In an interview with gamesTM magazine, Steve Ellis explains the struggles and barriers the team overcame whilst creating Star Wars: Battlefront III, as well as a rocky relationship with LucasArts.
“It felt like we had turned a corner as a company,” explained Ellis. “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.
“We were making a game with very high ambition. You 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. We’d had to build all kinds of new tech and overcome numerous technical challenges and limitations but we had done it.
“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.
Martin Wakeley, project manager at Free Radical Design during that time, also
“As a member of staff I could see our relationship with LucasArts becoming more distant and feared the worse,” continued Wakeley.
“They had a change of management and a change of direction. I wasn’t party to all the ins and outs but we had both our games signed with them, and it became apparent we needed to look for other projects fast. The management were very open and we were kept informed of all developments. We worked hard to try and get some projects signed but it wasn’t to be. The writing was on the wall for a long time but people stayed loyal rather than jumping ship.”
The original Star Wars: Battlefront was lauded by critics and well received by fans, as was it’s follow up, Star Wars: Battlefront II. Since the release of Battlefront II fans of the series have been asking over and over for a Battlefront III. The news that it was almost complete will come as a bitter blow to those who are still optimistic on seeing a future release.
Not all is lost though. Disney’s acquisition of LucasArts could bring in a new era of Star Wars video games, as well as the upcoming movies.
Would you buy Star Wars: Battlefront III if it came out? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.