Well I’ll be honest. I wasn’t expecting this to be released. Either something would happen during production, like slowing down to a halt or something or a LucasFilm would issue a cease and desist. Well the latter happened. Earlier today, ApeironGame.com announced on they’re Twitter Page that they had received a letter from Lucasfilm instructing Poem to end production on Apeiron Kotor. Their tweet saying:
It’s with a great sadness that I’m posting today; I recently received a letter from Lucasfilm instructing Poem to end production on Apeiron. After a few days, I’ve exhausted my options to keep it afloat; we knew this day was a possibility. I’m sorry and may the force be with you.
– Apeiron Game
Attached to the remorseful tweet was the letter Apeiron Game had received from LucasFilm. Stating that all production on the fan remake of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic to cease immediately, that all codes and materials related to the project to be destroyed. Other demands include the removal of all LucasFilm intellectual property from their website and social media pages. And that Apeiron Game will not use any LucasFilm intellectual property in any future video games. All this has to be done by October 15th, as of writing 4 days time.
The full cease and desist letter from LucasFilm:
Three years of work, ended. And while sad, it’s understandable, LucasFilm has every right to issue a cease and desist on a projecting using they’re IP. It’s nothing personal, it’s nothing against the Expanded Universe, it’s just business. You use another companies IP, without authorisation, then they have every right to do this. Companies like Nintendo, Bethesda Softworks, Paramount and Capcom etc.
To relate to another fan favourite and popular game, The Metal Gear Remake.
The story of this fan-developed Metal Gear remake sheds light on just how arbitrary the whole cease and desist process can be. Back in 2014, a fan-developer Outer Haven announced they were having to halt development on its remake of the 1987 classic, Metal Gear. And this came as a bit of a shock to supporters of the project because just a few months prior Outer Haven announced that they had received Konami’s blessing to move forward with development. What happened? Apparently not all of Konami was happy with the idea of a fan remake, so a few months later Outer Haven was given a cease and deist in which they canned the entire thing.
Yes, it sucks. But it’s a business. It’s their IP. Their names, characters etc. Don’t get me wrong, what Apeiron created, looks stunning. It’s impressive for a fan made remake:
Apeiron’s remake would require the original Knights of the Old Republic game, in order for it be playable. And would have featured many aspects from the original game such as the pausable combat and the original flow of the story, along with new features and ideas such as 1st & 3rd person camera viewpoints and a deeper customization.
And yes, what they had created was impressive, but it’s clearly Star Wars, it’s LucasFilm’s IP. And because of that, a cease and desist has happened.
The following paragraphs is now me just speculating, just thoughts on the matter & wishful thinking.
Look, I’d love a remaster of Knights of the Old Republic, it’s not only one of the best Star Wars games made, but one of the best games ever made. And many great games from years gone by have had the remaster treatment such as Halo: Combat Evolved, Resident Evil, Burnout Paradise, Shadow of the Colossus, Dark Souls, BioShock and of course DOOM. And I’d say an official remaster of Kotor is long over due.
And recently, very recently EA via a challenge announced Revan’s inclusion to Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, which was met positively by fans. Galaxy of Heroes already has many Characters from both Kotor and it’s sequel The Sith Lords in the game.
Maybe (remember take what I’m saying with a grain of salt) maybe were getting some Old Republic content in the future. Who knows? You have the series of films by the creators of Game of Thrones doing a series of Star Wars films? Which we haven’t a clue on what they’ll be about. Maybe LucasFilm & EA (remember BioWare is still part of EA) are considering an official remaster of the game, it’s 20th anniversary will be here in 2023 in 4 and a bit years.
It’s a possibility, a slim possibility but not unreasonable. It makes some sense.
But could you imagine it, the same game but redone by BioWare for next generation and PC. Hey, leave the story as it is, because it is perfect. It’s better than some of the films (will let you debate on which ones). But leave the story alone, just give the game a new lick of paint and maybe expand some areas.
But imagine locations like Kashyyyk, Korriban, Dantooine, Taris and Mannan etc, all made today. It would breathe new life into Knights of the Old Republic. So much more detail. Don’t get me wrong, when Knights of the Old Republic came out in 2003 it was impressive. It felt and looked like Star Wars. But obviously time has past and while it still has it’s charm and the story is still great, graphic wise, it’s a little hard to look at now.
Take Tatooine for example, imagine that made now. You could have a much bigger and detailed spaceport, make it alive and breathing with people. Expand upon the dunes outside the walls of the spaceport. Instead of just being able to go straight ahead, have it so you can go all around the spaceport, maybe even move some of the objective around. Add in a swoop race perhaps through Beggar’s Canyon.
What about Manaan?
The water world. Graphics for water has came a long way since 2003. Now in many video games it made to look as realistic as possible, so imagine visiting Manaan, with it’s vast oceans. Travelling down to the secret Republic Kolto Base on the sea floor, which is damaged and leaking. It would feel so much more real. Probably the ultimate remaster.
Imagine is a keyword here. As the scope to Knights of the Old Republic if remastered could be expanded so much more. Making the environments alive and open. Yes, you wouldn’t need to load every time you entered a new section of Taris. Maybe even throw in some extras like fly the Ebon Hawk. Flesh out the games environment, surprise us. This game with graphics similar to that of 2017’s Star Wars Battlefront II would probably be the closest thing to experiencing Star Wars.
Again it’s a shame what’s happened to Apeiron and they’re remake. The fans behind it, that have been developing it for a few years ago are probably quite upset and disappointed at the moment. But it is a business. And hopefully there is a silver lining to this.