If you didn’t already hate LucasArts enough for needlessly cancelling Star Wars: Battlefront III, wait until you hear this: They canned it when the game was “99 per cent finished”, said the co-founder of the defunct studio behind the game.
All it needed was “bug fixing”, Steve Ellis told gamesTM magazine. That’s it. Ellis earlier complained that a change in leadership brought in folks at LucasArts who were less interested in making games and more interested in killing the partnership.
In 2008 Free Radical was looking to rebound from the high-risk, high-concept, low-reward shooter Haze with a proven winner in the Battlefront franchise, and never got the chance. The studio ultimately dissolved and its core assets, including TimeSplitters — a franchise mourned as much as Battlefront — was sold off to Crytek.
“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,” Ellis said. An hour’s worth of video from this game was leaked back in July before LucasArts KGB’d it.
“We’d had to build all kinds of new tech and overcome numerous technical challenges and limitations but we had done it,” he said. Having overcome that challenge plus the morale dent suffered from Haze, all they needed to get back on track was QA for Battlefront III, which it never got.