Its been a pretty crazy few months for Star Wars, no?
Lucasfilm has been bought out by the Mouse, Clone Wars faced cancellation on Cartoon Network as a result of the new management, Star Wars: The Old Republic began its decent, and eventually stepped into free-to-play territory, and we have movie sequels in development.
As all of this LucasArts talk swirls, Steve Ellis, co-founder of Free Radical — the studio charged with the now-cancelled Battlefront 3 — is coming out into the spotlight with more information about the long defunct project.
In an interview, Ellis revealed that the game was “99% finished,” before it was canned due to a lack of funds. This financial crisis eventually led to the studio packing up and closing shop. Free Radical was bought out by the German Crytek, and is currently serving as Crytek UK, where they are developing Crysis 3.
This was, at least in part, due to the dismal reception of Free Radical’s 2008 title, Haze. As ex-project manager Martin Wakely explained, the relationship between the studio and LucasArts became “distant” and strained due to new leadership in the Lucas camp and the bad press that dogged Free Radical.
Ellis is pleased, however, that about an hour of preliminary game play was leaked back in July and was met with positive feedback. Fans got an opportunity to see what the studio had put their hearts into creating, bugs and all. That footage has been stifled at all costs by LucasArts, citing copyright.
Still it seems like a waste, that such an ambitious and anticipated game was so close to being finished. Although the folks at LucasArts did try to shop it around, at the end of the day, for whatever reason, they decided to shelf it. There is no word on a possible release of a finished product.