May 09 2012
By: chickenbonetom Treasure Hunter 7613 posts

Free Radical: 'Star Wars: Battlefront 3' canceled by LucasArts 'psychopaths'

0 replies 668 views Edited May 9, 2012

Star Wars: Battlefront 3 was in development at Free Radical Design, but it was canceled by LucasArts executives who found the project too costly, according to the developer's co-founder, David Doak.

In a lengthy Eurogamer feature about the history of Free Radical, a studio often credited for the success of GoldenEye for the Nintendo 64, Doak and fellow co-founder Steve Ellis gave their side of the story on the rise and fall of the studio. The team had its highs (like its well-received TimeSplitters games) and lows (like Haze), but its darkest days were those preceding the cancellation of its heretofore unannounced last project: Star Wars: Battlefront 3.

"It was going well," says Doak. "They wanted to massively upgrade the scope, and consequently we were being required to be very ambitious technology-wise — when you see those leaked videos of it you can see it looks spectacular."

The problem: with that ambition came a higher price tag for the project. When LucasArts experienced a changing of its executive guard — including the appointment of new president Darrell Rodriguez — the publisher's priorities turned to cost-cutting. According to Doak, Free Radical's budget was targeted, leading to layoffs and payroll freezes. Ultimately, the studio went into administration, and was absorbed by Crytek shortly thereafter.

"My role at Free Radical meant that I was simultaneously involved in these unpleasant 'high level' discussions with psychopaths who wanted to destroy us," Doak said, "and then the next day sitting with our dev staff at their desks trying to boost people's morale. It was the most depressing and pointless thing that I have ever been involved in."

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