A New Hope? Unreal-Powered KOTOR Fan Remake

Feels like it’s far too soon to be remaking Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic but a) they’ve rebooted the Spider-Man movies 48 times in 18 months and b) KOTOR is, in fact, 13 years old oh god I’m so ancient how did this happen help help. So maybe the time isn’t too un-wrong for someone to take a crack at making one of the most beloved 3D-accelerated Star Wars games look a whole lot more modern. Waitaminnit: isn’t this just like George Lucas and his bloody Special Editions? SHUT IT DOWN SHUT IT DOWN SHUT IT DOWN.

The fans making Apeiron carefully classify it as a mod rather than a standalone project, in the hope that Ian Disney won’t force-choke it to death. It’s a remake of KOTOR in the Unreal 4 engine, and while it’s a million parsecs away from completion, or even from showing how it will function as a game (including an apparent move from third- to first-person blasting), we do get a look at some extremely pretty and really quite Star Warsy environments.

This first-look footage comes via YouTuber MrMattyPlays, who sounds jolly excited about what he’s seeing. Very early days, hence jerkiness, and video compression takes a bit of the shine off it too, but even so, looking good.

The cynic in me – i.e. every fibre of my bitter and twisted being – can’t help but worry that this is just a pipe dream, due to the sheer scale of what unpaid enthusiasts will have to recreate. I guess the Black Mesa guys pulled it off, but it took ’em a long time and they wound up getting Valve’s approval to sell it. I can’t see the house of mouse going in for that, somehow. Apeiron’s certainly got some talented modellers on board, though.

As for the legality (and therefore shutdownability), the Apeiron gang are hopeful, inspiredy by the successes of Black Mesa and Renegade X. They add:

“This is a full conversion refresh, that being said you will have to own a copy of the original game in order to play Apeiron since we are using the original audio and music. At its core Apeiron is the most intense KotOR modification ever.”

They’re looking for additional recruits to make the thing, if you want to chance your arm and your time. They may also open up donations further down the line, in the lawyers permit it.

In the meantime, there’s a steady stream of new screenshots and updates on the devs’ Twitter page.

Via Eurogamer.

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  1. Infinitron says:

    Increasingly, these sorts of projects seem like “We’ll work on it until we get offered jobs in the gaming industry”-type deals.

    • The Algerian says:

      Smart move if you ask me.

      If you’re good at something, no reason you should do it for free if someone’s offering money.

    • Tuco says:

      That’s what a lot of people seem unable to grasp.

      No, it’s not ingenuity that makes them announce and publicize these projects before they are complete and NO, the “cease & desist” doesn’t come as a massive surprise to the team.

      It’s more that very often completing the “remake” was never a genuine part of the plan and the entire project was pretty much some way to advertise their skillset.

      • LunarD3ATH says:

        It’s sickening, but sadly true. They have no intention of finishing this project, not that it even looks like the original (that Endar Spire? CRINGE). I can’t fault them for their logic, but no one would reveal their project so early in development in a world where Triple A game developers send cease and desist letters regularly.

        I think the project for Chrono Trigger was also a ploy to get careers out of their skills, but at least they waited until they made some real progress before showing it off. These people only remastered a few maps, most of which is unrecognizable. Sure, that’s Tatooine, but I don’t recognize those winding paths because of the design.

      • pianotm says:

        Of course, there are times when the company gives fan devs their full blessing. Capcom is really good for this. They’ve proven time and again that they’re more than happy to get behind a fan remake. That kind of openness can also be a good business move. Disney is uneven. They’re famous for quashing fan projects, and yet they openly encourage fan films, fan games and other fan works, and even hold contests for them.

    • Uhuru N'Uru says:

      My post (Bottom of page) was meant to be a reply to this comment, something messed up

  2. Arown says:

    Damn if they could do a professional remake of the first and second KOTOR they would get so much money !
    The best would be a third KOTOR but they prefer to do shitty MMO.

