Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic Game Paused Amid Studio Shakeup | Gaming News

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic Game Paused Amid Studio Shakeup

A hotly anticipated new Star Wars game is in serious trouble, according to people familiar with the project.

| Updated on: Jul 27 2022, 20:23 IST
After Fortnite, Garena Free Fire, BGMI to host virtual concerts collaborating with Blackpink and Justin Bieber
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic
1/6 It seems like the season of virtual concerts for the online battle royale games. All the major games have either already hosted or plan to host their first ever in-game music event. (Epic Games)
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2/6 The trend started with Fortnite when in April, the popular first-person shooter invited Travis Scott for an online concert. The concert witnessed a giant hologram of the singer appearing in the landscape to perform his songs. (Epic Games)
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3/6 According to reports, more than 12 million players logged in for the Fortnite concert. (Travis Scott YouTube)
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic
4/6 BGMI is also going to host its maiden virtual concert featuring Kpop sensation Blackpink. In a two day event, four concerts will be held for players to log in and enjoy the performance. It has also been announced that Blackpink will be releasing an exclusive track during the concert. (Blackpink Instagram)
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic
5/6 Later in August, Garena Free Fire will also join the list of virtual concerts as the popular battle royale game is set to celebrate its 5th anniversary with an in-game performance by Justin Bieber. Just like Blackpink, Justin Bieber will also be releasing a new song during the concert. (Garena Free Fire North America Twitter)
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6/6 The games are also supplementing the events with exclusive costumes, skins and other purchasable merchandise that players can buy to show support for their favorite musician. The purchases also allow the games to generate a high revenue from these events. (Epic Games)
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic
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Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, a remake of a 2003 role-playing game, has been delayed indefinitely. (Bioware / Electronic Arts via Steam )

A hotly anticipated new Star Wars game is in serious trouble, according to people familiar with the project. Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, a remake of a 2003 role-playing game, is delayed indefinitely as developers at Austin, Texas-based Aspyr Media try to figure out what comes next. Aspyr also abruptly fired the game's art director and design director this month. In a series of meetings throughout July, 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.

Knights of the Old Republic was to be one of the first modern Star Wars console games released outside of Electronic Arts Inc., which had previously held the exclusive licensing rights. That deal expires in 2023, opening the door for new Star Wars games from outside companies like Aspyr, Ubisoft Entertainment SA and Quantic Dream SA.

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The game was announced last September and has been in development for nearly three years at Aspyr, which was purchased by Sweden's Embracer Group AB last year. Aspyr, founded in 1996, was best known as a service shop that brought existing video games to other platforms, such as iOS, including the original Knights of the Old Republic games.

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On June 30, Aspyr finalized a demo of the game, known as a vertical slice, to show to production partners Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC and Sony Group Corp. The developers were excited about it and felt like they were on track, according to a person familiar with the project, so they were shocked by what happened next.

The following week, the company fired design director Brad Prince and art director Jason Minor. Neither responded to requests for comment, but Minor suggested on a social media page that his dismissal was unexpected.

Representatives for Aspyr and Embracer didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Aspyr's studio heads told staff that the vertical slice wasn't where they wanted it to be and that the project would be paused, according to two people who were in the meeting. One person familiar with the discussions suggested that a disproportionate amount of time and money had gone into the demo and that the project's current course wasn't sustainable. Another point of contention may be the timeline. At the outset of development, Aspyr told staff and partners it would release the game by the end of 2022, according to two people familiar with production. Developers said a more realistic target now would be 2025.

The fate of Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic remains unclear. In May, Embracer announced that Saber Interactive would also join the project. Some at Aspyr believe that Saber, which has mainly been doing outsourcing work for the project, may take it over completely.

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First Published Date: 27 Jul, 20:23 IST