In a sad but unsurprising move, Electronic Arts and Lucasfilm shut down Galaxy in Turmoil, a fan-built spiritual successor to the classic Star Wars: Battlefront series.
After languishing in development hell for many years, Electronic Arts’ Star Wars Battlefront reboot was finally released late last year to mixed reviews. But while most were disappointed at what the Battlefront reboot had to offer, it was the fan-made Star Wars games that were announced that had captured the attention of fans – particularly Frontwire Studios’ Battlefront spiritual successor Galaxy in Turmoil. As impressive as the game looked at the time, Frontwire Studios president Tony Romanelli did express his concerns over that intellectual property issues could potentially derail the Galaxy in Turmoil project, and unfortunately, his prediction did come true.
Disney’s Lucasfilm division and Electronic Arts have issued a cease-and-desist letter to Frontwire Studios on June 22, just weeks after the studio had come to a distribution agreement with Valve. In a new post over at the Frontwire Studios website, Romanelli wrote that he had a phone meeting with two Lucasfilm executives and was told that the idea of negotiating a license for Frontwire to work on the Star Wars IP could’ve been worked out, had Lucasfilm not entered into a contract with Electronic Arts. Romanelli proceeded to explain that Electronic Arts had no intention of letting the Galaxy in Turmoil proceed as it could potentially draw attention away from the official Battlefront franchise.
“I was told that Lucasfilm had already spoken with EA about Galaxy in Turmoil and that EA expressed no desire in letting our project continue. Their main concern was due to the possibility of Galaxy in Turmoil taking away attention from their Battlefront franchise.”
Despite reaching out to Electronic Arts in order to come to a compromise, Lucasfilm was contractually obliged to deny all of Frontwire’s propositions. While Romanelli maintains that Galaxy in Turmoil falls under fair use, he does not intend to pursue the matter in court, and instead will remove all Star Wars references in favor of creating a new and original game inspired by Battlefront.
Given all the legal issues over fan-made titles using existing properties, the shutting down of Galaxy in Turmoil isn’t too surprising, something that the recently-cancelled Metal Gear Solid fan remake and the fan-made Resident Evil 2 remake can attest to. Galaxy in Turmoil isn’t the only fan-made Star Wars game currently in development as a fan collective known as Aperion is currently working on a remake of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, but given how recent events have played out, there’s a possibility that Aperion’s remake may also not see the light of day.
With fans no longer able to play Galaxy in Turmoil as it was initially conceived, perhaps they could turn their attention back Electronic Arts’ official Battlefront game. Despite Battlefront‘s initial mixed reception, the recent addition of an offline skirmish mode and the release of various DLC packs promises to provide players with a good reason to return to the game.
Galaxy in Turmoil was in development for PC prior to its cancellation.