Lawyers from Lucasfilm have shut down Apeiron, a fan remake of BioWare’s 2003 RPG Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic (one of the best PC games, according to us). It’s little surprise that The Suits have stamped this out, though of course it is a bummer – and doubly so because Poem Studios put three years of hope and work into Apeiron before it caught the The Suits’ cruel eye. The Suits even want them to destroy all their work. Our Alec seemed hopeful (well, by his standards) and called Apeiron “extremely pretty” back in 2016, but so it goes.
Apeiron was to be a remake of KOTOR inside Unreal Engine 4, updating it to modern shiny-o-vision with all-new art assets while also adding new worlds, missions, and such. It would be free, but require players to have a copy of KOTOR so it could use the original sound and music.
YouTube fella “MrMattyPlays” recently showed off some levels and podracing:
Poem Studios called Apeiron “a full-conversion mod” rather than a remake but that distinction turned out not to matter. This isn’t Electronic Arts stepping in objecting to Poem remaking their game, it’s the Starlords at Lucasfilm taking issue with their “unlicensed use of Lucasfilm intellectual property”.
Poem shared the letter they received. In it, a Lucasfilm lawyer says that “Lucasfilm does not permit its names, characters, logos, copyrights, and/or trademarks without authorization” and Apeiron using Star Wars intellectual property “is misleading to the public and is likely to create confusion as to whether it is affiliated with Lucasfilm”. So they want ’em to knock it off.
The letter told Poem to “cease all development” on Apeiron and, more than that, “destroy all code and materials related to that project.” Three years of work, just deleted. The letter doesn’t contain a firm legal threat of what they’ll do if Poem don’t comply but, y’know, that’s what would follow.
“After a few days, I’ve exhausted my options to keep it afloat; we knew this day was a possibility,” Poem Studios said. “I’m sorry and may the Force be with you.”
Every time fans announce they’re remaking something owned by a huge media company, my heart sinks in anticipation of this outcome.