What Happened To KOTOR 3, Star Wars’ Most Devastating Canceled Game

The story of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 3 is that of mismanagement and missed opportunity. The third part of a hit star wars The game series should have been an almost certain hit for everyone involved. However, KOTOR 3 never happened, and people still ask why years later.


The first two games of the Knights of the Old Republic series have been huge commercial successes. Whereas Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords was not as successful as its predecessor, it was still profitable, performing better in the UK than KOTOR. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is still one of the best selling star wars games and was the best-selling Xbox game at launch.

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Related: Every Way Star Wars: KOTOR 2 Was Better Than The Original

KOTOR was designed and developed by BioWare, deliberately placing the game 4,000 years before the main film saga to give the narrative as much creative freedom as possible. When BioWare passed up the opportunity to make KOTOR 2, Obsidian Entertainment took over the reins and continued the long-term story started by BioWare. It is obvious to anyone playing KOTOR 2 that Obsidian wanted it to be the second installment of a trilogy. After all, it ends in a kind of cliffhanger, so why not KOTOR 3 occur?


KOTOR 3 Rumors Started Early

It’s not uncommon for rumors to start and spread in the gaming industry, and given the dedication of star wars fans, rumors surrounding star wars games can spread remarkably quickly. Whispers of a third episode have been bouncing around online forums and conventions for years after the release of KOTOR 2 but with little concrete evidence. The series’ abrupt ending has many people wondering if KOTOR 3 had never been planned or if everything around it was just a rumor.

However, the speculations were true, and KOTOR 3 was indeed in development. In his 2008 book Rogue Bosses: The LucasArts Storyformer editor of Playstation: the official magazineRob Smith explains how KOTOR 3 already had a script, characters, and locations all planned out. Smith even goes so far as to name one of the potential characters who would have featured; a female named Naresha.

Planned locations included Coruscant, Taloraan, and Mandalore, the homeworld of the Mandalorians star wars games have never shown before. In Smith’s book, he specifically mentions that a Mandalorian metropolis known as Mandalore City was to appear in KOTOR 3. These are tantalizing glimpses of places in the lore that players could have visited in a project that never made it out of the concept stage.

KOTOR 3 was one of many canceled Star Wars games

However, KOTOR 3 never materialized, fading into memory like many games and creative visions. There is a lot of confusion on the topic of game cancellation, even those involved in KOTOR 3 seeming to know the whole reason. To fully understand why KOTOR 3 was cancelled, you have to understand what was going on behind the scenes at LucasArts. In the early 2000s, LucasArts was going through massive changes, and it was all about the money. Officials felt it was a waste of money to issue licenses star wars alongside so many other game titles.

Related: Could Knights Of The Old Republic Remake Finally Lead To KOTOR 3?

In 2004, former Lucasfilm vice president of marketing, online and global distribution, Jim Ward, was named president of LucasArts and soon began a massive reorganization of the company. Previous star wars titles had almost exclusively been developed by outside developers such as BioWare, Obsidian, and Raven Software. However, Ward now wanted to prioritize in-house development of games, including those for the star wars franchise.

This meant that when Obsidian launched KOTOR 3, they were turned down, and Ward instead gave it to an internal team at LucasArts. This team started working on the script and even had several pieces of concept art. Still, the project was eventually canceled around 2005 by LucasArts as it reorganized and reprioritized the games. More than 20 star wars games were canceled during this time, including a project Star Wars Rogue Squadron trilogy collection, which was almost halfway done when it was cancelled.

KOTOR 3 was almost given the green light but was later dropped, with none of those involved quite sure why. Former LucasArts employees who spoke to game informant in 2015 spoke of their confusion over the whole situation. Needless to say, even in an industry where games are regularly dropped, this is bizarre.

Will KOTOR 3 ever happen?

So will there ever be a KOTOR 3? This may be a more complicated question than people realize. Although clearly, the development of KOTOR 3 probably depends on one thing: how much the KOTOR remake performs.

With the KOTOR remake already in trouble, things are not off to a good start. First the KOTOR the remake was reportedly delayed indefinitely, then it changed developers. Initially, Aspyr Media was the one who took care of the remake of the star wars classic. However, the reins have since been handed over to Saber Interactive, which was initially helping Aspyr with the remake, but is now fully in charge.

Related: Star Wars: KOTOR Remake’s Must-Have Features Aren’t What You Think

With these problems and delays, it is more important than ever that the KOTOR the remake is doing well on release so fans are hoping to see a third one KOTOR Game. That would be a shame because BioWare and Obsidian’s Chris Avellone have always envisioned the game series as a trilogy. Talk with VG247 in 2019, Avellone explained how even doing KOTOR 2they attempted to foreshadow and incorporate elements from the first game in order to tie together the imagined trilogy:

“We started working on the Game 3 pitch, because we always imagined the trilogy. Even working on the second game, we [tried] to foreshadow what Darth Revan was doing in the second game, and he wasn’t always ruthlessly and mindlessly blowing everything up. He actually had a bigger plan because there were more manipulations and threats going on.

Avellone wanted Obidian KOTOR 3 to involve the player fighting ancient Sith lords, far more evil, dangerous and powerful than any other KOTOR Star Wars Sith Lords already seen in games. On behalf of BioWare, Bloombergit is Jason Schreier revealed on Twitter that BioWare has tried more than once to get the green light for KOTOR 3. The exact details of their vision for a trilogy are unknown, but it appears the original studio also had no luck getting approval.

The truth is that, ultimately, the saga of KOTOR 3 is one of mismanagement. Cutting an already established title only a year after rushing to release the second installment doesn’t seem to make much sense. Fans can only hope that the KOTOR remake will inspire Disney to give Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 3 another chance to become a reality.

Next: Star Wars’ Greatest Tragedy Isn’t Darth Plagueis, It’s KOTOR 2

Sources: game informant, VG247, Jason Schreier/Twitter

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