Former LucasArts Employee Doubts Battlefront III Claim

Karloff

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Former LucasArts Employee Doubts Battlefront III Claim



The anonymous source estimates Battlefront III was nearer 75% done than 99%.

Not that long ago Steve Ellis of Free Radical Design claimed that, when Battlefront III got canned, it was 99% finished [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/120884-Battlefront-III-Died-Just-Inches-From-the-Finish-Line]. Nonsense, says a former LucasArts employee; it was closer to 75%, and so many target dates had been missed that any confidence LucasArts had in Free Radical was gone.

"I was at LucasArts during this time, working on Battlefront III, and remember it well," says the source, speaking to GameSpot on condition of anonymity. "Everybody from producers to marketing was 100% invested in making the relationship work," the source adds, but Free Radical overestimated its ability to meet dates. Despite good will payments from LucasArts to keep things going, eventually the relationship broke down altogether when LucasArts lost faith in Free Radical's ability to deliver.

In 2008, when Haze met with indifferent reviews and sales [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/83991-Free-Radical-Head-Balks-at-IGN-Review-of-Haze], LucasArts became seriously alarmed. LucasArts had thought that the frequently delayed Haze would be a blockbuster, but clearly that wasn't the case; and if Haze was that bad, what would Battlefront III be like? Shortly afterward Battlefront III missed yet another target date, and LucasArts decided to pull the plug.

"I won't though let Steve Ellis whitewash the part that he and Free Radical played," says the source. "I'd suggest that everyone keep this as something tragic to muse over with a beer rather than throwing stones in public."

Steve Ellis has written a lengthy response to the anonymous statement, which can be read here. [http://www.gamespot.com/news/former-lucasarts-employee-on-why-star-wars-battlefront-iii-failed-6400936?tag=Topslot;WhyStarWarsBattlefrontIiiFailed;WhyStarWarsBattlefron] Among other things, Ellis admits that 99% was probably a bit of an exaggeration."I probably should have said 97% or 98%," Ellis says. Otherwise he refutes the anonymous claims pretty much in their entirety, and stands by his initial statement.

Source: GameSpot [http://www.gamespot.com/news/former-lucasarts-employee-on-why-star-wars-battlefront-iii-failed-6400936?tag=Topslot;WhyStarWarsBattlefrontIiiFailed;WhyStarWarsBattlefron]


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Karloff

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I will believe the dev over the anonymous lucas arts employee thanks, Lucas Arts has a tendency to be assholes.
 

fix-the-spade

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I've seen the gameplay videos, it was nearly finished.

The guy won't even leave his name, assuming he's from Lucas Arts at all he clearly knows that any claims he made as a person would be taken apart on seconds. Oh well, desperation moves from the PR department...

Captcha: minced oaths, haha, has Captcha achieved sentience or something?
 

CardinalPiggles

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One source is standing tall and proud while the other cowers behind anonymity. Who are people more likely to trust I wonder?
 

Karloff

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Yeah let's keep this deplorable failure a secret so Nobody knows what miserable pieces of shit we really are. No need to find-out what actually went wrong, just chalk it up to the instability of the free market (Hallowed be it's name!)

Also it was totally THEIR fault
 

Quaxar

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I just came here because I read Battlefront III. Where is it? I want it! NOW!

I chose to believe we still have a chance. And I hope it's going to turn out better than Duke Nukem...
 

Roxas1359

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Aug 8, 2009
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Sorry but I will believe the developers more than an anonymous source any day. Let's hope that maybe someday it will see the light of day. Hell I guarantee that if they somehow released it for the PS2 it would still be a huge hit. Of course that's just me being optimistic and wanting another PS2 game. Man I love my PS2.
 

GaltarDude1138

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I like how the anonymous source WAS and is NO LONGER a LucasArts employee yet most of the comments here are like, "THE PR DEPARTMENT IS JUST COVERING THEIR ASS!"

At any rate, BF3 isn't coming out anytime soon, LA is doing their thing, Free Radical (Crytek UK) is doing their thing...

There's just no justice, is there?
 

TsunamiWombat

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fix-the-spade said:
I've seen the gameplay videos, it was nearly finished.

The guy won't even leave his name, assuming he's from Lucas Arts at all he clearly knows that any claims he made as a person would be taken apart on seconds. Oh well, desperation moves from the PR department...

Captcha: minced oaths, haha, has Captcha achieved sentience or something?
I've seen the gameplay video's, it was nowhere near finished. Just because it has the -majority- of it's graphic assets and engine done doesn't mean it's done.

CardinalPiggles said:
One source is standing tall and proud while the other cowers behind anonymity. Who are people more likely to trust I wonder?
Professionalism sometimes means not running your mouth and waving your willy.
 

josemlopes

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Gamespot already covered the FRD response to this:

http://www.gamespot.com/news/free-radical-cofounder-responds-to-battlefront-iii-claims-6400991
 

fix-the-spade

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TsunamiWombat said:
Just because it has the -majority- of it's graphic assets and engine done doesn't mean it's done.
No, but if it's together and working it's well past the 'flailing about building things' stage. The footage is supposedly pre-alpha stage and far removed from the state the game was in when the bell tolled. Whether that's true or not, who knows, a few guys from each side of the argument but certainly not us.

