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Star War: Battlefront 3 was ‘mediocre’, 99% complete claim is ‘bullshit’, says source

Tuesday, 4 December 2012 10:54 GMT By Dave Cook

Star Wars: Battlefront 3 was a mediocre game that was around 75% complete when it was binned, an anonymous ex-LucasArts employee has revealed, stating that the game was canned as developer Free Radical “Continually missed dates and deliveries.” The statement follows claims from Free Radical co-founder Steve Ellis that the game was 99% complete and was binned for financial reasons. Get both sides of the story below.

Ellis made his claim last month, in which he stated, “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.”

However, an anonymous ex-LucasArts tipster has told Gamespot that the Star Wars: Battlefront 3 project was mediocre at best, that Free Radical “misrepresented” its progress on the project, and that the game “tested poorly with no focus on action”, suggesting that the title was not living up to LucasArts’ expectations. The studio’s difficult time with PS3 shooter Haze caused the publisher to grow even more wary of Free Radical’s abilities.

The source stated, “This 99 percent complete stuff is just bullshit. A generous estimate would be 75 percent of a mediocre game.

“We were desperate for a next-gen follow-up to Battlefront (the claim that the project was sabotaged for financial reasons is ludicrous. The franchise was a huge money maker at the time). When Free Radical continually missed dates and deliveries, [LucasArts] made many ‘good will’ whole or partial milestone payments to keep the project going.

“At this point, I felt that Free Radical was akin to a Ponzi scheme where time and budget from the next game was being used to finish the previous, late, title.”

The project apparently collapsed when it became clear that Free Radical would miss the game’s April 2009 launch, compounded further by staff cuts. The studio closed shortly after the game was eventually cancelled.

Eurogamer reports that Ellis replied swiftly with his version of events, and revealed that LucasArts already had Free Radical in the frame for a fourth Battlefront title, stressing again that the Battlefront 3 was near completion.

“I want to set the record straight because a lot of people worked very hard on BF3 (and BF4 [which LucasArts had already asked Free Radical to plan]) and they don’t deserve their efforts to be distorted in this way.

“From the personal tone of the comments it is clear that the source is someone whom I personally dealt with. It’s unfortunate that they are making this kind of criticism while choosing to remain anonymous.

“In 2008, LucasArts was a company with problems. The entire management team who were there when we started working together were replaced in the first half of 2008. They made mass redundancies on their internal teams. They cancelled a number of projects. Then our milestones started being rejected.

“We were told (and it seemed wholly believable given the aforementioned facts) that they could not afford to continue development of both BF3 and its sequel, so they negotiated the termination of BF4, then later BF3. There was no ‘termination for breach.’

“If the problem really was that we had failed to meet their desperate need for a new Battlefront game, you might ask why after all this time they still haven’t released a new Battlefront game using a different developer. I can only speculate.”

There you have it folks: two sides of a rather long and complicated story. What’s your opinion? Let us know below, and be sure to check out this leaked Star Wars: Battlefront 3 gameplay footage from earlier this year. What do you make of it?

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12 Comments

  1. stevenhiggster

    I would have to side with Ellis on this one and the fact that, like he pointed out, the “LucasArts” dude chose to remain anonymous makes his claims all the harder to believe.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. viralshag

    I disagree. Canning a game at 99% seems rather unbelievable. It has a following, it would have sold something, they would have got some money back.

    I find it very hard to believe the game was really that close to finished.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. stevenhiggster

    I’ve read similar stories from the likes of David Doak and other ex free radicals. And the fact that the LucasArts guy hid behind anonymity makes him just sound like an angry fanboy. I remember having read similar stories from other devs working with LucasArts too and no I don’t have links. I’m pretty sure the David Doak interview was in OPM a while back.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. absolutezero

    Lucasarts have a history of being utter bastards to everyone they work with, so why is it all that surprising that one of them is acting like a twat now?

    I’m it was scrapped because they were far more invested in The Force Unleashed at the time. Which funnily enough was terrible!

    #4 2 years ago
  5. manamana

    Fact is: they screwed up a great IP, big-time!

    Most companies are on the lookout for new IPs and they are sitting on *Star Wars* labeled and solid IPs (KOTOR, REPUBLIC COMMANDO, SWBF) which could be great on modern consoles and nobody seems to care at LucasArts …

    I just don’t get it.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. roadkill

    “Star War: Battlefront 3 was ‘mediocre’, 99% complete claim is ‘bullshit’, says source” Well doooh!

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Fin

    Yeah, I don’t believe any publisher would get a game to 99% then cancel it.

    Just because someone chooses to remain anonymous doesn’t make them wrong.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. DeyDoDoughDontDeyDough

    I love Star War.

    Love it.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. DSB

    @7 I agree. I’m pretty sure that’s accurate. And there are a million reasons why someone would want to stay anonymous when it comes to an internet argument.

    The ironic thing is that The Force Unleashed was worse in terms of delay and quality. It’s pretty much a textbook example of how you should never, ever, try to make a game, but for some reason that was allowed to survive under LucasArts own roof.

