It's the old million dollar question: why was Star Wars: Battlefront 3 canceled? Last week, more speculation arose when Free Radical Design co-founder Steve Ellis said Battlefront 3 was 99% complete when it was canceled due to "financial reasons."
As you can imagine, this started a frenzy among fans who wondered why LucasArts would do such a thing, especially with the game so near to completion. Since then, a former LucasArts employee has stepped up to the plate, calling Ellis' statement "bullsh*t". Speaking anonymously to GameSpot, the former employee estimated it was "75 percent of a mediocre game."
In doing so, he also listed three primary reasons why Battlefront 3 was canceled. The first was that Free Radical's sci-fi shooter Haze was late by more than a year, which the source claimed took resources away from Battlefront 3's development.
The second reason, he believes, is that Free Radical "underestimated" or "misrepresented" its ability to meet dates.
"In December 2007, Free Radical still did not have simple AI working in levels," the source said. "For much of 2007, Xbox 360 builds simply did not work. Initially, Free Radical claimed it was a US/UK kit difference, but when we asked to FedEx one of their working machines to the US for a build review, they declined."
Haze becoming a PS3-exclusive affirmed LucasArts' belief that the studio's engine was not compatible with the Xbox 360 which could explain why several game modes, according to the source, were not implemented and the only functioning gameplay was team-based free-for-all. Additionally, maps "generally tested poorly with no focus for action."
The final kicker was the studio missing new assigned dates. Ellis supposedly told LucasArts that Free Radical wouldn't be able to meet development milestones for 2008. Although LucasArts and Free Radical agreed to a new street date, the studio continued to fail to meet milestone dates.
"It now looked like the April 2009 street date could not be met," he said. "And the October milestone was not going to be met either."
Everybody pretty much knows how the story goes from here. The end result was the cancelation of Star Wars: Battlefront 3. There's no denying that Battlefront 3 has demand, but with Disney now acquiring LucasArts, it will be up to them to decide whether or not to give it another go.