BioWare's Jade Empire is free on Origin

Jade Empire

For one reason or another, Jade Empire is the one BioWare RPG that didn't really catch fire. It went over well with reviewers, but just couldn't find enough of an audience to merit a sequel. Perhaps that will change in the relatively near future, as it is now free on Origin.

As is always the case with Origin's "On the House" giveaways, the Jade Empire freebie is a limited time offer, and it's for the full version of the game—technically the "Special Edition," which is what publisher 2K called the PC version of the game that came out a couple years after the original Xbox release. It features enhancements including improved graphics, new monsters, enemies, and fighting styles, better combat AI, a new playable character, and other bits of goodness you can read about at the Jade Empire Wiki.

And it's free, and yours to keep until the end of days (or end of Origin) as long as you snag it before the offer ends. When that will happen is anybody's guess; EA doesn't specify a wrap-up date on OTH deals, which I imagine is supposed to make it all that much more exciting and fun.

Despite my optimism in the opening paragraph, I don't really expect that this will ultimately represent the first step toward a Jade Empire sequel. It's been more than ten years since it was released, after all, and between Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and Star Wars, I think BioWare's hands are pretty full these days. Then again, dare to dream, right? Even if that dream is only, "Gosh, wouldn't it be nice to play a BioWare RPG that isn't part of a major, heavily-sequelized franchise?"

Get your Jade Empire freebie here.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.