5 unusual developers for a new Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic game

Main Street Electrical Arcade
6 min readJan 26, 2021

--

A lot of interesting stuff is happening regarding Lucasfilm IP and video games recently. A new Indiana Jones game is happening, Star Wars is no longer exclusively the domain of Electronic Arts, and the newly rebranded Lucasfilm Games have claimed that’s just the beginning.

The most intriguing/exciting rumor coming out of this is that finally, with the last game being 16 years old, we are reportedly getting a new entry in the Knights of the Old Republic series, the first game arguably really put developer Bioware on the map as it was their first game with a deep morality system that truly affected the ending of the story and the fate of your party.

The interesting part is, assuming the reports are true, the long-awaited new game will not be developed by Bioware or any developer at Electronic Arts, it is being developed by somebody who might surprise us, apparently. While it’s most likely some other AAA developer with a good RPG track record (heck maybe it’s a Microsoft exclusive they own several well-regarded RPG studios now), I thought it might be fun to throw some out of the box ideas for who could make a compelling spin on a Star Wars game set in the time of The Old Republic:

#5. From Software

We got a little taste of what a Souls-inspired Star Wars game would be like with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, so how about we have the company that made their reputation on this genre actually do one? The challenging but rewarding combat and the obscure but deep lore along with some truly terrifying enemies would be perfect for say a dark and mature game starring a Sith protagonist (we really haven’t had one of those yet, not one where you are just a Sith the whole time and don’t like suddenly turn to the light side halfway through or something) which would fit perfectly with the kind of games From Software makes.

#4.Capcom

A game where you hunt rare and dangerous wildlife in the Star Wars universe? Maybe an over-the-shoulder view action game/RPG? Something more along the lines of Devil May Cry, just with blasters and lightsabers? Heck, maybe we finally get a really good fighting game starring your favorite characters from the Old Republic era (this is the least unlikely but hey I’d like there to be one good Star Wars fighting game in existence). Capcom has a number of teams that could make a really compelling game set in the Old Republic era and deliver something really new and fresh.

#3. Nintendo

Nintendo is one of the most acclaimed developers in the world, but also would be one of the most surprising to be developing a Star Wars game if for no other reason than they generally don’t make games based on licensed IP. But Nintendo has managed to remain one of the most unique and fun developers in the industry. Literally, nobody makes games like they do and when others try, it’s usually an underwhelming attempt. Let Nintendo make a Mandalorian game that plays like the Metroid Prime series, a tactical strategy game like the Fire Emblem series, or even a humorous take on the IP like the Paper Mario series full of clever observational and meta-humor. One thing’s for sure, if Nintendo were to develop a Star Wars game, it would be unlike any other and likely one of the best ever made.

#2. Firaxis

There hasn’t been a turn-based strategy RPG set in the Star Wars universe pretty much ever, and it’s a shame because it’s such a perfect set up for that type of game. Lots of strategic battles between what can only be classified as different… well, classes of characters with various traits and powers. And who better to make such a game, set during The Old Republic or any other period of Star Wars history really, than Firaxis, makers of the excellent X-Com series of games. You could do something with mostly nameless units that have classes that you create your own narrative around or something with a more set party that has a more narrative bent. Star Wars deserves an awesome tactical RPG and Firaxis would be an excellent game developer to make it happen.

#1. Atlus

Arguably the most out-of-the-box choice to make a new Star Wars game, ideally an RPG, but also they’ve consistently made some of the most stylish and fun RPGs of the last 15 years. Star Wars was hugely influenced by Japanese cinema, Star Wars hugely influenced anime, why not let a critically acclaimed JRPG developer have a crack at it? Lord knows Star Wars could use to loosen up just a little bit and jazzy j-rock tunes along with some really well-designed dungeons and really exploring your interpersonal relationships with your friends could be a really cool take on what we generally think of when it comes to Star Wars games. There’s an outside chance a bigger JRPG studio such as Square Enix gets a crack at making a Star Wars game, and it would likely be good, but I’d love to see the studio that makes something as weird and wonderful as the Persona series get a chance at making their version of a game that takes place in a galaxy far, far away.

And that’s the list. Notice in not one entry did I suggest any developer do something like the first two Knights of the Old Republic games. There’s a reason for that. If Bioware isn’t doing it, I think a new game in The Old Republic timeline by a different developer shouldn’t try and recreate what Bioware did, that just creates too many expectations of what the game should be. You can make another RPG, even one with moral choices between light and dark that affect how the story plays out, but it shouldn’t be some poor developer trying to make whatever people think KOTOR 3 should be, it needs to be something different just to break free of those lofty, arguably unachievable expectations. Bioware isn’t making another Star Wars game, and it might be for the best as they really aren’t the Bioware of that era and it’s arguable they aren’t the Bioware we want making a new KOTOR game right now. That’s all for now, see ya real soon!

--

--

Main Street Electrical Arcade

All about Disney games, past present and future. Mix of reviews, opinion pieces and anything else that fits here.