    They can hardly make the claim that they actually knew what they were doing.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Christopher Jack

    QA, bug testing, etc is a huge process, much more than just 1% of a games development. When people say 99%, they aren’t always being literal, he probably meant that they completed their final build.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. apollyonbob

    @8 If you think about it, there really was only one war just repeated constantly.

    @7 Yeah, I don’t like “anonymous sources” myself. I mean, I’m sure sure LucasArts was totally fucking things up … but there’s basically no way this “99%” claim is anywhere near close to accurate haha. Easy to believe someone speaking common sense.

    @10 Again, if they had really completed their final build, LA would’ve outsourced finishing it, and released it. If they were really that close, LucasArts wouldn’t have just sat on the code. These are the guys that released “Star Wars: Masters of Teräs Käsi” after all.

    Even if LA was too broke to print discs, they couldn’t release digitally? Come on.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. DeyDoDoughDontDeyDough

    @11 You make a good case.

    #12 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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  • The Last of Us: Left Behind goes standalone in May on PS3, PS4

    Naughty Dog has announced that The Last of US DLC Left Behind will be released as a standalone experience next month. It can be purchased for both PlayStation 3 and PS4 through the PS Store and a two-hour demo of the Factions multiplayer will also be made available. “The Left Behind standalone game will have […]

  • EA’s annual E3 press conference takes place on June 15

    Electronic Arts has announced its annual E3 2015 press conference will take place the day before the show kicks off on June 15. EA, Microsoft, Sony and Ubisoft always hold press events the day before E3 officially starts, so this isn’t any surprise, really. The presser, dubbed “Live to Play”, will last one hour and […]

  • Steam exchange rate mix-up closes down community market

    The Steam community market was buggered up big time today after a mix-up with currency conversion had items selling from practically nothing, to millions of dollars. PC Gamer picked up on the news after a thread on Reddit appeared with screenshots depicting just how silly things were getting over there. The currency exchange rate data […]

  • Britney Spears signs five-year deal with Glu for new mobile game

    Pop star Britney Spears has signed a five-year deal with Glu mobile for a new, untitled game. The mobile game will feature her “voice, likeness, and creative influence,” and is due for release sometime next year. Glu also signed a deal with Katy Perry in February, so expect a game revolving around her to hit […]

  • Large Activision publisher sale on Steam discounts Call of Duty, Prototype, more

    Activision has put the majority of its library on sale through Steam this weekend, and if other titles weren’t included, it could be referred to as a Call of Duty sale. Below are a few standouts. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Gold Edition 25% off Call of Duty: Ghosts 67% off Call of Duty: […]

  • The Dota 2 International Compendium is out, second Stretch Goal almost complete

    The International Compendium has been released for Dota 2 with the prize pool sitting at a lovely $1,917,155 as of press time. Valve said over the weekend to expect the International Compendium to drop sometime this week. As with previous years, those who purchase the Compendium can earn rewards by completing challenges, making predictions and by […]

  • If permadeath RTS games are up your alley, check out indie project XO

    The Square Enix Collective showcases projects for a limited time to help drum up community support and potential backers, and RTS title XO from Jumpdrive Studios is worth taking a look at. The teaser trailer is fairly brief, but if you visit the page for XO over at the Square Enix Collective, it’s understandable – […]

  • GTA 5 PC patch disables mods. Here’s how to get them working again

    A new patch for the PC version of GTA 5 was released yesterday and, as it turns out, has wiped the ability to use mods with the game. The wasn’t great news for some players, but YouTuber taltigolt has already figured out how to play the PC version with mods after installing the patch. Matt […]

  • Xbox One ad stealth launches a mysterious Halo 5 competition

    A new Xbox One advert released today isn’t as straightforward as it appears. The trailer has a couple of pretty conspicuous ‘glitches’ throughout, and members of NeoGAF wasted no time in breaking it down. The first item of interest is the screen from the hunt the signal site, which displays an error message when accessed […]

  • Battlefield 4 Jungle map improved with latest update

    DICE LA has updated the Battlefield 4 Jungle map, adding more foliage and a new route. As demonstrated by Westie in the video above, the map now has the kind of foliage you’d expect in the jungle, helping to conceal infantry players. The update also tweaks positions of objective points and has added a concealed […]

  • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate free DLC pack for May includes Metroid and Mega Man armour

    The May DLC pack for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate boasts some big ticket items, including Metroid, Street Fighter, and Mega Man gear. This big fat chunk of free DLC, detailed on the capcom unity blog, includes Hunter equipment: Metroid’s Varia Suit Metroid’s Zero Suit Metroid’s Arm Cannon Taiko Drum Master Hunting Horn USJ’s Star Rook […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for May 1, 2 – Hard Light edition

    Here he comes with his weird face, dealing goods and gear for Guardians. It’s Friday. Xur: Agent of the Nine is back in the Tower. Of Course he is. Got your Strange Coins? Here’s what’s in his bag this week: Ruin Wings [Exotic Titan gauntlets] – 13SC Don’t Touch Me [Exotic Hunter gauntlets] – 13SC […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC drops for PS4 on May 26

    Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC has now been announced for May 26 for PS3, PS4 and Xbox 360. The announcement was made on Twitter via the official Dragon Age account. Mark your calendars! #DAIJawsOfHakkon pic.twitter.com/mU1WfkSrQV — Dragon Age (@dragonage) May 1, 2015 The DLC was released for PC and Xbox One back in March thanks to […]

  • New Witcher 3 screenshots highlight Geralt’s questionable fashion choices

    Even though The Witcher 3 release date is drawing closer, it still feels like a million year away. So here are some more screenshots to tide you over until then. We got to look at in-game shots yesterday, but these new screens show Geralt riding through some gorgeously vibrant mountains, in the midst of combat […]

  • Sims Gurus patch out pregnant men

    Say goodbye to The Sims 4 unique take on fatherhood, as The Sims Gurus confirm that male pregnancies are no more. The Sims 4 players have been reporting high numbers of alien abductions, leaving their male characters with sore bottoms and a bellyful of alien baby. Kotaku reports that not everyone was getting their knickers […]

  • Black Mesa countdown probably points to Half-life remake release date

    Half-life remake Black Mesa may have a release date at last. Black Mesa is a Source Engine remake of the original Half-life, which like everything related to Half-life feels like it’s taking forever to come out. The first part launched in September 2012, and it looks like we might have a release date for the […]

  • Spector puts down rumours of troubled Epic Mickey development

    Epic Mickey seemed like a surprising follow-up project from the man who made Deus Ex, but Warren Spector has put down rumours of a difficult relationship with Disney. Epic Mickey displays several qualities found in Spector’s other games and which he has always espoused in interviews – heck, this is the man whose dream it […]

  • Ubisoft makes good on Child of Light promise with free eBook

    Child of Light fans can check out a gorgeous new illustrated book set in the world of Lumeria. Earlier this month, creator Patrick Plourde confirmed that there were more Child of Light projects on the way. As we expected from the cagey wording, at least the first of these projects isn’t a game: it’s an […]

  • Half-life episode from Junction Point would have featured a magnet gun

    Half-life seems to be on near permanent hold, but at least we can glean some insight into what might once have been. Junction Point’s cancelled Half-life game came up in Warren Spector’s Reddit AMA overnight. Commenting that he isn’t sure whether he’ll get into legal trouble for discussing the project, Spector gave a few comments […]

  • Destiny: exclusive shader, emblem on offer with Nepal benefit shirt

    Destiny developer Bungie has asked Guardians to offer their aid, and they’ve already responded in troves. A new Destiny shirt added to the Bungie Store is the object of a fundraising drive to provide aid in Nepal following a devastating earthquake this week. Bungie popped the pretty stylish shirt on sale earlier today, offering an […]

  • What does the creator of Deus Ex think of Human Revolution and Mankind Divided?

    Deus Ex creator Warren Spector seems pretty positive about the direction the sci-fi series has followed under Square Enix’s hand. Deus Ex was created by Spector and his team at Ion Storm, and remained with Eidos after the developer shuttered. When Square Enix purchased the British publisher, it put new studio Eidos Montreal to work […]

  • Protest Goat secures future for Elite Dangerous destruction derbies

    One of the stranger and more beautiful stories to manifest in the gaming world this week, I think. Elite: Dangerous has given birth to an unintended, emergent style of gameplay; a destruction derby like affair where players gather in no combat areas to both race and gleefully smash into each other until a victor limps […]

  • Destiny’s stunning landscapes captured in panoramas

    Destiny has some beautiful environments, which screenshots don’t necessarily do justice to. Walking around Destiny exclaiming over the lighting effects and the tiny animated details is the best way to experience Bungie’s tremendous achievements, but these panorama images stitched together from in-game screenshots are a good second. Click to see them fullsize. Redditor CenturyEagle made […]

  • Star Wars Disney Infinity re-release on the cards – rumour

    Star Wars is a no-brainer for Disney Infinity, and at long last it looks like it’s happening. A Star Wars re-release called Disney Infinity 3.0 has reportedly leaked from German retailers. We have to lable this one a rumour as we haven’t seen the original source, but the story was originally reported by DisKingdom, which […]

  • Award-winning mobile indie Monument Valley out now on Windows Phone

    Windows Phone’s game selection can be a bit restrictive, but has expanded delightfully today: Monument Valley is now available. Monument Valley is one of those gorgeous, mind-bending puzzlers the indie scene produces on the regular, winning awards and consuming everyone’s lives for weeks on end. Developed by Ustwo Games, with beautiful, understated art from Ken […]

  • Old-school EverQuest servers safe from legal troubles thanks to Daybreak agreement

    EverQuest rights holder Daybreak Game Company given its blessing to the wonderful Project 1999. EverQuest: Project 1999 is one of those lovely ideas that it are all too often crushed by the realities of the games industry. An entirely fan-managed affair, it provides an emulated version of the classic EverQuest experience, which is no longer […]