One of the most demanded games of all time is Star Wars Battlefront 3. However with the recent acquistion and subsequent closure of LucasArts by Disney, it’s likely that fans will never get to play this highly anticipated title. We take a look at the Battelfront 3 that did exist and what we’ve missed out on.
We got a glimpse of Battlefront 3 in April last year when files and assets for the game were found on a Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City disc that included artwork in progress for a Hoth level. Shortly after this discovery, an 8-minute video of Battlefront 3 gameplay footage was posted online which claimed to be from a “quick port” from a March 2008 build from the Free Radical developed version of the game.
An interview last year with Steven Ellis of Free Radical, developers of another popular requested follow-up FPS TimeSplitters, revealed that their version of Star Wars Battlefront 3 was 99% completed before it was ultimately canned. Co-Founder Ellis commented as to how the development of Haze and financial difficulties were what ultimately put the nail in the Free Radical Battlefront 3 game. Martin Wakely who was a project manager on the game at the time also commented at how “As a member of staff I could see our relationship with LucasArts becoming more distant and feared the worse.”
Battlefront 3 looked set to feature all of the old gameplay favourite of the Battlefront franchise including a multiplayer and single player, which offered a story campaign, training, instant action, challenges, freeplay and of course, Galactic Conquest. One of the most interesting inclusions though was something called Jedi Arena which we never found out any more information about.
The story campaign featured notable planets and locations from the Star Wars universe such as Tatooine, Coruscant, Dantooine, Yavin IV, Hoth, Endor, Cloud City and Battlefront favouritye, Kashyyyk amongst others. The Galactic Conquest levels included Defence of the Galactic Core, Relocation of the Separatist Council and The Clone Wars.
The Instant Action looked to feature several game types including Conquest, Heroes vs Villains, and Hunt – with load out options from The Clone Wars or the Galactic Civil War. Playable classes were Soldier, Vanguard, Sniper, Pilot and Wookie General with Luke Skywalker and Han Solo noted as just two of the playable Heroes.
The Free Radical, now Crytek, build of Battlefront 3 looked to offer everything that fans of the series were crying out for. As we learned last year, it was scrapped and the game was left to float once again in the limbo of a galaxy far, far away. Then with the news that Disney had snapped up LucasFilm and LucasArts with plans to regularly release new Star Wars films, a spark of hope renewed the fires of passion that now would be a perfect time to release the game.
Fast forward to almost a year after we saw the original leaked gameplay footage and Disney announced that they would be closing LucasArts, something I discussed very deeply and personally in my A Lifetime With LucasArts article, and had cancelled all current and future titles – including Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault.
Now you may be wondering how Star Wars: First Assault ties in with Battlefront 3. The video at the beginning of the article is taken from a build of the game titled internally as “Version 2.” Multiple sources speaking to Kotaku commented that “Version 2″ was scheduled to be created and released as our beloved Star Wars Battlefront 3 – a version made by the team at LucasArts.
The source at LucasArts claims that following the Connecticut massacre, Bob Iger from Disney stated in a company-wide meeting that they would taking a close look at the violence in the video games LucasArts were producing at that time. For a team working on Battlefront 3, Star Wars 1313 and on Star Wars: First Assault, that’s probably not a very good sign. As we now know, it wasn’t.
So where does the future of Battlefront 3 and LucasArts lie now? Well the latest rumour is that EA was considering to buy the studio but this was stopped after the problems with SimCity and with CEO John Ricciotello’s departure from EA. In response to the rumour, EA labels president Frank Gibeau has stated that “EA is not currently considering any major acquisitions.”
With Disney still focusing on less-violent games, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll ever see Battlefront 3 whilst they have the licence. A fan-made version is also out of the question as Disney quickly squashed a fan-made Monkey Island game earlier this week. It certainly seems that the dark side has won… for now.
Do you think we’ll ever see Battlefront 3? Will Disney ever release the Star Wars games licence? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter.