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Free Radical on LucasArts and Battlefront III

A lengthy feature on Eurogamer looks back at the rise and fall of developer Free Radical games. The article's into states it was once to be called "Did Haze Kill Free Radical," but their research resulted in more of an indictment of mainstream game development in a piece ultimately titled "Free Radical vs. the Monsters." One interested contention, highlighted by GameSpot, is that LucasArts actually wanted their ambitious plans for Star Wars: Battlefront III to fail. Here's what he says about the sequel where the idea was that "players could seamlessly transition from a small-scale gunfight into a space battle simply by climbing into a ship and taking off":

But LucasArts began to press hard on other, less quantifiable, issues. "Stalling tactics," says Graeme Norgate. "If a publisher wants to find something that is wrong with a milestone, it's very easy for them to do so as there are so many grey areas within a deliverable. If the contract says, 'Graphics for level X to be release quality,' who can say what's release quality? And there you have it."

"LucasArts hadn't paid us for six months," says Norgate "and were refusing to pass a milestone so we would limp along until the money finally ran out. They knew what they were doing, and six months of free work to pass on to Rebellion wasn't to be sniffed at." Part of the eventual agreement between LucasArts and Free Radical saw certain assets passed on to Rebellion Studios. For a time LucasArts was tempted by the thought of a hastily put together Battlefront 3, but nothing came of it. When presented with the allegations put forth by this investigation, LucasArts said simply that it does not comment on rumour and speculation.

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9. Re: Free Radical on LucasArts and Battlefront III<br> A <a href= May 5, 2012, 18:03 Sepharo
 
Aero wrote on May 5, 2012, 17:28:
It is amazing how they went from one of the best early PC game developers (starting with games having nothing to do with Lucas's IP, like Maniac Mansion, Battle of Britain, SWOTL, LOOM, Sam and Max, etc.) to one of the most reviled IP cash-in shops at almost exactly the same time the prequels were released. They *were* one of the greatest studios of all time.

I bet you there's a really interesting story to what happened at Lucasarts between about 1997 and 2000.

If you're a backer of DFA you can listen to Tim's in depth history of his early career at LucasArts working at Skywalker Ranch.

http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/6764/

This comment was edited on May 5, 2012, 18:10.
 
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8. Re: Free Radical on LucasArts and Battlefront III<br> A <a href= May 5, 2012, 17:37 Agent.X7
 
RollinThundr wrote on May 5, 2012, 16:17:
While I don't doubt it happens. And at that happens often. Why would a publisher put money towards a project, especially in LA's case a core franchise involving starwars, and want it to fail? Why would the not want to put out quality software and continue to build on an already strong brand name despite some truly awful Starwars games and movies over the years.

You would think they would want to put out quality titles that sell well and make a profit because they're quality.

I honestly believe another 84' type games industry crash in coming, between the out of control budgets and cutting content to sell as DLC this industry really needs a wake the fuck up call.

The same reason people give Uwe Boll money to make films. It's a huge tax write-off that balances the income from other projects.
 
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7. Re: Free Radical on LucasArts and Battlefront III<br> A <a href= May 5, 2012, 17:28 Aero
 
It is amazing how they went from one of the best early PC game developers (starting with games having nothing to do with Lucas's IP, like Maniac Mansion, Battle of Britain, SWOTL, LOOM, Sam and Max, etc.) to one of the most reviled IP cash-in shops at almost exactly the same time the prequels were released. They *were* one of the greatest studios of all time.

I bet you there's a really interesting story to what happened at Lucasarts between about 1997 and 2000.

 
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6. Re: Free Radical on LucasArts and Battlefront III<br> A <a href= May 5, 2012, 17:10 Paketep
 
deqer wrote on May 5, 2012, 16:07:
"LucasArts said simply that it does not comment on rumour and speculation."

Is that the same as saying "fuck off." ?

LucasArts has been saying us fuck off for ten years already. No surprises there. In fact, Lucas himself has been saying fuck off to all Star Wars fans since the release of The Phantom Menace.

It's sad to see a studio with aspirations and what looks like it could have been a great game die like that, but hey, we can't say it was expected.

Kinect Star Wars is really a much appropriate game that shows how much they willing to sacrify in quality so they can sell as much as possible.
 
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5. Re: Free Radical on LucasArts and Battlefront III<br> A <a href= May 5, 2012, 17:10 Wildone
 
LucasArts are a bunch of cockguns  
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4. Re: Free Radical on LucasArts and Battlefront III<br> A <a href= May 5, 2012, 16:57 TurdFergasun
 
funny i see another crash like oct 29th, 1929, but not just for games, cause these problems are rampant in every industry. history will repeat itself cause clearly nobody has learned a damn thing from it. hari seldon would know what to do, but i'm sure nobody would listen if he existed in our timespace.  
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3. Re: Free Radical on LucasArts and Battlefront III<br> A <a href= May 5, 2012, 16:17 RollinThundr
 
While I don't doubt it happens. And at that happens often. Why would a publisher put money towards a project, especially in LA's case a core franchise involving starwars, and want it to fail? Why would the not want to put out quality software and continue to build on an already strong brand name despite some truly awful Starwars games and movies over the years.

You would think they would want to put out quality titles that sell well and make a profit because they're quality.

I honestly believe another 84' type games industry crash in coming, between the out of control budgets and cutting content to sell as DLC this industry really needs a wake the fuck up call.
 
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2. Re: Free Radical on LucasArts and Battlefront III<br> A <a href= May 5, 2012, 16:07 deqer
 
"LucasArts said simply that it does not comment on rumour and speculation."

Is that the same as saying "fuck off." ?
 
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1. Re: Free Radical on LucasArts and Battlefront III<br> A <a href= May 5, 2012, 15:44 necrosis
 
All the Battlefront games were slapped together. It still pisses me off to no end that LucasArts sicked their dogs on the team making a Star Wars mod for Battlefield just to release this total turd of a series.  
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