Star Wars: Battlefront III had a serious chance to be released, if it had not been for financial problems with Free Radical, the developer behind the game. The game was in its last stretch of development, some sources stating as far as 99 percent complete, and yet the developer couldn’t afford to finish and publish the game. Free Radical had seen serious repercussions with its less than stellar release of Haze, leaving the studio in financial trouble. Star Wars: Battlefront III was meant to rescue them… They didn’t make it.
“We were making a game with very high ambition. You could start a battle on the ground, jump into a ship and fly into space, continuing on to dock in a capital ship and continue the battle there,” said Steve Ellis, co-founder of Free Radical, in an interview with gamesTM magazine. “We’d had to build all kinds of new tech and overcome numerous technical challenges and limitations but we had done it. We had a 99% finished game that just needed bug fixing for release. It should have been our most successful game, but it was cancelled for financial reasons. I’m happy that people did at least get to see what we were working on and share the team’s enthusiasm for it.”
“As a member of staff I could see our relationship with LucasArts becoming more distant and feared the worse,” said Martin Wakeley, the project manager at Free Radical. “They had a change of management and a change of direction. I wasn’t party to all the ins and outs but we had both our games signed with them, and it became apparent we needed to look for other projects fast. The management were very open and we were kept informed of all developments. We worked hard to try and get some projects signed but it wasn’t to be. The writing was on the wall for a long time but people stayed loyal rather than jumping ship.”
An early version of Battlefront III had been leaked, as well as an hour of testing footage, proving exactly how close we all were to getting our hands on the game. Sadly there has been no other word of anyone making a move to revive the game.
Sources: NowGamer GameInformer(1), (2)