Jade Empire 2 stillborn on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360?
Developer's resume states that sequel to BioWare's Eastern-themed RPG was in the works; developer mum on the matter.
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Source: See below.
What we heard: Though not as big a hit as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire was one of BioWare's premiere role-playing games of the last generation. Released in 2005 on the original Xbox and then in 2007 for the PC, the martial-arts-heavy, Eastern-themed title established a sizeable following on the back of solid reviews.
So strong was Jade Empire's reception that in November 2005, BioWare cofounder and then-joint-CEO Ray Muzkya revealed that his company was working on a sequel. "BioWare definitely plans to continue the Jade Empire franchise," he declared. "The Jade team did a great job with the first game in that series; we have great teams working on all of our games here. We've also said in the past that we're working on not just one, but two Xbox 360 titles. Enough said."
In October 2009, though, BioWare was more circumspect on the project, with Dragon Age lead designer Mike Laidlaw casting doubt on whether a follow-up was in active development. "We will certainly announce it if it's going to be coming out," he said. "At this point, Jade Empire is a staff favorite, and a lot of us love it, so we'd love to revisit it at some point. But right now, we are very focused on Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2."
This week comes with an indicator that Jade Empire 2 was indeed in active development--and that it will likely never see the light of day. On his LinkedIn profile, a former senior designer lists "Jade Empire 2 (360/PS3/PC)" amongst the unreleased projects he has worked on. In this case, "unreleased" appears to mean canceled, since other projects he lists in that category include the confirmed-dead Gun 2 and True Crime 3, which he worked on while at Activision.
The official story: "It's EA's policy not to comment on rumors or speculation."--EA BioWare rep.
Bogus or not bogus?: Looking not bogus. Jade Empire certainly had potential--enough potential for BioWare sign a one-time deal with 2K Games just to get the title on the PC. (The original was published by Microsoft Game Studios.) However, following BioWare's purchase by Electronic Arts in 2007, it appears that the sequel didn't make the cut when compared to the Canadian studio's other hot properties.