There is no longer any doubt that gamers are gluttons for punishments, as proven by the fact that we are still asking about Star Wars: Battlefront 3 nearly a year after the game’s cancellation. Free Radical is apparently in the business of perpetually prolonging our pain by continuing to unveil more information about the sequel. The most recent news is that Star Wars: Battlefront 3 was “a 99% finished game” when it was cancelled. Fantastic.
In a recent interview with gamesTM, Free Radical Design co-founder Steve Ellis spoke about the development process of what was certainly going to be one of the most exciting releases of the year. Coming off the hugely popular Timesplitters series, Free Radical’s jump to the next generation of consoles was met with middling to poor reviews:
“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.”
Ellis firmly believed that Battlefront 3 would be a return to form for the company, continuing the legacy Pandemic Studios left behind as the franchise passed into Free Radical’s hands. Sadly, it just wasn’t meant to be, as a change in management at LucasArts led to the game’s eventual cancellation when the publisher decided to change its direction.
Here’s the worst part though; the game was nearly ready to ship when LucasArts did finally pull the plug:
“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.”
After having dealt with the “growing pains” of Haze‘s development, Free Radical was primed and ready to tackle the ambitious project that was Battlefront 3. In a final, heartrendingly frustrating description of the game, Ellis talks about how players “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.” In other words, the limitations of the previous generation of consoles had been surpassed by leaps and bounds – and we will never see the fruits of their labor.
Throughout this whole ordeal, it has been fascinating to hear from the people who worked so hard on a game that will never see the light of day. All too often, these stories get buried by publishers and developers who would rather not deal with a disappointed fanbase. Star Wars: Battlefront 3 has received the postmortem it deserves. Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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