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Lucasfilm shuts down ambitious Knights of the Old Republic fan remake Apeiron

By Polycount · 20 replies
Oct 12, 2018
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  1. Game publishers have a history of shutting down promising fan projects - it's a trend that's been going on for the better part of the last decade (if not longer). As unfortunate as it is, it's hard to fault them for it.

    Allowing fan games that reboot or otherwise recreate older titles can set a dangerous precedent for companies. Unfortunately, some companies are certainly more zealous about the policing of their intellectual properties than others.

    One such company is Lucasfilm. The entertainment giant shut down a fan-created spiritual successor to the original Star Wars: Battlefront games back in 2016, and now, it's doing the same to one of the most promising-looking Star Wars fan games out there: Apeiron, a recreation of the classic Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) RPG.

    This information comes directly from the game's development team, Poem Studios. The team took to Twitter to announce that the project would be shutting down due to a cease and desist letter they received from Lucasfilm.

    "It's with a great sadness that I'm posting today; I recently received a letter from Lucasfilm instructing Poem to end production on Apeiron," Poem Studios said in their tweet. "After a few days, I've exhausted my options to keep it afloat; we knew this day was a possibility. I'm sorry and may the force be with you."

    This is a pretty unfortunate situation for everybody involved. Apeiron was an ambitious, beautiful-looking project, and now it seems Poem Studios' hard work will never see the light of day.

    As I said before, it's hard to fault Lucasfilm too much here, but the company's timing couldn't have been worse. Apeiron has been in development for years, and Poem Studios has probably sunk hundreds (if not thousands) of hours of work into the title. If Lucasfilm was going to shut it down -- and it's hard to believe they weren't aware of it previously, given how much coverage the game has gotten -- why didn't they do it much, much sooner?

    Sad though this news may be, there's not much to be done about it. If you want to see what the game could have been, feel free to visit Apeiron's official website. For now, it's still up and running, but don't expect that to be the case for much longer.

    Permalink to story.

  2. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,376   +934

    Can't say I feel bad for them. They took an unlicensed IP and (without permission/blessing) built a game with it (one that could compete against a legit game).

    At the VERY least, they should change the assets and make their own lore/IP. Then there would be no conflict, and could at least still say inspired by the KotoR RPG's.
    Oh, and sell it for a buck.
  3. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,576   +2,289

    These talented fans should always try to contact the license holders and ask if its cool and if the studios might want to get involved. Partnerships like this have huge potential to both serve the fans of a neglected franchise as well as fund the fan's efforts and provide some new income to the IP owners. Its ridiculous that developers sit on a popular franchise for years and then punish anyone who tries to revitalize it.
    Theinsanegamer, Reehahs and m4a4 like this.
  4. kevbev89

    kevbev89 TS Addict Posts: 128   +114

    I can't help notice that techspot is becoming more and more like a blog instead of a tech news site. The writing level is becoming more and more... casual? Just not at the level at what I'd expect from an article...
  5. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,540   +348

    How do you mean? This is a less serious topic by nature, just a fan project, and it's always sad to see those go. But no fault on Lucasfilm, they're doing what they have to do as a company, protecting their trademarks.

    Digging a little deeper, I did question why they chose now instead of, say, 2 years ago. I don't think it's a trend, but every now and then you get a topic like this. Of course, I can only speak for myself.
  6. Kotters

    Kotters TS Maniac Posts: 330   +223

    Plus you've got corporate bootlickers commenting these days.
  7. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,540   +348

    Let me at 'em. I'll show 'em what for.
  8. kevbev89

    kevbev89 TS Addict Posts: 128   +114

    I'm not knocking on the article content, just how it is portrayed.

    Like this paragraph for instance:

    "As I said before, it's hard to fault Lucasfilm too much here, but the company's timing couldn't have been worse..."

    I noticed a lot of techspot articles are starting to add in a lot of blog-like writing and opinions (e.g. "As I said before", "Personally I never", etc.). Of course you can totally argue that a news site is suppose to have a touch of bias or opinion tied into it. Frankly, that sentence, for instance, could've just said, "While it is difficult to fault Lucasfilm, the timing could not have been worse for Apeiron..."

    I'm no writer myself, so my writing is probably pretty shitty compared to a seasoned journalist and writer. But I can't help feel very irked whenever I read an article like this that has too much blog-like writing being injected into it. It just doesn't feel very sophisticated.

    Feel free to ignore my comment... I read techspot every single day so I just wanted to point that out...
    Digitalzone and Polycount like this.
  9. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,540   +348

    No, you're absolutely right. Every now and then, when it's a topic I'm passionate about, phrasing like that slips in. I appreciate the feedback and I'll reign that in moving forward. It is hard sometimes to tell what is preferred, sometimes using more personal language may be appropriate, other times, as you said, it may feel a bit too much like a blog.

