The Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Remake sparked some serious excitement when it was announced back in 2021. KOTOR is a seriously good RPG and a top-tier Star Wars experience, but at 20 years old it's also very dated. Unfortunately, it has not been smooth sailing since, and at this point there's legitimate doubt that the remake will ever see the light of day. And there was no good news on the status of the game in the most recent Embracer Group financial report—in fact, it was quite the opposite.
There was no mention of the game at all in Embracer Group's Q2 press release, and the only sign of it in the full financial report was an acknowledgement that Embracer had previously announced it. That led one brave analyst to ask about the game in the subsequent earnings call (via Seeking Alpha), to which CEO Lars Wingefors replied:
"I noticed that anything I say to this becomes a headline. So that is my only comment."
And that was quite literally his only comment: This isn't the RPG remake you're looking for, you can go about your business, move along. I can only imagine that Wingefors made a small wave of his hand as he spoke, but if he did it clearly didn't have the desired effect, because here we are.
The reluctance to talk about the KOTOR remake does not give me a good feeling about its future. Embracer had previously acknowledged the existence of the project in May as part of its full report for the previous fiscal year, but said nothing about its development status.
More worryingly, Sony recently set about scrubbing trailers and references to the game from its YouTube and social media channels. Sony later said the removal of the KOTOR Remake trailer was the result of expiring music licenses, but the only music in the video was a brief bit of the Star Wars theme, and since the remake is a licensed Star Wars product, the whole thing still struck me as very odd.
It's understandable why Embracer would be having so much trouble getting the remake done, and the reason really sucks the fun out of Wingefors' otherwise-humorous response to the KOTOR inquiry. Embracer was riding high and collecting development studios like some people collect stamps until May, when a $2 billion mystery deal fell apart at the last minute.
Since then, Embracer has closed studios and laid off 900 employees in the second quarter alone. During yesterday's investor presentation, he offered "a personal thank you" to the employees put out of work by the cuts, and then whipped out one of the buzzwords we've heard all too often in 2023, saying, "We are determined to transform Embracer into a leaner, stronger company."