The PS5 remake of Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic is in turmoil as Aspyr halts development and fires two key staff members.
Although its announcement was nothing more than a short teaser with no gameplay, the news of Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic getting a remake got fans very excited.
No release date was given, which suggested the game was still very early in development, but now it sounds like fans will have to wait even longer because work on it has reportedly stopped completely.
This comes after studio Aspyr, which is helming the remake, abruptly fired two key members of staff – art director Jason Minor and design director Brad Prince – this month with apparently zero reason given.
The team had reportedly shown a demo of the game beforehand to partners Lucasfilm Games and Sony (the remake’s a timed PlayStation 5 exclusive), one which the developers supposedly had confidence in and were proud of.
According to a new report though it’s claimed that some felt too much time and money was spent on just the demo, especially as, internally, the game was meant to be aiming for a 2022 release.
Anonymous developers involved in the game told Bloomberg that this wasn’t feasible and, with how everything was progressing, a more reasonable release date would be 2025.
With development at a standstill, that may very well be the case, although even that’s not guaranteed since the project is described as being delayed ‘indefinitely’.
Aspyr has also told employees that it will be seeking new contracts and development opportunities, which may suggest they’ve given up on making the game entirely.
Bloomberg approached Minor and Prince for comments about their firing, but neither responded.
As a reminder, Knights Of The Old Republic is a role-playing game originally made by Mass Effect studio BioWare, so it’s not exactly a small project.
As such, it’s baffling as to why Aspyr were given the contract in the first place, since the vast majority of their work is involved in simple ports and remasters and they’ve never handled anything remotely this big before.
On top of that, Knights Of The Old Republic would be a very difficult game for anyone to remake, as the original combat would be deemed very old fashioned nowadays.
It was already implied that the remake would use a new, real-time combat system, but there’s also the issue that the original is huge and would be a massive effort to remake with modern graphics.
While Aspyr has plenty experience with bringing old Star Wars video games to modern platforms, including the original Knights Of The Old Republic and its sequel, they were slightly remastered ports, not full-fledged remakes.
Indeed, most of Aspyr’s portfolio over the past several years consists of nothing but ports and remasters, so it’s peculiar that Lucasfilm Games picked them in the first place. If these rumours are accurate it may be that they end up giving the project to someone else entirely.
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