Although much of the focus around BioWare right now is on the upcoming Mass Effect: Andromeda, fans of the storied developer have not forgotten some of the studio’s other projects. One in particular, Jade Empire, has been on fans’ minds ever since the first game launched 11 years ago, and despite some bad news they have remained hopeful that a sequel might one day surface.
As it turns out, the folks at BioWare are equally as optimistic when it comes to a Jade Empire sequel. While speaking to Game Informer, BioWare Creative Director Mike Laidlaw proclaimed that, “Jade as a sequel is never dead.”
Obviously, BioWare has nothing to announce at this time concerning a Jade Empire 2 – much of the studio’s focus is on showing off more of Mass Effect: Andromeda – but this short quote should be enough to keep the spirit alive. And apparently that spirit lives on in quite a few of the BioWare devs, as well:
“There are a lot of people still at the studio who worked on that game and want to get back to it. I think one of the advantages to getting back to it after a long time is not only nostalgia is a very powerful feeling in people, but skipping a generation of hardware is actually really exciting because it feels like it’s not an evolution. It’s a revolution of what you can do, and I think that’s the kind of thing that brings people. What if we were to revolutionize Jade Empire and brought it back in that regard? That’s the kind of talk that still happens around the studio.”
For those who might not be familiar, Jade Empire was one of BioWare’s first major RPGs not tied to a licensed property (e.g. not a Star Wars game). Its conceit put players in control of a martial arts student and set them on a quest to become a master while stopping a nefarious plot along the way. It wasn’t the first to do so, but Jade Empire also put in place many of the systems, features, and design approaches that have become trademarks of BioWare, including romance options, player choices, and multiple endings.
Truly, Jade Empire was ahead of its time for an RPG and that’s part of the reason fans still hold out hope for a sequel. It was an experiment that turned out much better than most could have imagined, and, in turn, informed a lot of the design decisions for BioWare moving forward.
Unfortunately, though Jade Empire was popular with critics and gamers alike, the title never got the follow-up that many thought it deserved. Instead BioWare focused its efforts on new RPG IPs Dragon Age and Mass Effect, which turned out to be a smart idea in the long run. Still, many wonder what a Jade Empire 2 could have looked like, and those same people hope that BioWare might one day resurrect the series. Clearly, there are some developers at BioWare who hope for the same, but with Andromeda, a new BioWare IP, and presumably another Dragon Age in the works, it’s hard to imagine when the studio will find the time for Jade Empire 2.
Source: Game Informer