Star Wars: Details Of LucasArts' Final Months & The Death Of Battlefront III

lucasartslogo The Force.net picked this up article from the gaming blog, Kotaku. Who have produced this unique look inside LucasArts, apparently detailing the company's final days. The story starts in late 2011 right up until the division's closure on April 3rd 2013. By the time Disney announced that they had purchased LucasFilm and all of its subsidiaries, including LucasArts, that's when staff started to worry about their future, "Everything Disney would tell us would be, 'business as usual, business as usual,'" their source said. "We lost any transparency we had to the executive level." Also, up to just a couple of weeks ago, LucasArts staff were working on three projects: Star Wars: First Assault, Star Wars 1313, and a smaller project internally referred to as €œVersion Two,€ according to two Kotaku sources familiar with the situation. Kotaku obtained video footage of this €œVersion Two€ project, which you can see below at this link to their site. From the video, you can see all sorts of vehicle based combat, including X-Wings, AT-AT€™s, TIE Fighters and other vehicles. It is a rough visual version but does seem to show massive combat improvements. First Assault, according to an earlier Kotaku report, €œdidn't have any vehicles€ while Version Two did. So what was €œVersion Two€? Well according to multiple sources, developers at LucasArts planned it to be the fabled Star Wars: Battlefront III. Apparently, LucasArts hoped to make it themselves. " a very vocal audience that's clamouring for Battlefront III," said a source. "We were hoping to eventually give it to them" said a LucasArts source. What killed the project? According to this report, there was an embargo on all hiring new staff and further game announcements, leading many existing staff to wonder if their games would ever actually come out. The deathblow came seemly in January, a month after the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, when Disney CEO Bob Iger came out and said, that €œthey would be taking a close look at the violence in their videogames in a company-wide meeting.€

Star-Wars-Battlefront-II

It seems that, LucasArts intended to announce Star Wars: First Assault as an X-Box Live title in late September of 2012 and release it this spring. But hours before the scheduled announcement, word came down that it was on hold. Star Wars 1313, Star Wars: First Assault, a social game that was to be the €œStar Wars version of FarmVille€ and another iOS game were all cancelled or overhauled. By this point, rumours had already been circulating that LucasArts might shut down. The article details the full scale of the reported panic and turmoil. Disney has shut down LucasArts, nothing will change that. Although LucasFilm still says they could license out games like Star Wars 1313 or First Assault to be finished by other developers. That sounds good on paper, although the author of the Kotaku reports claims that €œI€™ve talked to three sources who don€™t think that€™s likely.€ Then he cites his source, €œDisney says they're shopping around to other outlets to see if they want to finish it, but we don't think that's gonna happen.€ The most recent big rumour floating around is that LucasArts was to be bought by EA. This is not true. EA have issued a statement (to Kotaku) from labels president Frank Gibeau: "The entire game industry is in transition as we build more efficient organizations to deliver games on popular new platforms like mobile and consoles. EA is not currently considering any major acquisitions." The news gets worse and worse as the days pass. This report is an interesting read but it leaves us no clearer on the future of Star Wars video games. Will Disney license Star Wars to other publishers? It remains to be seen. They are still so many questions. We will keep you updated on this story. You can check out the full report over at Kotaku.
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Roman Historian, computer nerd, Freelance Journalist, Podcaster, Star Wars Fanboy, and a Sci-fi/Horror über fan with a soft spot for awesomely terrible films. Host of the weekly Wrestleview International Desk radio show on WViDesk.com. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @DarraghWV.