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Free Radical offered Goldeneye return pre-administration, Battlefront 3 “pretty much done”

Thursday, 26th April 2012 11:54 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Before it entered into administration and was subsequently bought by Crytek, Free Radical was offered the chance to make a second Goldeneye game with Activision, studio co-founder Steve Ellis has said.

When it was founded in 1999, the studio consisted most of the development team who had worked on Goldeneye N64 at Rare.

“As you can imagine that was something that was very well-received by a lot of the staff, it was going to be a great project to work on,” said Ellis in a GamesIndustry International feature on the developer.

“But as we jumped at the opportunity it suddenly disappeared. We never got a real explanation about why it disappeared. I suspect it was to do with rights about which platforms a GoldenEye sequel could be released on.”

He continued: “[Activision] probably wanted it on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and then realised they’d been a bit premature with that and they could actually release it on those platforms. Things like that caused us to hold on a bit longer and perhaps not pursue other opportunities as aggressively because it really sounded like that was a possibility.”

The Activision offer came after the collapse in development on Star Wars Battlefront 3. While the name Battlefront 3 hadn’t been mentioned in the interview, Ellis said development was going so well that Lucasarts had offered it development duties on a sequel before the first game was released thanks to a relationship with then-LucasArts president Jim Ward and VP of product development Peter Hirschman that he described as the “best” the studio had seen.

“That was a big deal for us because it meant putting all our eggs in one basket. It was a critical decision – do we want to bet on LucasArts? And we chose to because things were going as well as they ever had.

“It was a project that looked like it would probably be the most successful thing we had ever done and they were asking us to make the sequel to it too. It seemed like a no-brainer.”

Ward and Hirschman left LA in 2008 after a dramatic shift from the company, which resulted in the dynamics of its relationship changing with Free Rad and subsequently the cancelation of both Battlefront 3 and an early in development sequel. Ellis said Battlefront 3 had actually been pretty much done bar QA.

“It was pretty much done, it was in final QA. It had been in final QA for half of 2008 it was just being fixed for release.”

Early development footage of Battlefront 3 has appeared on YouTube since its cancellation.

Free Radical entered administration in 2008 before being bought out by Crytek in early 2009. Its now been rebranded as Crytek UK, and is currently working on Homefront 2 for THQ. A TimeSplitters sequel is also thought to be in the works.

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9 Comments

  1. Johnny Cullen

    That feature’s a great read. Give it a look.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. daytripper

    Felt sick reading that, what the hell is going on at LucasArts

    #2 3 years ago
  3. matirishhh

    LucasArts might have lost a billion for that stupid decision. Some heads should roll at LucarArts as they used to be such an amazing company.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. G1GAHURTZ

    Free Radical haven’t made a game worth playing for the last 12 years.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. GrimRita

    @3 – The changes were made when Jim Ward left LucasArts. The new head tit, cancelled alot of projects, fired a majority of staff(a few of my friends, who have worked there for years were in the firing line) and now LucasArts are looking to bring development in house – as we know, that never goes well.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. aseddon130

    Timesplitters was a decent series but that Star Wars Battlefront series has always been rather bad, i remember being pretty excited for a Battlefield-style Star Wars game and bought the PC version of the first game day 1 and while i got a bit of enjoyment out of it, it was pretty disappointing. I never even looked at the sequels and the PSP games as they could never be as good as they should have been.

    Since they will never do another Goldeneye they should just do a new Timesplitters, it would be nice to see that series back. Maybe next generation … maybe?

    #6 3 years ago
  7. absolutezero

    Second Sight was fucking fantastic, I think of that as the last truely great game that Free Radical produced. That and the Timesplitters series.

    That was a pretty long time ago, im not even sure they have the ability to create something as good as those now.

    Good luck to them.

    Also could not give less of a fuck about Star Wars outside of the Kinect monstrosity.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. matirishhh

    #5 Yes I know that. I was on about changes to be made right now. Lucasarts need to look back and see what they did right as anything that they do right now is not even decent….It’s such a shame they actually cancelled so many projects….I bet someone built a nice house for this….

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Charlie Sheen

    lucas you fucking cunts wait until i see George Lucas and stab the shit out of him fucking yaarrrrrrrr

    #9 3 years ago

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