Warning: Some spoilers for Knights of the Old Republic Follow.
In 2003 Knights of the Old Republic was released to the masses. After being announced by Bioware in 2001 at E3 to a warm reception, the game was favored both critically and by consumers. When the game finally released the game was a massive success, you played as an unknown scout that happened to be on the same starship as Bastilla Shan a Jedi with special powers.
Your first planet was the city planet known as Taris, although it got destroyed after the first mission it was still filled with quests, monsters, and people to talk to. As introduction planets go this one was simply one of the best at the time. Bioware had done a tremendous job and it was only the first planet. When you got to Dantooine you trained as a Jedi and discovered that the evil sith Dark Malak was looking for the Star Forge and that his master Revan was helping him until Malak betrayed him. You find out Revan was killed in the blast. You then set off on the quest to find the star forge by looking through 4 other planets to find star maps that will lead you there.
Overall it was an amazing game and easily won game of the year for 2003. It was not only the best RPG of the year but one of the best and most in-depth Star Wars games every produced. With this success a sequel was already in the works, although not at Bioware.
Stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords was released in 2005 for the Xbox and PC. It was received warmly by critics although there was one glaring problem that was hard to look over. During the development of the game Obsidian the developer was given a deadline that they could simply not achieve. The published was completely unmoving in when it had to come out however and as such Obsidian was forced to cut massive sections of the game, including an entire planet and most of the ending.
This unnerved critics and since release has never been officially fixed, although there have been several mod attempts. Most are incredibly thorough in fixing what was cut, although they are obviously not the highest quality since they only used the cut assets without adding their own so there are still some missing pieces.
After The Sith Lords fans eagerly awaited the next game, message boards all across the internet were waiting for what they hoped to be the eventual announcements of the game. There were theories, there were mods, there were so many people claiming they knew it was coming that there was nothing anyone could do but hope they were right. They had to wait 6 years until the eventual announcement hit the web. And as with most revived franchises, the end result was not at all what anyone expected.
A New Direction.
The Old Republic was announced in 2011 and released in 2012. The game was developed by Bioware and was an MMORPG. It was the most expensive game to create in the history of the industry. It had over 200,000 lines of spoken dialogue, and several different main quests, and even a rather good attempt at a story.
And yet something was off. The game took place hundreds of years after the second game and we would only discover what happened in a side quest. But playing with friends in what should have been a single player sequel simply didn’t feel right to many. While the game received mildly positive reviews from some critics, many users missed the old days of the single player games. The game had a $60 price tag and a monthly subscription fee so most didn’t think the game was worth the price of admission. The game went free-to-play less than 2 years after its release.
More recently the original game was released for iPad and has been a massive success again. Going back and playing the game on something you can hold in one hand is something no one would have expected ten years ago. The game held up amazingly well and it showed that there was still an interest in the series, just simply in a single player version instead of the MMO version.
After the release of the iPad game many have wondered what would happen with the series next. A year and a half ago Disney bought Star Wars and last May it was announced that EA had bought the game rights to the franchise. At E3 that year another beloved franchise was revived in the form of Battlefront.
With this revival and EA bringing back one key Star Wars franchise, why couldn’t they do the same with Knights of the Old Republic? The answer is that they can. They have announced that Bioware will continue working on Star Wars games but they would not specify whether that means The Old Republic or something new. Obsidian has also come out and said they would love to make a third game in the series, and even have some of the story written after The Sith Lords came out, but it was unfortunately canned early on.
With the new interest in the series due to the iPad game, I find it highly unlikely that EA would ignore such a huge fan base. All they would have to do to see if there is still interest is release a remastered version of the game for next generation hardware, and if there is then make it. I actually find it likely that this is what they are already planning. Whether or not the game is coming, which it hopefully is, it is more a question of when the series comes back then if it will.