A mysterious 'third party' forbidding an embattled studio from bringing an essential Star Wars mod to consoles has left the dev fending off a gamer class action lawsuit


As reported by Axios, developer Aspyr has argued that a class action lawsuit brought against it over the cancellation of a Restored Content DLC for the Nintendo Switch version of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 - The Sith Lords should be dismissed. The DLC was announced in June of 2022 before getting canceled after a year of radio silence, with Aspyr offering customers a free game to make amends.

Aspyr has been in the news recently as the original developer of the Knights of the Old Republic 1 remake, which was taken off the developer's hands for unknown reasons and now seems to be in limbo. Before that, Aspyr cut its teeth on ports of classic LucasArts Star Wars games to modern consoles and PC storefronts. The company was behind the Steam version of KotOR 2 in 2012, and released the Nintendo Switch port at issue here ten years later.

The Sith Lords Restored Content Mod (TSLRCM) represents a major hurdle in any non-PC port of KotOR 2. Storied RPG studio Obsidian's first outing is a cult classic, but its brisk 14-month development cycle left notable gaps in the game's story due to cut content. TSLRCM's added cutscenes, dialogue, and even entire quests, all rebuilt from assets left in KotOR 2's files, help round out the experience, and I'd call it essential⁠—since the mod's initial launch in '09, I've never played KotOR 2 without it.

That's what made Aspyr's announcement of a TSLRCM DLC made in collaboration with the original mod team so exciting⁠—it would level the playing field between Aspyr's Switch port and the PC version of the game, and it also felt like some well-deserved recognition of the TSLRCM team's dedication to the game.

After a year with no news from Aspyr, the company announced that the DLC would no longer be coming. As noted by Axios, Aspyr co-CEO Ted Saloch stated in a court filing that "Aspyr believed it would be able to release the content, but a third party objected and Aspyr was unable to do so." As recompense, Aspyr offered customers who had purchased KotOR 2 on Switch their pick of a free game from the company's catalogue, including the Steam version of KotOR 2 where customers could access TSLRCM.

Aspyr declined to comment on the matter further to IGN, but the third party in question does not seem to be the original TSLRCM mod team. A member of the KotOR 2 mod scene with the handle Sith_Holocron stated on Reddit that "The TSLRCM team won't have any updates for you so please don't message them for any information on the status of the DLC. They are in the same boat that we all are."

At the time of the DLC's original cancellation, Star Wars-focused YouTuber, 100% Star Wars, speculated that it could have been LucasArts or parent company Disney balking at giving a fan project like TSLRCM some kind of official blessing, but take that with a grain of salt⁠—the identity of Aspyr's mysterious third party remains unconfirmed.

Malachai Mickelonis sued Aspyr in July, citing California consumer protection laws, and was subsequently joined by 17 more plaintiffs in a class action. Aspyr, for its part, has requested that the court toss out the case entirely, arguing that "All [KotOR 2 Switch owners] were offered a replacement product worth more than the one they purchased" Aspyr also notes that Mickelonis in particular took advantage of this offer.

Unfulfilled promises always sting, and I was considering getting KotOR 2 Switch myself on the promise of its Restored Content DLC. All the same, the free game offer strikes me as fair recompense⁠—as my coworker, PCG executive editor Tyler Wilde, put it: "In this case, I'd just take the free game and go have a sandwich or something." Indeed, between this story and the baffling saga of the Knights of the Old Republic 1 remake, the folks at Aspyr may have been put through enough at this point.