Although Star Wars: KOTOR was originally created and published by EA and Bioware, the exclusive rights have now been lost – apparently forever.
At the opening of yesterday’s PlayStation Showcase 2021, it was announced that Aspyr Media is developing a Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic remake for PS5. However, it seems that original developer BioWare and publisher EA are not involved in this project. The Game Awards organiser and host Geoff Keighley contacted BioWare and EA to inquire about their involvement. After the initial announcement on the PlayStation Blog, they did not mention either company (the trailer also only ended with the Aspyr, PlayStation and Lucasfilm Games logos).
Keighley’s response from an EA spokesperson was a meaningless, politicised reaction and didn’t answer a direct question.
I asked Bioware (and EA) if they are involved in the STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC remake announced yesterday and just received this response.
So I guess that's a no? pic.twitter.com/mwa1FDdbjE
— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) September 10, 2021
The full text of EA’s response read: “We are proud of our long-standing partnership with Lucasfilm Games, which will continue for many years to come. Our talented teams have created some of the most successful games in the history of the Star Wars franchise, including Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Star Wars: Battlefront, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Star Wars: Squadrons. We love Star Wars and look forward to creating even more exciting experiences for players.”
In listing the “successful” games, the EA spokesperson did not mention BioWare’s beloved 2003 Knights of the Old Republic (although the MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic is loosely related to that series). Nor does it directly answer Keighley’s question about whether the developer or publisher will be involved in the PS5 remake, which most assume they won’t be.
EA recently lost the exclusive video game rights to the Star Wars license, and Disney formed Lucasfilm Games to allow several publishers and developers to play in that universe. While EA will no longer be making Star Wars titles exclusively, it will retain many successful Star Wars franchises. It works in various capacities (a sequel to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is rumoured to be in development).
Since EA originally said they would not announce a new Star Wars game before next year, it becomes even more unlikely that they will have anything to do with a Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic remake. Exactly how Lucasfilm Games came to handing over the rights to KOTOR to Aspyr and PlayStation is still unknown. However, the limited PS5 exclusivity of the KOTOR remake, which previously enjoyed Xbox console exclusivity, is a massive change for the game.
It also calls into question Knights of the Old Republic’s place in the Star Wars canon. After Disney took over in 2014, all previous expanded media was relegated to the “Star Wars Legends” label, declaring it no longer canon. This included the story of Knights of the Old Republic. However, the remake under the Lucasfilm Games umbrella may signal that it will re-enter the doctrine, although the developer promises it will remain faithful to the original story and characters. Aspyr has also assembled a veteran team of Star Wars developers, some of whom worked on the original game, so we can be confident that the game will be in good hands. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Remake currently has no release date.
Source: PlayStation LifeStyle