Xbox Exec Backs Knights of the Old Republic Anniversary (Are You Listening Disney?)
A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away….Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was released for Xbox! Well it was just eleven years ago, so maybe not quite that long ago, but enough time has passed that talks of an “Anniversary” edition of the game are heating up.
Fueling these rumors is corporate Vice President and head of Microsoft Studios Phil Spencer, who was asked by a fan on twitter to name his top six RPGs of all time and included KOTOR on his list. When asked the follow up question of whether or not a remake is possible, Spencer responded: “I like the idea. No idea how the rights would work on that now with all the changes. I’ll put a vote in”. Now this is in no way a “Knights of the Old Republic Anniversary revealed!” moment, but anytime an official with as much credence and influence as Spencer supports a certain game, that means something.
Optimists out there can point to the recent Fable Anniversary game as evidence that Microsoft seems willing to rerelease their most popular gaming franchises around their decade anniversaries, to both please fans and to showcase the evolution of their graphics on newer consoles. There have also been rumors floating around that Halo 2 is getting a next-gen anniversary edition, so the idea that perhaps the best Star Wars game of all time and one of the best games of its entire generation will be given an anniversary edition is not out of this world.
The issue with this is that Disney now owns the rights to Star Wars, while EA and Bioware own the Knights of the Old Republic franchise. The initial reaction will almost certainly be that Disney will never consider this, the legal nightmare would add so many things to their plate that even Jabba the Hutt wouldn’t eat it.
But Disney has a unique opportunity in front of them. Their new Star Wars film is scheduled to release in December of 2015, and they better hope the force is with them as they go about creating this film. With the judging eye of every fanboy on earth watching their every move, making a positive statement by agreeing to the release of an Anniversary edition of the universally loved Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic would go a long way towards increasing the positivity surrounding Episode VII.
Logistics aside, Disney just needs to realize that any sort of positive form of media bearing the name “Star Wars” could go a long way for them right now. The last good video game we got was Star Wars: Battlefront 2, and that was 9 years ago. The Force Unleashed games were subpar and The Old Republic MMORPG was a massive disappointment. We are finally getting a Battlefront 3 game made by DICE, but that won’t be released for another year and a half and fanboys are an impatient bunch.
As Disney delves into future films and spinoffs, they will assuredly be looking for fresh stories from the Star Wars EU, and they don’t need to look any further than the original KOTOR game. The game features one of the most incredible twist endings in history (I won’t spoil it but it’s amazing), and leading up to it is an experience filled with interesting worlds and engaging characters making for one of the most satisfying experiences that would translate perfectly to the big screen.
Sometimes, there are more factors that go into a games release or rerelease than just “hey fanboys want this lets make them happy.” In this case, the potential benefits for all parties involved outweigh any possible negatives or snafus that would be encountered along the way. Luke destroyed the Death Star, learned the ways of the Force, became a Jedi Knight, finally connected with his estranged father, and took down the mighty Emperor. Whatever it would take to make a Knights of the Old Republic anniversary game happen can’t be that hard, can it?