It's been seven years since BioWare released the action RPG Jade Empire. Ever since then, fans have been holding out hope for a sequel. Unfortunately, BioWare hasn't made any decisions on that front yet.

"I hope someday we do return to the Jade Empire, but currently we have no plans," said BioWare community manager Chris Priestly in a question-and-answer session with Reddit users.

Jade Empire takes place in a fantasy world modeled after ancient China. The player is a martial arts practitioner who learns a variety of magical abilities as the game progresses. The fast-paced beat'em up combat, along with its deep, branching story, earned the game strong reviews on release. The campaign was admittedly on the short side and the combat was maybe too easy but those were problems easily fixed in a sequel.

BioWare has often said that they're open to a sequel. Last fall, studio co-founder Ray Muzyka stated that the company is very passionate about the setting and they've talked about it often over the years. He added, though, that they were "looking for the right way to deploy it." Guess they still haven't found the right way yet.

I try not to read too much into studio's professions of love for their lesser-known titles. It doesn't cost them anything to say, "Oh yeah, we'd love to make a sequel to Underselling Game With Solid Reviews." DICE and EA have been talking about Mirror's Edge 2 for years now. While it's nice that BioWare is speaking about Jade Empire in a positive light, we shouldn't get too excited until they actually announce something.

The principle challenge for BioWare will be finding the time to actually make Jade Empire. They've already got two single-player RPG franchises, Mass Effect and Dragon Age, that eat up most of their time. Considering ME is a proven blockbuster franchise now, it's unlikely that BioWare would develop a new Jade Empire instead of, say, ME4. Furthermore, BioWare has already started work on the next Dragon Age.

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