In 2005 when BioWare was really coming into their own they released Jade Empire, an Xbox exclusive that took players to an exciting and magical land of moral choices and element manipulation. The fan loved game was excellently received but never continued. After nearly ten years many fans are left to wonder, just where is Jade Empire 2?
The magical land of spirits, demons, and RPG action in Jade Empire were inspired from mythical representations of ancient China; a setting full of potential and mostly unexplored by the rest of the gaming world. The title helped to pave the way for future endeavors by BioWare but it seems unlike their publisher Electronic Arts (EA) to not cash in continuing the series.
Gamers that are also fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender or The Legend of Korra have been lacking a competent Avatar game. If you ever wanted a game that allowed you to truly become the type of Avatar you wanted, Jade Empire easily one of the closest experiences in gaming, (sorry actual Avatar games, better luck next time) you can bend elements, make moral choices, and level yourself as you see fit while helping (or not helping) those in need of assistance throughout the land.
Those that never played Jade Empire and want to will be going back to a game released nearly 10 years ago. Originally, BioWare released the game only for the Xbox in 2005, but in 2007 it made was released on the PC. However, that doesn’t mean it is going to be bad. In fact, when Jade Empire came out it received amazing reviews, Xplay gave it a 4 out of 5 and IGN even gave it a 9.9 out of 10.
Wait, if Jade Empire was received so well by fans and critics why did it not see a sequel? For starters, the game wrapped up its ending and concluded itself nicely. Also, BioWare was busy with trying to get Mass Effect ready to launch with the Xbox 360, (which it failed to do). Not to mention, EA bought BioWare in 2007. Add onto the two biggest supporters of Jade Empire, Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuck, left BioWare in 2012.
Could Muzyka and Zeshuck have been working on a Jade Empire 2 before they left? This is where things get muddled. After the release of Jade Empire Muzkya said, “BioWare definitely plans to continue the Jade Empire franchise.” That sounds promising, but when addressed in 2009 by BioWare designer Mike Laidlaw it seemed the team was too preoccupied. “Jade Empire is a staff favorite, and a lot of us love it, so we’d love to revisit it at some point. But right now, we are very focused on Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2.”
According to the Linkedln account of one of the BioWare members Jade Empire 2 was one of the games listed for 360/PS3/PC that had been worked on. As the evidence begins to stack, it unfortunatley looks like the prayed-for sequel wasn’t finished and when asked about the matter directly, EA refused to comment.
In the end, an offical announcement of Jade Empire 2 was never made. When Muzyka was still with the team he said that they were “looking for the right way to deploy it,” sadly it looks like they never found it. EA could still do something with the IP, maybe create a prequel or find a way to begin anew, but nothing is concrete. For now, fans will be left to ask, “Where is Jade Empire 2?” in hopes of some response from BioWare or EA.
Opinion By Garrett Jutte
Twitter – Garrett Jutte