That the whole statement comes from 'some guy' who 'totally used to work for LucasArts' set of my bs alarm. I'd put money on it being someone currently employed within LucsArts (or third party PR company) being told specifically to discredit Ellis. That the 'not LucasArts guy' describes Free Radical as essentially a group of liars and thieves set of alarms too (seriously, the guy describe Free Radical as being like a Ponzi scheme).

They had dropped one massive clanger in Haze, all the games before that were excellent. It all seems a bit odd.

If the guy names himself (and turns out to have held a credible position at LucasArts) then I'll be eating humble pie.
 

GenGenners

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Ed130 said:
75% or 95%, it was mostly done.

I wonder if the game data still exists...
LucasArts likely seized and scrapped it's assets. I doubt much of it still remains in any usuable state.
 

Nihlus2

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So an annonymous -former- employee comes back to defend an old case in a company that he/she either a) left for own reasons, b) got layed off or c) fired from the company.

b and c really needs no elaboration on why this would seem really, really unlikely and backwards for anyone to come back and defend them (maybe b if they left on good terms but... unlikely). However... if it was a, and in so it was a leave on good terms, why would you not just stand all out and not be annonymous about it. You do not come out to defend someone, while staying hidden, unless you have no special relation to party, or you spite the other party.

...Myeah, excuse me if I am not sceptical about the credibility of an illogical lash out about the whole thing. Not that I am all up with banners and soapboxes behind Free Radical, 99% sounded fishy too, but judging from the leaked footage, it did looked like it was at least going rather well. Not 99%, but pretty good nevertheless.
This seems so backwards and there would be no reason to do this kind of "response", except for either being: a troll, 3rd party hired to sugar coat lucas arts, a current lucas arts employee, someone who has a thorn in the eye of Free Radical or... well, that's pretty much all the reasons I can think of.

If the person comes forth, and all things add up, then I will believe them humbly, but until then, I am about as convinced as if someone told me the world is flat as a board.
 

major_chaos

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I love how everyone is dismissing this guy mostly because his statements disagree with what they despretly want to be true.
I mean its not like Steve Ellis has every reason to want you to think that it was all Lucas Arts fault and absolve his own team of any wrongdoing, right?
 

Karloff

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Yeah, unfortunately I've going to have to come down on the side of Free Radical. Really? You didn't know that Haze was going to be a bust? Anybody should have been able to tell you that, but Battlefront III is an established franchise with a huge fan base. Just re-skin the first game and I would still give it a 10/10 today.

Plus, when you're leaving behind great games like Battlefront or X-Wing and going with Force Unleashed, there is definitely an issue with the company, not the developer.
 

Denizen

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It's really too late to do damage control on this. Since this anonymous lucasarts employee is responding at all, he/she just opened the wounds back up and now things are going to get ugly for lucasarts.

josemlopes said:
Gamespot already covered the FRD response to this:

http://www.gamespot.com/news/free-radical-cofounder-responds-to-battlefront-iii-claims-6400991
I started reading it and all the way through it I kept thinking, wow he even knows the guy who would say things like this,

"From the personal tone of the comments it is clear that the source is someone whom I personally dealt with. It's unfortunate that they are making this kind of criticism while choosing to remain anonymous."
 

faefrost

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josemlopes said:
Gamespot already covered the FRD response to this:

http://www.gamespot.com/news/free-radical-cofounder-responds-to-battlefront-iii-claims-6400991
Call me picky, but I am really not seeing a rousing or effective defense in those statements. It's clear from reading both sides that the truth lies in the middle. Yes Lucasarts had some major changes, and new people with new priorities, no pre-existing relationships, and high expectations that probably did put undue pressure on the developer.

But really, read between the lines about some of what Ellis is saying in that last commentary. Free Radical obviously did have huge issues regard the tech and platforms, time management, resource management and budget management. And the claims of "well that was only happening over on that other project" ring kinda false. Sorry. I see nothing rebuting the claims of missed deadlines or targets. The mismanagement seen over on the Haze project was probably enough to make the new folks at Lucasarts skitish about what they would be getting in BF III, regardless of whether or not Haze was costing them any money directly. The missed dealines increased that, and whatever final demo's happened apparently failed to wow them. We can debate whether it was a good or bad decision all we want. But these are businesses. And this was a fair business decision to make. Not the one that we fans wanted, but still not outside the lines for a publisher to choose to do.

It doesn't matter if it is our favorite game ever. Before it releases to us it must survive for an extended period of time as the favorite game ever ever ever of someone who is providing the money for it. If the game fails to achieve this, then chances are it will not see release.
 

Karloff

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Is it weird I don't like COD or Battlefield, but would play another Battlefront game?
 

hermes

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99% means nothing. 99% is days away from being gold. I don't know any of the people involved into this discussion, but I don't trust someone whose public opinion is "99% done".

Three quarters done seems far more likely...