Gearbox Software has revealed it is the new owner of the Homeworld space RTS franchise.

The company, which specialises in FPS titles such as Borderlands and Aliens: Colonial Marines, was the highest bidder on the property in the most recent THQ auction.

It paid US$1.35 million (AU$1.31 million) for the rights to the franchise.

While the studio and IP may seem an odd fit, Gearbox chief creative officer Brian Martel apparently “has great love and respect for Relic's brilliant, fun and innovative game”, and personally spearheaded the acquisition.

Martel's aim is to "preserve and assemble the purest form of the original acclaimed and beloved games with the intent of making them accessible on today's leading digital platforms", said Gearbox.

The studio is also soliciting opinions on how a a new Homeworld game should look and play.

Homeworld was created by Company of Heroes studio Relic Entertainment, but sold when publisher and rights-holder THQ went under late last year.

Relic was acquired by Sega, where it is working on Company of Heroes 2.

To get its hands on the franchise, Gearbox outbid teamPixel – which had crowdfunded a Homeworld sequel – as well as Galactic Civilization developer Stardock and Crusader Kings developer Paradox Interactive.

The outcomes of the Darksiders, MX, and Red Faction auctions are still unknown.