Blackbird Interactive

Blackbird Interactive is a game development company based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The company was founded by ex-members of Relic Entertainment, including key personnel who worked on Homeworld and Homeworld 2. Blackbird Interactive are currently working on Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, published by Gearbox Software, and providing technical assistance for the HD re-releases of the original games.


Blackbird Interactive was founded in 2007 by Rob Cunningham and several other former members of Relic Entertainment. According to Cunningham, Relic's parent company and publisher, THQ, were no longer interested in making more ambitious or different types of strategy game, instead preferring to focus on their established franchises, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War and Company of Heroes. For this reason, several members left to found Blackbird. Blackbird retained a working relationship with THQ and Relic, however, assisting them in the re-coding needed to make Company of Heroes and its expansions work on the Steam platform.

In 2010 Blackbird began work on an original game and IP, Hardware: Shipbreakers. Early in development they spoke to THQ about a possible publishing deal, but THQ did not express much interest. Blackbird continued developing the game as a multiplayer-focused, free to play title. In 2012 they released a number of screenshots and videos for the title.

In early 2013, THQ went bankrupt and its assets were sold off. Blackbird bidded on the Homeworld IP but failed to acquire it, the rights for the IP were won by Gearbox Software. Blackbird entered into talks with Gearbox, helping locate missing source files for the planned high-definition re-release of the original games. After demoing Shipbreakers to Gearbox, Gearbox agreed to publish the game. Further discussions led to the game being retconned as part of the Homeworld franchise. The game was was retitled Homeworld: Shipbreakers as a prequel to Homeworld. On December 16, 2015, the game was officially announced as Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak.


As of January 2013, Blackbird Interactive consisted of 32 full-time members of staff and six part-time.[1] Their personnel includes

  • Rob Cunningham - CEO, former art director on Homeworld.
  • Jon Aaron Kambeitz - co-founder, former lead artist on Homeworld and an artist on Homeworld 2.
  • Yossarian King - a former tech director at Electronic Arts.
  • Cody Kenworthy - a former Relic staffmember who worked on Company of Heroes.
  • Paul Ruskay - music director on Homeworld: Shipbreakers, former composer for Homeworld and Homeworld 2.
  • Rory McGuire - lead designer of Deserts of Kharak.


See alsoEdit


  1. Rock Paper Shotgun interview

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