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Star Wars: First Assault, the 'predecessor' to Battlefront 3, in limbo

Star Wars Battlefront II Screenshot - 1140739

Star Wars: First Assault, the heavily-rumored, but never officially confirmed XBLA title, if ever released, could be a predecessor to Star Wars: Battlefront 3. Unfortunately, the status of the game, which was first unearthed last October, is unclear thanks to Disney's recent acquisition of LucasFilm. According to a source familiar with the project, LucasFilm froze all hiring and new game announcements when Disney acquired the company. Of course, this mean First Assault, which was supposed to be this spring, was put on hold.

We don't know where First Assault is on Disneys' roadmap, but thanks to Kotaku's anonymous source, we have a better idea of the game. Though the source is "no longer familiar with the goings-on" at LucasArts, he did say First Assault would act as a "step zero" the the highly anticipated Star Wars: Battlefront 3 -- yet another canceled Star Wars shooter.

Like the original box art suggested, First Assault is a downloadable multiplayer shooter that supports up to 16 players -- one eight-player team of rebels and one eight-player team of Stormtroopers. The game features no vehicles or Jedi, and the reason LucasFilm decided not to go with the Battlefront name was to temper fan expectations.

So how exactly would First Assault serve as a predecessor to Battlefront 3? Although the shooter's original developer Free Radical has claimed Battlefront 3 was 99% finished, the source says First Assault's code would be used to build Battlefront 3. Supposedly, a small team has already begun prototyping vehicles for Battlefront 3. You can allegedly fly a TIE Fighter or ride an AT-ST walker. Furthermore, if First Assault sells well, assuming it's ever released, it could persuade Disney to begin production on Battlefront.

Although the status of First Assault remains unclear, employees at LucasArts continue to work on the game. However, the source claims LucasArts is "bleeding talent"  as uncertainty regarding the game's release spreads to other Star Wars titles. Earlier this week, we learned that Star Wars 1313 is still being worked on, although we haven't seen much of that game since the stunning E3 2012 preview.

For fans eager for another Star Wars title, the source urges you 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."

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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