Posted by Raine Hutchens on May 4, 2012

Did ‘Psychopaths’ Ruin The Release Of Battlefront 3?

In an interview with Eurogamer, Free Radical founder David Doak explains that the much anticipated Star Wars: Battlefront 3 game was actually in development as many hoped. Many rumors surrounded the game and its development, and Doak let it be known that the game was official, though it didn’t make it to the finish line. The game was eventually canceled due to unresolved conflicts with the developer and some of the executive staff at LucasArts.

According to Doak, the developer “went from talking to people who were passionate about making games to talking to psychopaths who insisted on having an unpleasant lawyer in the room.” He continued in the interview, “For a long time we talked of LucasArts as the best relationshipwe’d ever had with a publisher. Then in 2008 that disappeared, they were all either fired or left. Then there was this new guy called Darrel Rodriguez, who had been brought in to do a job and it was more to do with cost control than making any games.”

Doak was speaking about things that took place three years ago. The original development of Battlefront 3 started in 2006 and continued through until 2008. Doan continues to explain that they had concerns about the release date timeframe, and they brought these up to LucasArts which was something they’d not done before. They assumed their concerns would be important to the company, and something could be ironed out. This, Doak notes, is when the psychopaths came in:

“In many ways it was a depressing farce talking to them. They had an agenda motivated by purely financial considerations. Their goal was to stop doing it. And it didn’t matter that we had a contract that protected us. If we wanted to fight about it they were quite happy to fight about it, but it would be on their terms, on their turf, and we would lose not because we were wrong, but because… well, we wouldn’t be able to ante up.

My role at Free Radical meant that I was simultaneously involved in these unpleasant ‘high level’ discussions with psychopaths that wanted to destroy us, and then the next day sitting with out dev staff at their desks trying to boost people’s morale. Helping them to pass milestones that I knew would subsequently be manipulated to fail.”

All of this brought a tragic end to the development of a game that had a lot of hope. Doak claimed that this “was the most depressing and pointless thing” he had ever been involved in, and went as far as to say that it became “nightmarish torture” in the end. Is this the final end for Battlefront 3? We can’t really say. Free Radical was eventually purchased by Crytek, and went on to work on the Goldeneye reboot. Here lays a picture painted in dark hues depicting the executive force at LucasArts. Is it an accurate depiction? With Doak’s word and the death of Battlefront 3 at our feet, we can say we’re definitely one-sided.


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