A website for a new fan remake of BioWare’s 2003 RPG classic Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) launched over the weekend, with the team involved hoping to “breathe life back into a wonderful game.” The game, under the name Apeiron – presumably named after the part of the Force that affects the physical world – is being developed by indie gaming group Poem Studios.
Poem Games describes Apeiron as “a remake and remastering of the [KOTOR] with added content, new worlds, missions, HUD, inventory, items, and compainions [sic],” built in Unreal Engine 4.
Now, on the matter of the legality of the project, Poem Games says:
“Can you make a Star Wars game? Remakes of games have been around since the 80’s and some have become very sucessful [sic]. Games like Black Mesa did it with Half Life and Renegade X rebuilt Command and Conquer in the Unreal Engine 3.
Since the game is still under intellecal [sic] property by Disney we are allowed to make the game, but we are not allowed to sell it. So the entire game will be 100% FREE!”
The studio, though, seems to be under the misconception that, just because the copyright holders Half-Life and Command and Conquer didn’t object to the fan remakes cited above (with Valve later giving its blessing for Black Mesa to become a commercial product), the two projects were entitled to exist. Had Valve or EA (which now owns the rights to Command and Conquer, following its purchase of Westwood Studios) wanted to, they could have shut either fan remake down with a cease and desist letter. Since Disney is rather trigger-happy with cease and desists over anything it thinks violates its intellectual property (just ask Deadmau5), Poem Games should expect to hear from the Mouse House very soon.
Anyway, it looks quite nice.