For those growing up in the new millennium, Star Wars: Battlefront is likely to hold a place in their heart. The Pandemic game, released in 2004 for the PS2, Xbox and PC, built upon a dynasty of LucasArts' own making, with the studio having published dozens of titles over the preceding decade. Most were fairly seminal for their time, and Battlefront - while not a perfect game by any stretch - was equally important.
Giving players the chance to take part in the film's most eventful and climactic battles, Pandemic's game resonated right across the board, releasing just as Xbox Live was coming into its own and placing the game right on the pulse of the zeitgeist as it then existed. A sequel, spin-off and a reboot later, and the franchise is still going strong almost fifteen years after its original debut. (Micro-transactions aside.)
But - much like the films themselves - Battlefront's journey has been a tempestuous one, exemplified in full by the tragedy that befell Free Radical's Star Wars: Battlefront III. It's the cancelled title that needs no introduction, and while it's fair to say that the Star Wars license is in a better place today than it was ten years ago, EA's Battlefront reboot has had the spirit of its cancelled forebear loom over it every step of the way.
And that's because that title - spearheaded by two defunct studios - showed so much promise. Hopping from ground to space combat at the flick of a switch; a storyline that would've built upon the obvious potential shown in the original title's sequel, and a whole bunch of eras to mess around with - these are all things that Battlefront, in its current form, lacks, but what that early title possessed in abundance.
It's what makes the third game's cancellation so tragic, and with rumours of a discontented Disney contemplating taking away the Star Wars license from EA, the thought of 'what could've been' only gets harder to shake.