    • Distec says:

      If there’s a time for a KOTOR 3, now is it. There’s still a lot of warm sentiments towards that series, especially when compared to Dragon Age and Mass Effect somewhat fizzling in their third chapters. And while the MMO has found some eventual success, it obviously underperformed and was never the KOTOR anybody asked for.

      Not saying Bioware wouldn’t completely fuck it up. Given their trajectory over the last few years, I don’t have much confidence in them. But from a business standpoint – given the renewed Star Wars hype and the vacant hole in the market where an actual Star Wars RPG should sit – now is when to strike.

    • Wulfram says:

      The “shitty MMO” is fine as a single player KotOR 3 nowadays. You can go through everything with minimal human interaction, some of the stories are excellent. Just switch off the chat window and you’ll just see some weird people walking through.

      Well also the combat isn’t great and way too easy, but that’s basically just faithful to the KotOR legacy.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Aitrus says:


    Aaauuuggh it’s Matty!

  4. Zanchito says:

    Sadly, I can see the cease and desist order already coming from here.

    • USER47 says:

      Yeah, and it seems they are a bit clueless about these things too. Up until recently they had written on their website some nonsense about how it’s absolutely legal, because look, there is Black Mesa and other conversions too!

      Only recently they changed it into somewhat less certain formulation, and added you still need to own the original copy, which they didn’t mentioned before. But they probably still don’t realize Disney could shut them down any moment if they wanted to.

      • Zankman says:

        I don’t get this… How are these things “illegal” to make and how are companies in the position to shut things down (like Nintendo with the Zelda remake)?

        Like, I ask this in two senses:

        * How do the companies have the authority to do this?

        * Why don’t these teams just say “fuck off”, continue their project – and just release it onto the Internet via torrents and pirating websites?

        Things like 8chan and Pirate Bay exist, so…

        • ScubaMonster says:

          I know for trademarks you have to defend them or risk losing them. So the law is set up to basically encourage litigation. This only applies to trademarks though, copyright is different. I’ve always said these teams shouldn’t announce anything until the project is basically done then release it into the wild. Announcing it to the world when you’re far from completion is just asking for trouble.

        • Premium User Badge

          DelrueOfDetroit says:

          Because if the people making this would like to someday get jobs with development studios they probably don’t want to associate with the website that allows people to take those studio’s products or the website that was trying to get SWAT teams to raid their offices.

        • TheOx129 says:

          Companies have the authority because they own the IP, and the team is creating a derivative work based on content from said IP.

          As for your second question: I think, nowadays at least, these sorts of projects are never actually intended to get released, but have instead become ways to get your foot in the door of the game industry. Clandestinely releasing this kind of stuff jeopardizes that, as well as opening up the possibility of legal action, and I don’t think a team of amateur individuals has much hope against a professional legal team from a major corporation.

  5. Erithtotl says:

    I have to think if you have the skills and energy to do this, why not make your own game?

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      It’s way easier to put together and coordinate a project of volunteers to work on something they’re already passionate about than it is to say “here’s a new thing I want to make! Help me work on it for free!”

      • Premium User Badge

        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        You can also skip the whole pre-production phase because that has already been done for you.

  6. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    Heh, who would want to play it now that it has been made NON-CANON?

    • USER47 says:

      It never was canon in the first place.

      • Distec says:

        Shoulda been.


      • Aerothorn says:

        It absolutely was. Not G-level canon, obviously, but it was as canon as anything else in the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

        • USER47 says:

          …and it’s now legends, which is pretty much the same thing.

    • Premium User Badge

      Thirith says:

      This is a point I simply fail to get. What does canon/non-canon have to do with it being a good story or not? How does it make it a better or worse game if what happens in it is decreed to have happened for real (i.e. it’s still fiction, but it’s got the veneer of the official) in the Star Wars galaxy? The quality of fiction surely lies in the fiction itself, not in some seal of canonicity that can be given and removed quite easily.

