While BioWare knows there’s a fanbase crying out for a Jade Empire sequel, the studio’s not yet committed to a follow-up… although Dragon Age’s creative director, Mike Laidlaw, admits the developer “certainly had some plans” for Jade Empire 2.
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“I don’t wanna say that there isn’t a passion to build it, because we haven’t built it… it’s more that you need passion, you need talent, you need the right people, and the right team… and then capacity, right?” Laidlaw tells Josiah Renaudin inThe 1099 podcast.
“Jade Empire 2 was talked about. It was certainly considered. And here’s the thing […] In a universe where there can be a Beyond Good and Evil 2 14 years later… I think it’s very possible there could still be a Jade 2.”
Wait, wait, wait – don’t get too excited yet. Laidlaw goes on to admit that despite this, the team that brought the original Jade Empire to life is currently “fairly distracted” by Dragon Age.
“If someone said to me hey, what could you do with Jade Empire 2, I have an answer – I have a very clear answer in my head. But I also recognise that the majority of the leadership of Jade Empire 2 – the people who are really the passionate vision holders – are all on Dragon Age, right? […] And Dragon Age is fairly distracting. It’s a pretty full-time job.
“Someone somewhere’s going to write an angry think piece saying, ‘Aha! Dragon Age killed Jade Empire!’ But it’s like… no. But a lot of the folks that I think still have really fond memories of Jade – and kind of know it in their bones – are still pretty actively engaged in working on your Inquisitions which again take up a hell of a lot of time. It’s no secret we’re doing something with DA. I can’t talk about what, but we’re certainly involved in something…”
“That said, I’d be a fool to say that we weren’t considering [Jade Empire 2],” says Laidlaw. “We certainly had some plans for a [Jade Empire 2] which I’m loathe to talk about but… it existed.”