A new Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic game is reportedly in development, but not at its original developer BioWare, or its current owner, Electronic Arts, whose exclusive Star Wars licence expires in 2023. There’s no word on which studio is behind it (though speculation is rife), with reports noting that Star Wars fans will “never guess” who it really is. There’s also the small matter of what a new Star Wars KOTOR game might even look like. After all, most of the original game — and its sequel — are not considered canon in the ongoing Star Wars universe that includes the films and Disney+ series.
Star Wars insider Bespin Bulletin spoke of a new Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic game development on the latest episode of B.O.B. the Podcast, while referencing previous comments made by games journalist Jason Schreier on gaming forum ResetEra. “Amongst my digging, I heard there is a Knights of the Old Republic project in development somewhere. I talked to a couple of people, and I also found out that Jason Schreier said that it’s not with EA, and we’ll ‘never guess’ who the studio is that’s making this game.”
Wushu Studios’ communications manager Nate Najda confirmed Bespin Bulletin’s report and added: “[The KOTOR studio is] not as mysterious as you think. It’s just not a household name most people are aware of.”
Released in 2003 as an Xbox console exclusive, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is set four thousand years prior to the creation of the Empire when a certain Sith named Darth Malak is waging war against the Republic. You play as a Jedi — male or female, though only the former is canon — who must criss-cross the galaxy to thwart Malak. Depending on the decisions you make, you’ll end up on the light or dark side of the Force. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is considered one of the best video games ever made.
A sequel, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, was developed by Obsidian Entertainment — now owned by Microsoft — and released in 2004 again as an Xbox console exclusive. It picks up five years after the first game and follows an exiled Jedi Knight who ventures from planet to planet to look for the remaining Jedi — the Jedi Order has largely been wiped out — to push the Sith back. Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords was also well received, more so for its characters that were more richly detailed than the ones in the original.
There hasn’t been a sequel since then, although BioWare did continue the story in the 2011 MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic.
A new Star Wars KOTOR game outside of EA seems plausible given recent announcements. Disney launched Lucasfilm Games earlier in January, which was followed by the reveal of a new story-driven open-world Star Wars game being developed by Ubisoft and The Division 2’s Massive Entertainment. Lucasfilm Games VP Douglas Reilly said then that “this is just the beginning of what I think is going to be a very exciting year for Lucasfilm Games,” suggesting that more games would be announced in 2021.