Free Radical – Battlefront 3 cancelled by “psychopaths” at LucasArts

Friday, 4th May 2012 19:47 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Free Radical co-founder David Doak has told Eurogamer Star Wars: Battlefront 3 may not have been complete when it was cancelled by, but it was “very far from a car crash and had interesting ideas.”

Speaking with Eurogamer, Doak said everything seemed to be going well with development from 2006 until 2008, and the studio had a good working relationship with LucasArts – until he and co-founder Steve Ellis voiced concerns over milestone dates, and found out the game’s biggest supporter at LucasArts, president Jim Ward, was no longer with the firm.

“It was so ambitious because you had to populate an environment [on a large scale] so we had some tough nuts to crack,” said Doak. “We were continually trying to improve that, and it was going well, in fact it was going so well that we were going to make two, and they were letting us do some really interesting stuff with the mythology.

“Steve and I began thinking that the dates were looking a bit tight for the first one, so we thought we’d do what we had never done before and let LucasArts know our concerns. Because LucasArts had been so good to work with, we thought they’d see the sense of what we were saying. And that coincided with Jim Ward not being there one day.”

With Ward’s departure the atmosphere at LucasArts changed drastically, according to Doak, and the studio found itself surrounded by “psychopaths” with an ever-present lawyer.

“We still thought we’d done the right thing. And then we went from talking to people who were passionate about making games to talking to psychopaths who insisted on having an unpleasant lawyer in the room,” he said, adding the relationship with LucasArts continued to deteriorate to the point the firm stopped paying Free Radical for six months.

“My role at Free Radical meant that I was simultaneously involved in these unpleasant high level discussions with psychopaths who wanted to destroy us, and then the next day sitting with our dev staff at their desks trying to boost people’s morale,” he recalled. “Helping them to pass milestones that I knew would subsequently be manipulated to cause them to fail.

“It was the most depressing and pointless thing that I have ever been involved in. The dream job which I once loved had become a nightmarish torture.”

The entire feature is worth a read, and you should head on through the link and give it it’s due.

Footage of the cancelled game hit the net last month, and it’s posted here.



  1. The_Red

    Makes perfect sense. This is the same LucasArts that has been doing nothing but make crappy Star Wars games and kill the few interesting ones (Force Unleashed games say hello! So much potential, such a great technology and all that wasted in a mediocre game).

    #1 3 years ago
  2. WFMMK

    We need another Jedi Knight game!

    #2 3 years ago
  3. mojo

    to those psychpaths: i hope your testicles fall off.
    thanks in advance.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Yoshi

    And this is why people don’t like Lucas Art which then follows onto not likely G.Lucas

    #4 3 years ago
  5. DuckOfDestiny

    What ever happened to the studio that used to produce the likes of Monkey Island and Grim Fandango? :(

    #5 3 years ago
  6. DSB

    Kinda makes you think how awesome the games press would be if it wasn’t co-run with the publishers.

    “Fuckin’ axemurderers at Activision ate my baby, says dev”

    We’re missing out by having to listen to those corporate robots, big time.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. ACME

    Is it too late for a Kickstarter campaign? :D

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Phoenixblight


    Can’t do that. All they can do is make a game that is very similir without using anything related to Star Wars.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. ACME


    Yeap, unfortunately. Maybe Mass Wars or Star Effect! :D

    #9 3 years ago
  10. endgame

    I love this guy! :D But w/e we say or do guys I don’t think we’re going to change much. Look at Lucas Arts and look at the world we live in. They make Kinect titles now. Kinect titles that are bought by the mass of stupid that roams this planet. They’re not going to fail any time sooner. Not until people grow smart. Haha. People grow smart.. :) Right.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. manamana

    Fuck off Lucasarts! Nothing but shit in your anti-gamers-brains! This could’ve been *the* title that delivers on so many aspects and its a real pain to read how that shit went downhill, with more and more informations emerging. No really, get lost!

    #11 3 years ago
  12. GrimRita

    They speak the truth. Jim Ward was a top bloke and very excited to push the Star Wars brand forward. However, he left because certain things werent right there and once the new President took over, he canned so many projects, laid off lots of good people and instead turned to churning out shit.

    LucasArts go through this cycle every 5-6 years. Bring everything in house, fire lots of people – President leaves, outsources everything, fires lots of people…repeat until you are bored..

    #12 3 years ago
  13. NiceFellow

    But Kinect Star Wars is so clearly the way to go with the gaming side of the franchise…

    #13 3 years ago
  14. GwynbleiddiuM

    @13 i think I prefer SWTOR thank you.

    #14 3 years ago

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