Remember how excited we all were to hear that Poem Studios was making a KOTOR remake?Apeiron was a fan-made remake of the full KOTOR game with the Unreal engine. We shared images and video demos with you here before on the site and now we have the very sad news of telling you that the Disney banhammer has hit the makers of Aperion.
Disney has now forced Poem Studios to shut down their beloved project. They shared the letter they have from Lucasfilm and their decision to back down, as they don’t have the resources to fight it:
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. 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 pic.twitter.com/OCRmMIjwGT
— Poem Studios (@PoemStudios) October 11, 2018
The tweet reads: “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. 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”
It’s a typical takedown notice for use of intellectual property without permission, and it’s something Poem Studios knew might come, but they were hoping to avoid it. As true fans of the game themselves, they just wanted to offer something to other fans that they would enjoy. The “game” project is really just a mod and it requires a legal purchase of the game to play in the first place, so it’s not hurting sales of the game and it’s not taking anything away from the game. In fact, it’s causing people to buy the game now, who wouldn’t have played it otherwise, so if anything, this project is BOOSTING sales of the original game.
It’s really sad for fans of KOTOR and Apeiron, but also for game fans in general. This monopoly on Star Wars licensed game material also stifles the creativity of fans. If fans can’t create and enjoy a game mod to their favorite game, where else will the lines be drawn? How else will we be limited? Everyone understands that no one else can make Star Wars games. That is not being questioned here.
The cease and desist letter does seem to be just a boilerplate letter written by someone who likely doesn’t know the difference between a game and a game mod and is just doing their job to try to protect their client’s intellectual property. But fans are pushing to
#saveApeiron. You can follow the hashtag on Twitter to see the current news on the topic. There is also a petition going here. You can add your name to the list.