Though it’s been rumored off and on for a number of years, we know now that Star Wars: Battlefront 3 was in actual development by Free Radical Design, but was unfortunately canned by executives from LucasArts who had begun cutting costs late into development, according to David Doak, studio co-founder.
Via an in-depth interview on Eurogamer [via Polygon], Doak and other co-founder Steve Ellis contributed their sides of the story regarding the ups and downs of the studio, and the depressing state of their last, unannounced project: Star Wars: Battlefront 3.
“It was going well,” says Doak.
“They wanted to massively upgrade the scope, and consequently we were being required to be very ambitious technology-wise — when you see those leaked videos of it you can see it looks spectacular.”
While the game was coming along as planned, that desire for a technically impressive, maximum ambition project came coupled with a very, very large budget. Fine for the first part of the project, the problems began when LucasArts appointed a new president in Darrell Rodriguez.
The publisher’s to-do list shifted priorities at that point, focusing on cost-cutting — and Free Radical’s game budget was one of the highest targets on that list.
Layoffs and payroll freezes occurred at Free Radical, and the studio(and the game) ultimately went into closure status, but was semi-rescued by a purchase from Crytek soon after.
“My role at Free Radical meant that I was simultaneously involved in these unpleasant ‘high level’ discussions with psychopaths who wanted to destroy us, and then the next day sitting with our dev staff at their desks trying to boost people’s morale.
It was the most depressing and pointless thing that I have ever been involved in.”
Very few ex or current employees of Free Radical have come out to speak their mind on the treatment of the situation, but one anonymous employee did cut together this crude, joke filled, LucasArts bashing video: