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. 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, 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. 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.