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We're quickly approaching twelve years since the original Jade Empire was released back in April of 2005, and over those years, BioWare has shared a handful of teasers indicating that they're interested in - and have even began work on - a Jade Empire sequel. It's a long time to wait for any sequel, but before you totally give up on such an idea, you'll want to take in this brief article-style interview on Game Informer with BioWare's Mike Laidlaw and Aaryn Flynn that rekindles some hope:
A small team tried several different approaches to improve the combat and take the franchise in a new direction. But by the time they landed on a workable idea, studio heads Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk made the tough call to shut down the project to focus resources on its upcoming fantasy and sci-fi offerings, which became the successful Dragon Age and Mass Effect franchises. More than 11 years later, the desire return to Jade Empire still burns brightly in some of those who worked on the original.
"Jade as a sequel is never dead," said BioWare creative director Mike Laidlaw, who worked as a lead writer on the original.
"There are a lot of people still at the studio who worked on that game and want to get back to it," said BioWare GM Aaryn Flynn. "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."