  7. USER47 says:

    I don’t really know why does this particular thing makes such waves. It’s apparent they only have few maps ported into UDK where you can walk around in default Unreal first person mode. Difference between porting a map into SDK and making a functional game is immense. Every cryengine/unreal/unity forums have loads of projects like this one, that never move past “walk around in pretty map” stage.

    Sure, they might actualy build some game on top of it some day, but I don’t think the probability of that is very high.

  8. Background Character-kun says:

    Did we play the same KOTOR? Mine was a RPG

  9. brucethemoose says:

    Disney isn’t really the warm and fuzzy and lenient type when it comes to protecting their IP… They’ve pursued some pretty obscure fanworks, but my personal favorite is their infamous attempt to cleanse the internet of Disney animation smut.

    Which is worrying. This project could be shut down the second Disney’s lawyers get wind of it, throwing all that work down the drain.

  10. syllopsium says:

    KOTOR is a third party turn based RPG. This is not.

    One of the reasons KOTOR is so awesome is that commands can be issued, and then the camera rotated around the characters so the action may be seen from multiple angles.

    If I wanted a Star Wars FPS, I’d go play Jedi Knight again.

    Also, it may be true that a lot of games I play are relatively old, but does KOTOR really look that bad? Jedi Knight/Dark Forces II is showing its age a bit, but everything beyond that doesn’t look too bad.

  11. Uhuru N'Uru says:

    Not going to happen that way, it’s not a Valve Title,
    Only Valve do this sequence, using DOTA, Could be CS:GO or TF” as well (Black MESA may escape as that’s a half-life remake, not a New IP)

    DOTA the MOD is huge success, then abandoned by the modders.
    DOTA the Valve Published Game is made by the modders, Now a Dev Studio, but in the process Valve now owns the IP. This game will be replaced ASAP, then abandoned.

    DOTA 2 the cash cow is now Valves IP and Valve’s in house Dev Teams make the game

    Valve calls preselected content, “Mods”, because the Devs are hopeful amateurs (Modders). Truth is this is Valve selected DLC, it is the selection, and for the rejected, exclusion, of what user content is allowed that makes it DLC, not the price, which makes no difference, at all, to whether content is a mod or not

    So Valve gets the IP and sells DLC, misrepresented as mods.

    While original Modders, signed legal deals to abandon the Mod, and make a full game, which was soon dumped for the Valve controlled replacement, leaving them with nothing.

    Yet Valve apologists applaud them as PC champions, don’t make me laugh. They are no better than other AAA publishing houses, just better at marketing to the PC, but that’s only because consoles were closed shops to Valve, PC was the worst option, but only choice Valve had.

    Gaben looks after Gaben, no-one else.

    I only had a PC that would play single core, dual core was incompatible, whether game used both or one. until 2013. So with no GOG, from 2005, until I found them in 2013, no-one sold games I could play.
    May 2013 I got the Dream PC it took me 8 years to save up for, I had no legal games (No pirated either, as it was a fresh start, I dumped what I had).

    Now I have 86 Steam games (130 start of year) GOG releases, replace them, 198 Gog and around 30 others.
    All the old games I loved, that GOG has on sale, I bought.

    My passion is modding and GOG releases are best for mods.
    No forced updates, and no restrictions like the Workshop.
    GOG understands, modding is the users domain, the store provides the stable base game and then GTFO’s, they’re part is played.

    Lucas Arts/Disney is not Valve, like Bethesda with Morrowind, using any original assets will get the mod in trouble, Bethesda expressed disapproval, only.
    Skywind went from Asset Stripping Morrowind Wholesale, down to just music, it still wasn’t good enough.
    Skywind now uses no original assets, now Bethesda has unofficially approved of it (disapproval was also unofficial).

    Lucas Arts/Disney don’t do unofficial, they will go to court to make them Stop, I doubt even the full remake “a la Skywind”, would get approved, nothing less will, that’s damn sure.

    Plenty of these types of efforts do not get taken over by the games industry, only Valve tend to do that sort of thing. Then only Valve wants Paid Mods now, Bethesda seem to have got the message, Gaben is deaf, but only, when he wants to be.