Aspyr’s port of the 2003 BioWare classic RPG Jade Empire is expected to launch on iOS soon, but, due to some confusion, no one is exactly sure when that will be.
Plenty of evidence is pointing to an imminent release of Jade Empire for iOS, but nothing concrete has been confirmed by any official sources. Aspyr, the company that brought Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy to the iOS, has completed their port of Jade Empire, which was confirmed by Touch Arcade who had some hands-on time with the game. However, despite word that the game would release today, it has not.
This release date was further supported by a trailer released on IGN, which teased both the iOS and Mac versions of the game and announced both to be “available now” even though they obviously are not. Cue the confusion. Now, most outlets are expecting the game to be released soon, as opposed to today. But there is no official word from Aspyr as to what is causing the delay. What the company did do was post on Twitter about a “mystery game” launching today on iOS, which could very well be Jade Empire, but so far nothing has been announced.
Jade Empire was an action role-playing game developed by BioWare and published by Microsoft Game Studios that released for Xbox back in 2005. The game itself was centered on exploring the mystical and exciting world of Jade Empire while honing martial arts skills and engaging with the interesting populace. There was a lot of depth in customizing characters, which ranged from looks to various martial arts styles. It was a fantastic game that saw a good level of popularity, though not quite as much as KOTR despite having many similarities. In fact, a remake of KOTR is currently in the works by fan collective Apeiron.
Jade Empire was popular enough to see several ports, however. A Windows version was released in North America in 2007, and a Special Edition was released on Xbox 360 later in 2008. The Special Edition version is the variant that will be released in the upcoming iOS and Mac ports. Additionally, last month it was reported that Jade Empire is coming to EA’s Origin Access Vault this summer. A sequel was discussed briefly some time ago, but that did not seem to pan out, unfortunately.
At this point everyone is playing the waiting game to see which happens first: the port’s actual release or word from Aspyr on the situation. Either way, everything seems to indicate to a release in the very near future, but without any word from the publisher it is all speculation. Those dying to get their hands on the port will have to channel the patience of a Kung Fu master until something new comes to light.