According to a report from Bloomberg released today, citing people familiar with the project, the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic remake has been delayed indefinitely.
Announced last fall, the remake is being built from the ground up by Aspyr, in collaboration with Lucasfilm Games and Sony Interactive Entertainment, in an attempt to bring the classic game to next-gen consoles with updated graphics while staying true to the story. Earlier this year, it was also announced that Saber Interactive had jumped on board to help with the project as well. But according to Bloomberg, the game has been put on an indefinite hold after the sudden firings of the game’s art director and design director this month. Apparently “Aspyr’s two studio heads told employees that the project is on pause and that the company will look for new contracts and development opportunities, said the people, who were not authorized to speak publicly about the situation.”
It sounds like the firings were quite sudden and a shock to all involved, especially since Bloomberg’s report mentioned that a finalized demo of the game was shown to Lucasfilm and Sony on June 30 and generated much excitement. But just a week later the firings took place, leaving employees to speculate that perhaps it was due to an unreasonable investment of time and money into the project, or an unrealistic timetable. Either way, it is believed by some at the studio that Saber may take over the project completely.
This is disappointing news, the latest in a series of stalled Star Wars game projects. Though the future does look bright for Lucasfilm Games, this has become very familiar to fans, and it’s a shame. It’s unclear exactly what’s driving this stall, but it also remains unclear whether the project will ever be finished. It sounds like there is still definitely intention to do so, but we know well enough to know that might not happen.
Knights of the Old Republic will forever be a staple of Star Wars gaming and an all-time classic, but we will have to wait and see whether a new generation of fans will be introduced to the iconic story with this re-make or whether it will join the annals of stalled Star Wars gaming projects.