There has been absolutely loads of speculation, rumors, ideas and unconfirmed statements about the development, completion and halt of Star Wars: Battlefront III. This is understandable, as both Battlefront I and II were received by not only Star Wars fans, but gamers so well.
Near the end of 2006 a gaming magazine made a claim that Free Radical Design were creating Battlefront III. Two years later, news was spread by a former Lucas Arts employee saying the game was in the creation process. Shortly after, Free Radical allegedly put out a request for Star Wars: Battlefront III on the Nintendo DS to have a PG rating. That same month Free Radical announced they had lost all rights to further develop Battlefront III which was at that point two years in the making.
A few years later, Free Radical co-founder Steve Ellis told press Battlefront III had been “Pretty much done” back in 2008, but it was scrapped as Lucas Arts wouldn’t commit to offering the developers sufficient funding on marketing. In retort to this accusation against Lucas Arts, abattlen unnamed employee justified the lack of funding by placing the blame on Free Radical, who failed to reach deadlines regularly and didn’t devote an appropriate amount of resources into the game. Other hints to the games development and even completion include: the surfacing of a watermark shared by another ex-employee. Leaked Battlefront III footage, meant exclusively for a private showing, which was later removed from the site it was uploaded to. The locating of models and textures made for a Star Wars game within the archives of a Lucas Arts games, which was speculated to be from Battlefront III, as well as YouTube videos showing pre-alpha footage of the game.
Another statement made by Steve Ellis, claimed the game was 99 percent finished and merely needed bug testing, he anticipated it as their most successful game. Fans were excited at this news, as it gave them “A new hope” while waiting for the next game in the series. Unfortunately, an ex-Lucas Arts member released a statement to the press regarding the 99 percent news as a complete exaggeration; the ex-employee said “A generous estimate would be 75 percent of a mediocre game”. Ellis later tried to justify his lie by saying “Maybe on reflection 99 percent was a little of an exaggeration”
Once again an employee at Lucas Arts said there were a few reasons for Battlefront III’s failure and most of them could be blamed on Free Radical. The developers were said to have underestimated and misrepresented the progression developers had made and the game itself generally tested poorly, showing no focus for action. Lucas Arts could see Free Radical were struggling with their gaming projects as their latest at the time Haze, was also received poorly. The company realized that the milestone of Battlefront III was unattainable, when many of the original developers were made redundant. They then negotiated the termination of both Battlefront III as well as the planned Battlefront IV, as they no longer had the resources or funding to carry on their development. Free Radical Design then shut down.
With Star Wars changing hands from Lucas Arts to Disney, they planned on creating another set of Star Wars movies scheduled for release in the next few years. Gamers then wondered who would take over the gaming role of Lucas Arts, particularly the next step in the Star Wars: Battlefront series.
Disney have given EA the rights to make Star Wars games in what has been defined as a multi-year exclusive deal, allowing them to create games based on the characters and storylines previously instigated in the franchise. However, not every type of genre and platform is in EA’s territory; as Disney have reserved the rights to create projects in the mobile, social, tablet and online game categories. EA have given the responsibility to DICE, BioWare and Visceral Games who are now working on new titles
The president of EA has expressed his gratitude for the chance of making games in correlation to Star Wars by saying “Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe” and ensures fans that the concepts for games will be original by saying “The new experience we create may borrow from films, but the games will be entirely original with all new stories and gameplay”.
Some believe that Battlefront III is now very likely due to the result of this deal, as DICE used Star Wars: Battlefront as an inspiration for their most popular franchise Battlefield. It may also bring a new graphical emphasis to the game, as it will be created using newer, different technology and development techniques, along with a bigger, possibly more experienced development team.
All the ideas, rumors, speculation, news and claims shown above are very difficult to tell whether or not they are reliable, or merely conjured up by an imaginative fan. However one thing is almost certain; due to the recent deal between Lucas Arts and Disney, we are more than likely to be graced with a new Star Wars game, hopefully and most likely to be Battlefront III and looking at the gap between Star Wars: Battlefront II and the present, EA are probably best leaving Battlefront III until the release of next-gen consoles PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, heightening the possibilities even more.