A new addition has joined the ever-growing list of fan projects that have been cancelled thanks to cease and desist letters from the owners of the intellectual property who, whether it be for contractual reasons or otherwise, would rather not have unlicensed projects being developed. The latest victim? Apeiron, a full conversion mod in Unreal Engine being developed for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic since 2015. The project had been developed by volunteers and Poem Studios, all led by John Trotter. Earlier today, John Trotter received the letter from Lucasfilm that he would later post on Twitter, marking the death of the highly anticipated project.
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
— Apeiron Game (@apeiron_kotor) October 11, 2018
Apeiron seems to be gone for good without any chance of it being salvaged and having aspects changed like other projects. The fact that the letter specifies that the team must “cease all development of the Aperion KOTOR reboot and will destroy all code and materials related to that project” means that whatever possibility for the work to be recovered for anything else is nonexistent unless anyone wants a lawsuit.
This isn’t the first time Lucasfilm has filed a cease and desist over a free fan project, as in 2016 there was an unlicensed remake of the unreleased Star Wars Battlefront 3 project titled Galaxy in Turmoil that had to be completely reworked. Lucasfilm seemed willing to license the project to the developers but due to EA’s contract with Lucasfilm, the project was forced to remove any connection to the Star Wars franchise. Recently however, Lucasfilm won a lawsuit over Sabacc, a mobile app based on the fictional card game of the same name in the Star Wars universe, an easy win for Lucasfilm due to the obvious nature of the copyright infringement all over the app.
While Apeiron may be gone, there are still plenty of Star Wars games on the horizon. From VR projects, to the Visceral Games’ former title that is now reportedly being worked on by EA Vancouver, and more, it is a good time to be a fan of Star Wars games.