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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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    Double Fine Productions has announced it will release Broken Age on the PlayStation Store next month. Act 2 will also be released on PC. The full Broken Age adventure will release on PlayStation 4 and Vita on April 28 in North America and April 29 in Europe. It features cross-buy and cross-save. Broken Age Act […]

  • Star Citizen earned another $1 million within two weeks – total hits $76 million

    Star Citizen continues its funding streak with backers pumping another $1 million into the game’s development in the last two weeks. The total earned for the space sim has now reached $76 million ($76,015,532 to be exact) with 851,395 backers contributing to the staggering figure. Star Citizen’s latest update was version 1.1 which included two […]

  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline top Media Create charts

    Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline were the big ticket debuts during the March 16-2 period in Japan, with each game claiming the top three slots on the Media Create charts, respectively. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD moved 92,094 on PlayStation 4, while Resident Evil Revelations 2 moved 73,373 units on […]

  • You can now learn English or Spanish on Xbox One with the Rosetta App

    Want to learn English or Spanish? Rosetta Stone has an App for that on Xbox One. According to the language teaching firm, Rosetta Stone’s Discover Languages, the new application teaches English and Spanish by way of immersive simulation. Users will virtually travel to learn vocabulary and grammar “necessary for real-world interactions.” Here’s how it works: […]

  • PayDay 2 and PayDay: The Heist have sold over 9 million units combined

    The PayDay franchise is a lucrative IP for Starbreeze and Overkill, as both games combined have sold over 9 million copies as of November 2014. The company has also sold over 8 million paid DLC packages since PayDay 2 was released in 2013 (via NeoGAF). In its Q2 half year report issued in February, net […]

  • Nintendo wants to “surprise” customers with NX, not expand upon existing hardware

    Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has firm wants to “surprise” players with its new NX system. Speaking in an interview with Nikkei, translated by Kotaku, Iwata wouldn’t go into details on the new system, but stated expanding on a current gaming system would be “dull.” “In the past few years, the idea of what [encompasses] a […]

  • Kojima Station show suspended

    In another episode in the the ongoing kerfuffle between Hideo Kojima and Konami, the publisher has suspended the Kojima Station web show. Recent tweets from the newly created Japanese Metal Gear Solid account confirm that Kojima Station will not be broadcast tomorrow, but would not provide a date for the next episode. The Tweets were […]

  • Watch Battle Royale for free this weekend on Xbox Live

    Square Enix is celebrating the launch of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD by offering Xbox Live members in the UK a free rental of Battle Royale. Starting Saturday, March 28 and through Sunday, March 29, Xbox Live members in the UK will be able to rent Battle Royale through the Xbox Video Store, for free. The […]

  • Bloodborne journal, part 1: managing anxiety on the path to the Cleric Beast

    Bloodborne is both like and unlike the Souls games. Brenna descends into Yharnam with reluctance and trepidation. Need help succeeding in Bloodborne? You need our Bloodborne walkthrough and boss guide. Bloodborne isn’t Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls. Let’s get that out of the way right off. I enjoyed both Dark Souls games, but it was […]

  • PS Store Easter sale discounts MGS: Ground Zeroes, Far Cry 4, more

    The Easter Sale is live on the EU PS Store, with Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes for less than £10, FIFA 15 Deluxe Edition for £30 and other savings. Some of the PlayStation 3, PS4 and Vita discounts are valid through April 8, other through April 15. PlayStation Plus members can also take an […]

  • Bloodborne video: how to unlock the first shortcut in Old Yharnam

    Here’s a video for Bloodborne players showing a quick way to unlock the first shortcut in Old Yharnam. It also provides a look at things you may have missed in Central Yharnam and The Sewers, courtesy of VaatiVidya. Don’t forget, we have guides posted for the game with more updates coming soon. Bloodborne released in […]

  • Bloodborne issue prevents summons at Vicar Amelia fight

    A Bloodborne bug has prevented players calling on help to take on one of the nasty early bosses. Bloodborne bosses are significantly easier to take down in co-op. Unfortunately, at least one of them is proving difficult to find help for – and not just because not many players have obtained the Small Resonant Bell […]

