Relic Entertainment is a game development company based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Relic both created the Homeworld universe and developed Homeworld and Homeworld 2. The studio specializes in PC real-time strategy games and is also known for series such as Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, and Company of Heroes. After being acquired by THQ in 2004, Relic was sold to Sega on January 22, 2013 as part of THQ's bankruptcy.
Relic was started in 1997 by Alex Garden and Luke Moloney to begin development of their new game Homeworld. The game immediately impressed the gaming community at 1998's E3 and continued to do so at 1999's. When it was released it was a critical success, and won several awards, giving Relic a spotlight in the gaming industry.
When Relic was approached by Sierra Entertainment for an expansion pack to the popular Homeworld, they declined and chose to begin work on a different game for Microsoft. Barking Dog Studios, which contained several members of Homeworld's development team, and shared an office location with RelicSSource: Rob Cunningham's presentation of the company's history at the Relic Open House 2007 , was instead tasked with the expansion, creating Homeworld's so-called "stand-alone expansion pack" Homeworld: Cataclysm.
They did return to the series shortly after Cataclysm's release. In 2001, Relic released a trailer for the early stages of a sequel on which they had begun early story development shortly after Homeworld's release. The trailer attracted Homeworld fans everywhere and Relic was once again the face of Homeworld.
However, when Homeworld 2 was released after a troublesome development, in which the game was radically redesigned several times, it failed to be the hoped-for financial success, but also failed to score as high with the critics.
Soon thereafter, Relic was bought by THQ and Alex Garden left the company to work on other projects under a clause of non-competition. Under THQ, the company developed Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, and Company of Heroes, a World War II-themed strategy game. Both games were a critical and financial success.
On January 23, 2013, it was revealed that THQ had sold Relic to Sega as part of an auction of the company's properties caused by bankruptcy.The Homeworld franchise was sold to Gearbox Software at a separate auction in April 2013.
Relic is unquestionably the more popular of the Homeworld series' two developers (itself and Barking Dog Studios). This may be in part due to its unique art choices, as well as its willingness to push the boundaries of known gaming conventions (Homeworld was the first RTS game with a fully 3D environment).