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Star Wars: Battlefront 3 was 99% finished, says ex-Free Radical dev

Friday, 30th November 2012 10:54 GMT By Dave Cook

Star Wars: Battlefront 3 is a sought-after game among fans of the originals, and all of the leaked gameplay footage and rumours can do nothing to satisfy the itch. Free Radical co-founder Steve Ellis has revealed that the game was almost done before it got canned.

Speaking with gamesTM magazine – via NowGamer – “It felt like we had turned a corner as a company,” explained Ellis. “We had had a dark period during the development of Haze, we’d had problems with our tech and we’d had some growing pains as we expanded to the size we needed to be, but it really felt like we were finally coming out of the other side intact.

“We were making a game with very high ambition. You could start a battle on the ground, jump into a ship and fly into space, continuing on to dock in a capital ship and continue the battle there. We’d had to build all kinds of new tech and overcome numerous technical challenges and limitations but we had done it.

“We had a 99% finished game that just needed bug fixing for release. It should have been our most successful game, but it was cancelled for financial reasons. I’m happy that people did at least get to see what we were working on and share the team’s enthusiasm for it.”

The question is then: why did it get canned? Earlier this week we reported that Free Radical found it impossible to sign a publishing deal for Timesplitters 4. Check out what the ex-studio employees had to say here.

Thanks GAF.

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17 Comments

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  1. monkeygourmet

    Please can someone explain why cancelling a game that was 99% done is good business sense?!

    I mean, it was the 3rd game in the series so it already has a following plus its Star Wars for Yoda’s sake!!!

    It advertises itself to a point. This was cancelled but the crappy Lord of the Rings battlefront game wasn’t?

    Seems crazy to me!

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Digital Bamboo

    They didn’t want to steal the spotlight from Kinect Star Wars?

    #2 2 years ago
  3. TheBlackHole

    No, it’s much simpler than that – it wasn’t 99% done at all.

    If it was that close to completion, it would have been in crunch QA leading up to a release date. A release date wasn’t even announced, meaning it was at least 6+ months away from release, probably more.

    They may have had a working engine and enough content to make a trailer (which never materialised), but a finished game they did not have.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. roadkill

    I agree with TheBlackHole. That guy is lying.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. The_Red

    @3
    Maybe.
    Or maybe, George Lucas saw the game and suddenly realized that “OMG! There could be something decent in the modern Star Wars universe! That is unacceptable. Cancel it ASAP and start working on a Star Wars Dance prototype”.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. daytripper

    Can’t believe this game never made retail, ridiculous, a huge franchise with a major online component, seems like a no brainer….

    #6 2 years ago
  7. monkeygourmet

    @6

    Yarp!

    #7 2 years ago
  8. GrimRita

    If its 99% done, jump on Kickstarter, grab some funding to reskin and call it something else, especially if it was going to be ‘that’ good.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. DarkElfa

    @3, I think you’re talking out of your ass man. When is the last time you made a triple A title for a company that keeps things under wraps like it’s their only job to do so.

    Lucas Arts made several bad, bad decisions prior to their last restructuring. If you want to suggest that it’s possible he’s fabricating the truth, fine, but don’t act like you have insider knowledge about it and you know for a fact.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Uncontested

    Its called exaggerating, since you don’t like the phrase lying apparently. 99% done is well past beta..

    This game never even made it into alpha testing..

    TheBlackHole is right here. Don’t be all butt hurt that the truth isn’t what you want to hear.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Paranormal Pett

    I agree with TheBlackHole. I don’t believe for a second that a game 99% complete would get pulled. It makes no financial or business sense. Not even Lucas Arts would put millions into a game and pull out at the last moment. A game that close to completion would have had a release date, and would also have a lot of PR around it, there was nothing official.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. OlderGamer

    Even if the game was only 30% done. SWBF is one of the sleeper IPs right now. If done right right it could selling multi millions easy. Even now I think anyone would be out of their right minds not to make the game. When I like to talk about handling IPs right and cranking them out too fast, waiting for the public to want it before you toss it out there. Let it cook a little…well this game is over due.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Phoenixblight

    @8

    They can’t do that. All of the assets while under LUcas arts is owned by Lucasarts from the models down to the comments in the engine’s source code.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. TheBlackHole

    @9

    It’s not unlikely that someone here would have insider info. Everyone in this industry has contacts in other companies. Friends talk. Also, devs like to talk to other gamers on popular game sites, like this one. I’m sure plenty regular posters work for games companies.

    Incidentally, I don’t have inside info in this case, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to deduce this from the info that is out there.

    “When is the last time you made a triple A title for a company that keeps things under wraps like it’s their only job to do so.”

    Sorry, I’ve no idea what you’re getting at.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. DarkElfa

    Finishing a game is not like being ready to launch. For all we know he could have meant all the assets were done, not that they had began beta runs even.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Astral Frost

    Haze is a blight on the world of gaming. I mean, Haze sold like 800,000 copies, but it still wasn’t the big success that they needed. Going with Sony was a stupid idea in the first place. They should have just done Battlefront.

    This 99% completion thing just pours salt on the wound of an already bleeding community of Battlefront lovers.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Gekidami

    Came across a follow up to this:
    http://www.gamespot.com/news/former-lucasarts-employee-on-why-star-wars-battlefront-iii-failed-6400936

    Lucas Arts employee says the “99%” claim is BS, calls RF a scam company.

    #17 2 years ago