With the recent news that Disney decided to shut down LucasArts, it has left a lot of people wondering what this means exactly for the long suffering Star Wars Battlefront 3 development. Honestly there are a ton of other questions to be asked as well, we were all asked to put faith in Disney with one of our most beloved sci-fi franchises, and the first things they do is cancel The Clone Wars on Cartoon Network and then cancel the very promising looking Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars First Assault.
LucasArts was often times a baffling company itself, we would get amazing games like Star Wars Battlefront 1 and 2 within a couple of years of each other, they would sell amazingly well, then we didn’t get a sequel. Star Wars Battlefront 3 seemed to be cursed from the beginning, Free Radical was set to develop Battlefront 3 and Battlefront 4, but after releasing Haze on the PS3, they had all kinds of trouble with meeting deadlines. They never recovered from the fallout of Haze and eventually Free Radical closed their doors and were purchased by Crytek, but before they left they made it clear that the tech we saw in the leaked Battlefront 3 video died with them. The game then supposedly went back to Pandemic Studios who made the first two Battlefront games, Pandemic was coming off the critical and commercial bomb that was Lord Of The Rings Conquest, that game caused Pandemic to close their own doors soon after. It was also said that Slant Six Games was working on Star Wars Battlefront Online, but they were then hit with layoffs and they turned that coding into Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City, in fact some of the code for Battlefront Online was still in the game.
The third Battlefront game seems to be cursed, and is a death warrant for game developers at this point, now that LucasArts is closing I can’t ever see this game being developed, Disney has said that outsourcing games to other developers is a possibility, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. We are about to go into a new generation of game consoles and I don’t think Disney will want to take the time and money to develop a new Battlefront game, we might very well see Star Wars games to tie in with the upcoming movies, but those will more than likely be your typical terrible licensed game.
Recently we heard a rumor that an Xbox Live Arcade game titled Star Wars First Assault could possibly pave the way for a new Battlefront game, if the game did well enough and there was enough interest, now that game too has been cancelled completely. Why does it seem like developers never actually listen to what people want? The Battlefront games were some of the best-selling Star Wars games of all time, yet they don’t know we want a sequel? This arcade game was said to be nearly complete, but now it’ll be totally scrapped, I highly doubt Disney sends it elsewhere to be completed. When you are developing a game you build it from the ground up, and I don’t believe another developer would want in on something that is just about complete, they probably wouldn’t even know where to begin.
Where does that leave Star Wars 1313?
Star Wars 1313 is another story altogether, a rep has said the game could be saved, but the chances of that are pretty low in my opinion. Even though I wanted a new Battlefront game most of all, Star Wars 1313 did look interesting, gritty and dark, so it’s a shame that the game probably wont see the light of day. When we all saw the little demo for it back on Spike TV, I thought it was a next-gen title instantly, and I was really interested in it, but because LucasArts had been so disappointing recently, I kept my excitement meter low, and now I’m glad I did. What developer would be willing to just jump into an already started project? I’m not sure I see a good fit and that is why the game, much like Battlefront 3 is going to turn into vaporware.
LucasArts were no saints, they made questionable moves throughout the years, but this is just another long line of closures in the gaming industry that will drive the thought that games and gaming in the way we’ve come to know it are on the way out. Had LucasArts produced a Battlefront 3 and Battlefront 4, Republic Commando 2, Knights Of The Old Republic 3, Jedi Academy 3 or a new Rogue Squadron game, who knows how successful they could have been. I guess now we’ll never know, but we do know that it looks like First Assault and 1313 have been cancelled and another developer has bit the dust.
This was the official statement:
“After evaluating our position in the games market, we’ve decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimizing the company’s risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games. As a result of this change, we’ve had layoffs across the organization. We are incredibly appreciative and proud of the talented teams who have been developing our new titles.”
Basically it means they will outsource future Star Wars licensed games, which could turn out some good games like when Bioware crafted the original KOTOR, but it could also mean a lot more casual games like Angry Birds Star Wars. You have to wonder why LucasArts never did a proper Indiana Jones game this generation either, especially after the success of Uncharted and even some of the earlier Tomb Raider games. As much as it pains me to say it, Disney probably did the right thing in closing down LucasArts since they didn’t really seem to have much of a direction lately, things could have always changed, we’ll never know now, but clearly Disney is going to have to bring their A game when they do decide to release a Star Wars game, the typical bad movie tie-in wont cut it.
What do you think about the closure of LucasArts? What are some of your favorite LucasArts games? Please sound off in our comment section below.