Lucasarts may have closed up a long time ago but Lucasfilm is still alive and well. And, even though Disney’s Lucas division has been herded away from developing or publishing games in-house, it’s still used quite readily as a legal lance to strike down fan-made projects, like the Knights of the Old Republic remake that was in development by Poem Studios.
The news comes courtesy of a letter that was issued to Poem Studios back on October 8th, 2018. The letter was shared via a Poem Studios tweet on October 11th, which explained that the Apeiron Game remake of Knights of the Old Republic had to be shut down due to the cease and desist sent out by Lucasfilm.
The letter itself states that after Lucasfilm discovered that the project, codenamed “Apeiron,” was in development, and reviewed the material involved with its development, it had to object to any unlicensed use of Lucasfilm intellectual property.
The letter notes that the original Knights of the Old Republic is Lucasfilm intellectual property and that it’s based on Star Wars, and therefore the use of any reference to Knights of the Old Republic in the Aperion Game project was deemed as “misleading” by Lucasfilm, and that content and references to said content were used without permission.
Poem Studios was given until October 15th, 2018 to comply with the cease and desist request, and to remove all development and content related to Knights of the Old Republic.
In response, Poem Studios opted to completely take down the website hosting the game, and to remove the project from the public view.
Typically, people always tell modders and the head of the fan-made projects not to promote that they’re actually working on the game lest they attract the attention of the original rights holders. This is why most gamers and communities suggest to keep the project under wraps until it’s finished.
Back in 2016, when the project first came onto the scene, Eurogamer interviewed Poem Studios about it and one of the things the outlet kept asking was whether or not Poem Studios got permission from Lucasfilm to do the remake of the classic OG Xbox title. However, it’s rather apparent now that Poem Studios did not get permission from Lucasfilm to remake BioWare‘s Knights of the Old Republic.
I think this very public shutdown of the remake makes it known that this current version of Lucasfilm isn’t too fond of fan-made projects, and if you are going to do a fan-made project based on an existing Lucasarts game, it might be best to keep it private and avoid making a big deal out of it. Otherwise, you could find yourself on the receiving end of a cease and desist letter from the legal team of a parent company like Disney.
If you want to play Knights of the Old Republic, you’ll just have to stick with the current versions made available on PC and home console.