Development on the new Knights of the Old Republic remake has been halted as Saber Interactive and Aspyr Media fire key game developers.
The fate of the upcoming KOTOR Remake on PS5 remains uncertain. Sources have told Bloomberg that the KOTOR remake has been put on ice and Aspyr recently fired two high profile developers: Brad Prince, design director on the KOTOR remake who hired 25 level designers and has 20 years of experience in AAA game dev; and art director Jason Minor, who has been with Aspyr for 3 years.
Reports seem to suggest the game's presentation demo (also known as a "vertical slice") may have disappointed partners at Sony and Lucasfilm, leading to Aspyr firing both Prince and Minor and stopping production of the game. The slice may have cost too much money and time, one source suggested to Bloomberg, and full development of the game as presented in the slice would simply be too costly.
It's also reported that the KOTOR remake will have action-based combat similar to Final Fantasy 15 or NiOh, making for a very complex (and very expensive) video game.
This comes at a dire time in the games industry where publishers are cancelling projects, tightening their belts, and weathering the loss of big hits due to COVID-19 work-from-home disruptions across multiple global studios.
Aspyr is a relatively small developer with some 200 employees and is mostly known for re-releases of older Star Wars games and work on third-party licensed projects like Civilization VI and more recently a game called Mythforce. Aspyr was acquired by Saber Interactive in 2021 for $100 million. The company made $41 million in revenues throughout 2020.
Aspyr also acquired Beamdog, the studio behind the Baldur's Gate re-releases.