Leaked Star Wars Game Is 'Predecessor' To Battlefront III, Source Says

Last October, we saw a listing for Star Wars: First Assault, an unannounced Xbox Live Arcade game developed by LucasArts. Today, Kotaku can reveal that Star Wars: First Assault is a downloadable multiplayer shooter that was originally slated for release in the next few months.

The game supports up to 16 players — one eight-person team of rebels and one eight-person team of Stormtroopers — as they face off on Star Wars worlds like Bespin and Tatooine.

And according to one person familiar with the project, First Assault is "step zero" to the heavily rumoured, highly anticipated Star Wars: Battlefront III. If First Assault sells well — assuming it is released at all — the third Battlefront could be next.

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A few weeks ago, Kotaku reported on the status of Star Wars 1313, a game that could be in trouble thanks to unrest and uncertainty at LucasArts, the storied studio that has developed or published every official Star Wars video game to date. We mentioned a Call of Duty-style first-person shooter codenamed "Trigger".

That's First Assault. According to our source, this game is a downloadable "predecessor" to Battlefront III — part of the studio's strategy to show that there's a market for Star Wars shooters running on the Unreal Engine.

The story of Star Wars: Battlefront III is long and well documented. Commissioned as the third game in the Battlefront shooter series, Battlefront III has bounced from developer to developer over the past few years. Although LucasArts has yet to officially announce the game, leaked footage and images show what could have been, and development studio Free Radical has claimed the game was 99 per cent finished when LucasArts killed it.

Star Wars: First Assault, our source says, would lead up to Battlefront III. This new Battlefront would use nothing from the Battlefront III that has already been in production at studios like Free Radical and Slant Six, our source says. Instead, LucasArts would build Battlefront III based on code from First Assault.

According to our source, a small team has already been prototyping vehicles for Battlefront III. Current code allows you to fly a TIE Fighter or ride an AT-ST walker.

There are no vehicles in First Assault, nor are there Jedi. LucasArts intentionally decided not to use the Battlefront name so expectations wouldn't be too high, our source says. And the game is almost done.

But Star Wars: First Assault may never actually make it out of the studio.

Last September, when executives at LucasFilm — the parent company of LucasArts — found out that Disney had signed an agreement to purchase the company, things got murky. LucasFilm froze all hiring and new game announcements, our source says. They had planned to announce First Assault and launch a closed beta by the end of September — which explains the Xbox listing leak on October 1 — and First Assault was supposed to be out this spring.

So since September, employees at LucasArts have been working on the game with no knowledge as to whether or not it will actually come out. According to our source, LucasArts is "bleeding talent" as employees wait to see what executives at Disney and LucasFilm want to do with First Assault and other games the studio is working on.

The status of First Assault — like the status of Star Wars 1313 and other projects that LucasArts is currently working on — remains unclear today. We've reached out to LucasArts for comment and will update should we hear back from them.

For now, our source says, the only way to get games like First Assault out of carbonite might be for Star Wars fans to speak up.

"Fans should tell Disney/Lucas loud and clear they don't want shitty titles from random developers; they want games to be taken seriously, and they will only pay for quality," the source said. "I believe that if Disney/Lucas lets LucasArts die, it means the death of Star Wars as a storied game franchise is right behind it."


Comments

    wow! this looks amazingly cool! 8-)

      dont wanna be on the stormtrooper's side. they cant shoot for shit!

    Lucas Arts is like a temple that holds a poisoned chalice at its alter, guarded by the most inept and unimaginative executives, oops, I mean priests. Leeching the spirit of SW one fan at a time. No wonder they're leaking talent, it would probably be an empty house if the rest of the industry was healthier.

    While there have been some Amazing Star Wars games, there have also been plenty of stinkers,and Lucas themselves haven't internally developed any good games in a long time. I really can't see farming the licence out to random third parties delivering any less consistent quality than we've seen already.

    Haven't XBL only multiplayer shooters been shown to barely sell, and have almost no staying power?

      Not all, you can still get a game of Monday Night Combat with ease, by all accounts Battlefield 1943 is well supported, but others like Hybrid or Gotham City Impostors and Counter Strike seem dead.

    Star Wars Dark Forces Multiplayer? Yes Please. If it's done right and based on the original game.

    This looks good but it needs a Single Player campaign to be successful.

    Damn it - why does it have to be XBL?
    These days it just seems stupid to pay for multiplayer access...
    Oh well.

      I don't mind paying a minimal amount for a great online service and not having my billing information hacked.

        I solve that problem by not having my billing information online - which is what most people should do anyway.
        Also, just because Xbox Live hasn't been hacked doesn't mean it can't be hacked.

          Xbox Live *was* hacked a few weeks ago iirc, but they had enough security layers to allow them to detect it a deal with it before they got anywhere near anything that was even slightly sensitive. A well engineered system shows it strengths.

    I don't want to buy this, but I do want there to be a SW Battlefront III... hnngh, dang it.

    You hear that banging sound off in the distance?...

    ... that's the sound of my head meeting my desk.....

    Seriously Lucasarts, W.T.F! *sigh*

    A) please release this! It looks like a lot of fun and I would love to show my support for another Battlefront game!
    B) please don't let XBLA be your *only* method of testing the waters! [what happened to you Lucasarts? You have to test the waters?]. A PSN and PC [steam, or whatever content distribution you want] version will be welcomed by a lot of people!

    A FPS is nice, but it's a crowded genre, am I the only person who wants to get in a TIE or an X-Wing and fly against other players? Make X-Wing vs TIE Fighter 2 please.

    For fucks sake... Just do Battlefront III. Don't make a shitty CoD clone, then test it exclusively on XBL, who will see it as a CoD clone and thus hate it, whether they're CoD fanboys or not, and THEN decide whether to make Battlefront III. Battlefront isn't just a freaking 8v8 first person shooter. It's a clone of Battlefield that had its own unique ideas like space battles and galactic conquest. They're missing the freaking point completely. We don't want some Star Wars shooter with guns and flashy graphics. We want a new BATTLEFRONT. The two are completely different.

    And let me say, I don't know if this will be a CoD clone or not. Either way, people are going to view it as such. It's the first thing to jump to as soon as you hear about it. I hope it isn't a CoD clone but whether or not it is is irrelevant, I believe the consumer reaction will be identical either way.

    They could surprise me but seriously, I haven't been surprised by the game development industry in 5-8 years.

    First 1313, now this... Why... Lucasarts seem to have been barking up the wrong tree for the past 7 years, since Ep3 came out. Anyone who spends ten minutes looking at the fanbase on Youtube and the rest of the internet can instantly tell that they want a new, decent KOTOR and a new, decent Battlefront. Instead they make absolute crap like TFU, SWToR, and potentially 1313. If they had taken a good look at their fanbase, a good hard look, when the last movie came out, and realised that these are the games people want, they would be rolling in it right now. Unfortunately they're going to keep going with these half-baked ideas that nobody asked for and nobody wants, and there will never be a decent Star Wars game again.

    What was the last one, seriously? BFII or KoTOR II?

    Last edited 12/03/13 9:57 pm

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