Despite a good deal of buzz and fan expectations, Star Wars: Battlefront 3 never materialized. We've seen bits of the game through leaked media and alpha footage, but the game never found release. Free Radical co-founder Steve Ellis has finally shared more detail on just what happened to the project.
"We were still at that time probably a year out from releasing the first game and they asked us to sign up for the sequel," Ellis told Games Industry International. "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."
He says the new management at LucasArts was a "change of direction" for the company
. "It was a financial decision basically and the only way they could achieve what they had been told to do was to can some games and get rid of a bunch of staff. So that's what they did but it was quite a long, drawn out process."
Ellis says the first contracted game was "pretty much done"
and in final QA, and just needed some more tweaking before release. "LucasArts' opinion is that when you launch a game you have to spend big on the marketing and they're right. But at that time they were, for whatever reason, unable to commit to spending big. They effectively canned a game that was finished
." Plus, Free Radical had already staffed up for its second project, and had to lay off those staff members too