  • Mass Effect 3 on sale on EU PSN, but not free

    Mass Effect 3 is discounted on the European PSN, but it’s not free. Update 2: The option to add to cart now lets you choose between the free trial or full version. The full version is on sale for £6.49 or £5.84 for PlayStation Plus members. The free trial is of course is still available, […]

  • Elite: Dangerous Race to Elite winners announced, one player makes £10,000

    The winners of Elite: Dangerous’ Race To Elite competition have been announced, with one player receiving the grand prize of £10,000. Back when Elite: Dangerous launched, developer Frontier announced a competition that would award players to first reach Elite rank in trading, exploration, or combat, a prize of £1,000 each. The grand prize – £10,000 […]

  • GTA 5 Online Heists guide: How to make the most money with Special Bonuses and Elite Challenges

    You’re not hitting heists for the good of your health. Here’s how to max cash rewards. Money. GTA Online players love it. Greenbacks are the core of the entire experience, allowing you to buy the best weapons, vehicles and stupid haircuts. Heists, as promised, gives more opportunities than ever to earn serious cash, but once […]

  • PlayStation 4 firmware update 2.50 coming tomorrow

    PlayStation 4 firmware 2.50, codenamed Yukimura, is due for release tomorrow, March 26. Firmware update 2.50 for PlayStation 4 will be launching tomorrow, March 26, Sony has announced. Codenamed Yukimura, the system update is promised to bring suspend/resume feature, trophy sync improvements, accessibility options, and much more. 2.50 has been in beta testing a while […]

  • GTA 5 Online Heists guide: adversary modes, daily objectives, free roam challenges and more

    Heists aren’t the only addition in GTA Online’s latest DLC – there’s a lot of content that can earn you big RP and cash payouts. GTA 5 Online Heists guide: adversary modes, daily objectives, free roam challenges While heists are the talking point and big payoff after more than a year of waiting, there’s a […]

  • Battlefield Hardline: what’s the best Police sniper rifle?

    What’s the best bolt-action, Police sniper rifle for the Professional class in Battlefield Hardline? Let us help you answer that question. As you’re probably aware, Battlefield Hardline weapons are class specific and faction specific. This makes deciding on a good weapon and loadout much harder than it was in Battlefield 4. Which is where Westie […]

  • Evolve 1.3 patch nerfs Wraith, adjusts Kraken

    Evolve is receiving a new patch that aims to put an end to the Wraith’s dominance. Evolve developer Turtle Rock outlined a few of the changes coming in patch 1.3. The patch brings balance changes to the monsters – mainly the Wraith – as well as other various changes to Hunters’ tools based on player […]

  • Bloodborne: watch the opening 40 minutes

    The opening minutes of Bloodborne really do set the stage for what’s to come. They’ll also help you decide if this game is for you. Arekkz Gaming has captured the first 40 minutes of Bloodborne. Complete with the opening cutscene, and the first few obstacles you’ll face. The video is commentary free, so wear headphones […]

  • YouTube will relaunch livestreaming service with focus on eSports and gaming – report

    According to industry sources, Google is preparing to relaunch YouTube’s livestreaming service with a focus on eSports and gaming. According to anonymous sources speaking to TheDailyDot, Google is planning to bring back YouTube’s livestreaming service. The company is said to have started recruiting around 50 engineers with experience in the field, “a pretty big statement […]

  • I think I’m too old for Final Fantasy 15

    Final Fantasy 15 was nine years in the making – and counting. Are we the same people we were in 2006? Final Fantasy 15: Episode Duscae A demo available for PS4 and Xbox One. Offers a couple of hours of gameplay. More if you jump over the borders. Bundled with Final Fantasy 15 Type-0 and […]

  • New multiplayer mode for Splatoon announced

    Nintendo has sent over three screenshots for Splatoon along with information on the Wii U another of the title’s multiplayer modes. Called Ranked Battle, it keeps track of each player’s online ranking. Splat Zones is one of the additional ways to play online in this mode. It differs from Turf War, which is the main […]

  • 2015 WoW Arena World Championship has a $250,000 prize pool

    Blizzard has announced the WoW Arena World Championship will culminate at BlizzCon 2015. World of Warcraft 3v3 Arena teams from around the globe will compete for spot at the 2015 WoW Arena World Championship and for a share in the $250,000 prize pool. Online qualifiers will be held for North America, Southeast Asia, Australia, New […]