over (or at least under a measure of control), and HW2 was back in production. However, the
information blackout remained in effect.
In August 2002,
the iron curtain lifted just a bit with the release of a series
of six HW2 screenshots to PCGamer magazine and its
European affiliates (PC Jeu, PCZone, Joystick).
Even this bit of detente was not without its share of
freakishness; for starters, there was some consternation
over the fact that information had been released to PCGamer and
not via the newsletter to fans, as Alex had seemed to promise in
May. Perhaps more strange was that the shots, while pretty,
seemed to have been taken with a legacy graphic engine that, by
all accounts, doesn't reflect the quality of the "rewritten
from the ground up" HW2 engine. The marketing folks may
have caught the developers unaware with the PCGamer
deal. In December, five more shots from this batch appeared in PCZone
and Joystick, and by January 16th 2003, Relic had
officially released the source images for all of these plus four
previously seen. All fifteen of the PCGamer shots can be
Also, at the ECTS 2002
(Europe's game developers conference) August 29-31, Relic's booth
had a brochure featuring more images
from the game. Shortly afterward, the PC Gamer shots also appeared
in the French magazine PC Jeu. On September
11-16th 2002, Relic released the three source images for the shots seen on
this brochure: 1 2
On January 22,
2003, Relic Assistant Producer Geoffrey Thomas released a packet
of official HW2 logos
and title guidelines, and had the following to say about future
We'll be launching the official
site at the end of April with the possibility of more
information coming out between now and then.
On February 5, 2003,
the Sierra Homeworld
2 site was updated with a new front page and sexy
teaser image, but not yet with new information.
On February 14,
2003, IGN PC posted the first normal
preview of the game. The usual barrage of magazine and
website previews followed.
After a period
of glasnost that had everyone thinking things were back to
normal, Relic sank back into silence in mid-Spring when
questions began to arise about Beta test plans (which had been
originally stated as planned for Spring). Angst built through
the community as summer passed, until on August 12th, Geoff
Thomas announced that plans for a Beta test had been scrapped
(most likely to keep on schedule for release). It was also
announced about this time that plans for a demo has also been
On August 25th
of 2003, the gold announcement was made:
Universal Games (VU Games) announced today that Homeworld 2,
the sequel to 1999's award-winning, space-based real-time
strategy game, Homeworld, has gone gold and will ship to North
American retailers September 16, 2003.
2nd, just a few days after Sierra Brand Manager for HW2,
Alex "Marweas" Rodberg, had made an ass of himself posting
insults on the Relic forums, Sierra's Chris Mahnken
announced that there would indeed be a downloadable demo,
which was made available on the following day.
16th, 2003, Homeworld 2 shipped to stores in North
America and Australia.