Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 3 still hasn't happened yet, and it's probably not going to. It's a grim reality for fans of the series which first made its debut way back in 2003 as a sleeper-hit RPG title developed by BioWare. While the game certainly had expectations pre-release - it was being developed by the studio famous for Baldur's Gate, after all - it wasn't expected to be the truly incredible experience it ended up encompassing. For many, Knights of the Old Republic is, 16 years removed from its initial launch, still the best Star Wars game ever made.
Knights of the Old Republic moved 270,000 copies in its first two weeks of release, and LucasArts quickly decided to cash in on a sequel developed by Obsidian Entertainment, who would later go on to be famous for the widely-praised Fallout: New Vegas. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II was also a critical and commercial success when it launched in 2004, and it even tied in some of the first game's plot to a brand new cast and crew before leaving players with a cliffhanger that needed resolving in the series' presumed third entry. The problem? That entry never came, and 15 years removed from a mainline entry into the Knights of the Old Republic franchise, fans are still just as excited about the prospect of getting a sequel.
Unfortunately, there's an entire slew of reasons as to why fans haven't gotten a Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 3 - and in the wake of some more recent developments, why they never will. While some of them are commonly known, like EA's reluctance to pursue a sequel and the fact that BioWare already greenlit one and scrapped it, others are on the periphery of public knowledge but remain major factors. Here's a few.
A Knights of the Old Republic Sequel Already Exists - Sort Of
One of the biggest hurdles standing in the way of a Knights of the Old Republic sequel is that one already kind of exists in the form of The Old Republic, BioWare's MMO spiritual successor to the series that was released in 2011. That game takes place roughly 300 years after the Knights of the Old Republic II cliffhanger, and instead of ignoring it, the game actually delves pretty deep into the narrative that fans likely would've gotten should the franchise have gotten its third proper instalment.
In The Old Republic, the story of Darth Revan is fleshed out with bits and pieces available in different questlines. In 2014, though, BioWare launched a full-blown expansion entirely centered around the character called Shadow of Revan. In that expansion, Revan returns as the main antagonist to the story of the MMO, attempting to conquer both Jedi and Sith factions in an attempt to unify known space under one rule. There's a lot of questions that were left unanswered when it comes to Revan's return, though, and given the 300 year timeskip, there's the potential for a lot of storytelling to get fans to bridge the gap between Knights of the Old Republic II and The Old Republic, so all hope isn't lost - it's just very, very faint.
Anthem's Failure Will Dictate BioWare's Future for Years
More recently, however, a new obstacle in the potential for Knights of the Old Republic 3's development has arisen. BioWare's Anthem has had about as bad a launch period as any AAA title in recent memory, and things have only gotten worse the longer time passes and the developer's attempts to fix it fail. Before Anthem, BioWare's most recent title had been Mass Effect: Andromeda, another game that was a disappointment, though not nearly on the same scale as the one that would follow. To say that the company has had a rough few years - which does downplay the involvement of EA to some extent - would be an understatement. Ultimately, though, two misses in a row means BioWare's reputation as a studio that can do no wrong has dissipated.
That's not necessarily a bad thing. It could mean that BioWare doesn't get asked to attempt these ambitious reinventions of the studio's bread and butter, and by all accounts, it appears the developer has doubled down on Dragon Age 4 to ensure the next release is a successful one. Unfortunately, though, it does appear as though BioWare will need to focus on "safe" development choices for the next few years to help build up consumer and investor confidence once more, which means that something as ambitious and risky as a Knights of the Old Republic 3 is likely off the table.
Clearly, there's still fan demand for a Knights of the Old Republic 3. Fans still discuss the series in reverence today, and it continues to rank highly on best Star Wars games lists whenever they crop up. It does appear, though, due to a number of different circumstances, that players may never get a Knights of the Old Republic 3 after all, which begs the question - if fans could guarantee a sequel to one of the most popular RPGs of all time but it meant having Jar Jar Binks get his own trilogy, would they do it? The fandom might be in cursed monkey paw territory or bust with Knights of the Old Republic 3, after all.