    Also, I know how you feel. I read a lot of tech sites myself, and I know how frustrating it can get.
    LNCPapa and Julio Franco like this.
  10. kevbev89

    kevbev89 TS Addict Posts: 128   +114

    Hey, I appreciate you taking my feedback seriously. I was certainly intrigued by the content, and given the audience of this website, I'm sure you already know what our stance is on it.

    I look forward to reading more of your content.
    SalaSSin, VBKing, wiyosaya and 2 others like this.
  11. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,439   +1,205

    That weird moment the comment section didn't go into name calling and anarchy...
  12. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,540   +348

    We pride ourselves on our civility...

    ...most of the time. ;)
    SalaSSin, wiyosaya, m4a4 and 2 others like this.
  13. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 579   +411

    Would it be more appropriate to say Disney shut them down? Disney owns Lucasfilms. Or is everyone getting screen burn-in of Disney with DMCA takedown articles? ;)
    wiyosaya likes this.
  14. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,540   +348

    LOL! It does seem like their name is everywhere lately, especially in relation to star wars.

    However, Lucasfilm does still exist, for better or worse, but they don't really do any game development anymore. Just publishing, IIRC.
  15. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,751   +1,974

    The relationship between the staff and readers has always been casual, it's why I've been readings since it was still called 3Dspotlight.
    Julio Franco and Polycount like this.
  16. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,540   +348

    Went on the Wayback Machine the other day to check out a 2006 version of the site. Pretty crazy how different it looks now.
    yRaz likes this.
  17. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,536   +1,912

    We should remember that this is not Lucasfilm. It's Disney - not that that would necessarily matter.

    IMO, if Lucasfilm really wanted to take the high road, they could have. To me, the scenario where the high road was accessible goes something like this: Lucasfilm approaches Poem Studios and offers to back the project with Lucasfilm agreeing to take reasonable royalty payments from any sales.

    There is that side that Lucasfilm owns the rights and therefore has legal recourse to do something like this; however, actions like this, whether one sees Lucasfilm as exercising their legal rights or not, diminish the reputation of both Lucasfilm and Disney, IMO. To me, they are already yet another greedy corporate entity. In my eyes, this only makes Lucasfilm/Disney even more of a greedy corporate entity, and inclines me to be much less likely to support their further creative efforts.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  18. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,433   +600

    What were you expecting a technical review of a fan made project?
  19. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,643   +304

    It's not that hard to fault LucasArts here. These companies all seem to have the same knee-jerk reaction of shutting down any use of IP, even though they could easily endorse these uses. There's nothing bad about this project that I can see, nothing that would put LucasArts in a worse light. LucasArts could easily embrace it and even make money off it, if they so wished.

    I appreciate Valve for allowing Black Mesa to be made and even sold. More companies should go that way. A fan remake shows love, and sure, a publisher shouldn't blindly allow a crappy remake, but it shouldn't be that hard to make an actual evaluation of the project, guide the devs in a direction that's acceptable, if they've done anything the publisher feels hurts the IP, and let them create their work of love.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  20. Goamist

    Goamist TS Rookie

    Typical for greedy murican companies. And stupid to boot. What did Lucasfilm gained from doing this move? And in what universe would this project hurt either their finances or their reputation? Presuming Apeiron would have been a failure (seeing the quality of their work so far, that is highly unlikely), how would that have hurt Lucasfilm? It's not like they sank any money in the project. And no sane person would point to Lucasfilm for the poor quality of a game made by fans. And if this would have been a success, would that have taken away money from the big company?!
    Just like ET3D said, endorsing this project and maybe even actively promoting it would have been beneficial for everyone involved. The way it stands now, Lucasfilm just proved that all they care is money.
    All that being said, I'm sure that the work that Poem Studios did so far can and should still be re-used in another game, with a different story and characters.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  21. Marc Petersen

    Marc Petersen TS Rookie

    I will never support a game by LucasArts ever again this is very upsetting. I will also never watch another starwars movie ever again. Making a MOD should never be shut down. Its a huge conversion and modification to the game itself.

    When Disney bought LucasFlims and has ownership in LucasArts this letter was not needed and LucasArts should be a shamed of themselves for this take down. I would counter sue the LucasArts for damages and falsely stating they are making a profit any good attorney can turn this around or at least put a long legal paper trail started for years to come. Yes it cost money but we kickstarter and other outlets can help with this.

    Starting a petition is the 1st thing to do once that is done next would be the kickstarter once the attorney is obtained then they will present the reasonable doubt to LucasArts Legal team so forth starts the case and it will take years just like apple and samsung but the long run would be to support the dev community and not allow corporate trolls to do this kind of crap.

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