LucasArts Run By "Psychopaths"

Gahars

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The Star Wars Battlefront series (especially Battlefront 2) was awesome. I remember just loving those games, and eagerly awaiting a third one. I mean, hey, the Battlefront formula on (then) next gen consoles? Sign me up for that!

So I waited. And waited. And waited. And waited...

Yeah, we're still waiting for even an official announcement. Why has taken so long to produce another sequel for such a well loved franchise? Well, after a recent interview with David Doak and Steve Ellis from Free Radical, we have an answer: sabotage.

"We went from talking to people who were passionate about making games to talking to psychopaths who insisted on having an unpleasant lawyer in the room," said Doak.

"For a long time we talked of LucasArts as the best relationship we'd ever had with a publisher," said Ellis. "Then in 2008 that disappeared, they were all either fired or left. Then there was a new guy called Darrell Rodriguez, who had been brought in to do a job and it was more to do with cost control than making any games. And the games that we were making for them were costly."

...From Free Radical's point of view, the studio was delivering milestones for Battlefront 3 on time, but LucasArts quibbled over the game assets being actually ready. "If a publisher wants to find something that is wrong with a milestone, it's very easy for them to do so as there are so many grey areas within a deliverable. If the contract says, 'Graphics for level X to be release quality,' who can say what's release quality?" asked a Free Radical employee.

In this way, LucasArts refused to pay Free Radical for more than six months, until the developer ran out of money. That ended up being a very successful tactic because Doak couldn't afford a long legal battle. "If we wanted to fight about it, they were quite happy to fight about it, but it would be on their terms, on their turf, and we would lose not because we were wrong, but because... well, we wouldn't be able to ante up.

"In many ways it was a depressing farce talking to them," said Doak. "They had an agenda motivated by purely financial considerations. Their goal was to stop doing it. And it didn't matter that we had a contract that protected us."

Finally, after many deals including the GoldenEye remake fell through, Free Radical went into administration, laid off 140 people and was eventually purchased by Crytek.​
It gets even more tragic when you hear about the scope they had in mind for the third Battlefront game.

The key idea of Battlefront 3 was that players could seamlessly transition from a small-scale gunfight into a space battle simply by climbing into a ship and taking off. "It was so ambitious because you had to populate an environment like that on a scale like that, so we had some tough nuts to crack," says Doak. "We were continually trying to improve that, and it was going well, in fact it was going so well that we were going to make two, and they were letting us do some really interesting stuff with the mythology."
Sources: The Escapist and Euorgamer

And now, we will never get to see that game. Hey, look on the bright side! Losing Battlefront 3 for The Force Unleashed and Star Wars Kinect is the perfect trade of- oh wait, it isn't. At all. Hm.

I tried to reach LucasArts for a comment on their complete disregard of the fans' wishes. This was their only response.
 

Hadrian

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So very true, there is no reason to cancel BF3 unless it was bad...this is coming from someone who isn't into Star Wars but the Battlefront games were great.
 
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chartube12

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i can imagine Lucasarts thought they could make the smaller company go bankrupt and then buy them up. Luckily enough another company beat them to the buy out. And yes Lucasarts is that dirty, you can't or shouldn't be surprised. Lucas himself has been said to be a cut-throat businessman.
 

Guild McCommunist

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Only a masochist would cancel Battlefront III. Does someone at LucasArts not like money?

Although nowadays I'm not even sure if I want Battlefront III. Its since been passed to so many devs that it's not funny and if rumors are true, then we got a shit dev (Spark Unlimited) behind it now.
 
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notmeanymore

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Only a masochist would cancel Battlefront III. Does someone at LucasArts not like money?

Although nowadays I'm not even sure if I want Battlefront III. Its since been passed to so many devs that it's not funny and if rumors are true, then we got a shit dev (Spark Unlimited) behind it now.
As long as it doesn't take so long that the game isn't even relevant anymore (see: Duke Nukem Forever), I could still see Battlefront 3 being great.
 

Guild McCommunist

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As long as it doesn't take so long that the game isn't even relevant anymore (see: Duke Nukem Forever), I could still see Battlefront 3 being great.

Well, it seemed great when they had a good studio under it (Free Radical), but since then it's been pawned off to increasingly worse studios if rumors are true. If they gave it to someone who really cared for the game then it'd kick ass but so far I'm not seeing that.
 

blahkamehameha

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Last I read, Sparks Unlimited appears to not be working on it. (Read a tweet earlier in April where they confirmed to not be working on it.)

Whole situation doesn't make sense, especially when there's a ton of money to be made. I know i'd be willing to pay full price for the game, or even just a bf2 hd remake
 

The Milkman

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How hard would this really be? I mean, StarFox assault had a few levels that worked where you fought a gunfight on the ground and hopped in a Arwing and blast some enemies on the space front. Sounds more like LA wanted to pull a MML3-Style move of saying how awesome a game would be and then making total crap instead of the game. Force Unleashed was such BS. The only cool thing about it was the fast-paced combat. And even that got boring fast. Shame. I loved the Battlefront game on the GCN.
 
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holoflame

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Ah, I remember the days of BF2. Playing all day and night with my cousin, only stopping for bathroom visits, lunch and dinner.
I really loved the option to pick the maps and modes of you like. A shame that I forgot how it's called...
Gonna give him a call today =)

One thing, there is a PC version right?
 
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