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Free Radical Design's Star Wars: Battlefront 3 Whereabouts - Explained

Updated on October 4, 2017
Craig Easom profile image

Craig has been a writer on HubPages since 2013. He is currently studying for Marketing at Nottingham Trent University—in the land of Robin.

Star Wars: Battlefront 3 | 12 years since it was due out for release
Star Wars: Battlefront 3 | 12 years since it was due out for release

In 2005, Star Wars: Battlefront 3 was due for a release date, but ultimately got scrapped before the final works of development. We are going to dig deep into what happened to the Battlefront 3 Star Wars game that never was.

Star Wars: Battlefront was originally developed by Pandemic Studios in 2003, and was a game that would be released alongside the second Star Wars movie that was being released at the time. The purpose in playing the game is to play as either the clones or the droids, and the mission to capture allied or enemy posts. This game was an immediate hit on the PC and PlayStation 2 on its initial launch.

There was to be a sequel, Star Wars: Battlefront II, that would be released a year later in 2004 with all new and exciting battlegrounds to take to the ground or air in epic battles, once again as either the clones, rebels or droids.

This game was also marked alongside the release of for Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith movie as it was released on DVD. This game released on the PC and PlayStation 2, and became a platinum hit for the PS2. This game was also developed by Pandemic studios.

Star Wars: Battlefront 3 however (the original that is) never saw the light of day, and was originally to be developed by Free Radical Design, the TimeSplitters developer. Many have been waiting since 2005 to see a Star Wars: Battlefront 3 from Free Radical, but all these people will have faded into the action delivered by EA DICE for the remake of the Star Wars: Battlefront series that began in 2015. The release was a success, but what about Free Radical Design?

Well, Free Radical Design saw their chance, but this simply passed when EA (the games publisher) made the decision to cancel the games sequel entirely after having a breakdown in communication issues between the contracted developer (FRD) and the publisher contracting the games making (EA).

This should come as little surprise, as Free Radical Design had been rumoured back in 2013 to be making a new TimeSplitters game titled TimeSplitters: Rewind. But, like with Battlefront 3, it seems the communication between the developer and their invested party has yet to shed any real concrete information. It is currently 2017, and the rumours are still alive on the web containing leaked information regarding a TimeSplitters Rewind game release.

Could Free Radical Design be working on the development for a TimeSplitters Rewind game?

Try to bare in mind that I myself am a huge fanboy for the original TimeSplitters series that released back on the PS2 console. The games were wacky, hilarious, pointless, and had some awesome gaming mechanics for the FPS series for the time when they were made.

A brief history for TimeSplitters series: The original TimeSplitters game was launched in the year 2000 for the PS2. A sequel launched in 2002 titled TimeSplitters 2, and the final TimeSplitters was to launch in 2005 titled TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, all of which released on the PS2.

TimeSplitters 4: It was originally stated in 2012 that there was a TimeSplitters 4 in the works, and that the game would use the CryEngine 3 for its gameplay. Larger developers have put the game into a hit and miss category at this original stage saying that it was unlikely to happen because they were unsure of the number of fans who actually wanted the game. Not looking good.

However, later in 2012 a fan developing team was formed to make the TimeSplitters 4 game that would be titled TimeSplitters Rewind, and would even bring in some of the original Free Radical Design team behind the originals. At first, pencilled in for a 2013 launch the games demo was later pushed back to 2017.

Unfortunately, this post is not focusing on the woes and failures for Free Radical Design, but you can expect to see a separate post covering this in the future.
When will Star Wars: Battlefront 3 release to the open market?

No, we are not talking about EA DICE’s follow-up to late 2017’s launch of Star Wars: Battlefront II, but rather that of the PS2 production for a followup for 2004’s Star Wars: Battlefront II.

Back in 2003, Pandemic Studios developed Star Wars: Battlefront, a game that would receive a sequel in the following year, also developed by Pandemic titled Star Wars: Battlefront 2.

This was when EA contracted Free Radical Design to develop the third instalment for the Star Wars: Battlefront series, but due to conflict the game never saw the light of day.

At this point all hope has been lost, the third instalment for Battlefront 3 was chartered for a 2005 release, but the official reasonings behind the games cancellation are still not entirely known. It has been said that Lucas Arts did not like the approach by the developers for the game, and this alone would have killed the game.

EA also supposedly had their fair share of troubles with Free Radical Design as communication between the two companies was met with difficulties. According to EA, FRE did not turn up to meetings, and without the regular updates from the developer EA had no choice but to scrap the project. Free Radical accord the events differently, stating that EA stopped funding for the game just 2 weeks before the game was to be completed. Either way, Battlefront was put on hiatus until EA could find room for its next instalment.

Free Radical Design’s Battlefront 3 simply wasn’t meant to be.

What about Free Radical Design’s sequel… what happened to the scrapped prototype? This is now public knowledge that FRE had been involved in the creation for a sequel to Battlefront back in 2005 as there was a leaked video in 2007 of the Battlefront 3 prototype.

Many who had fond memories of the first and second Battlefront games on the PS2 and PC may have gone in search online for information regarding a sequel. Chances are, this was one of the first gaming series that struck a cord in 2006, when two years after the immense success of Battlefront II there was still no sign of a sequel to the ever popular PS2/PC series.

What fans of the original Battlefront series are hoping for is a revival of the Free Radical Design sequel, taking the prototype and other completed works for the third instalment, and use this to make an arcade game for the next-generation consoles. It could happen.

SummaryThe sad thing about Free Radical Design not having launched the third in the Battlefront series is that their gaming engine actually seemed quite good for the time when this game was in development. FRE had a strong fan following from the TimeSplitters series, and one thing that fans crossing over liked was the ability to create a fun open space to destroy enemies. Would have been interesting to see Free Radical’s approach to a Star Wars battleground war zone.

Not that fans of the original series should feel too disappointed given that EA’s DICE have been working hard to deliver a next-generation experience in reviving the Star Wars: Battlefront series. The first released in 2015, and was one of the first Star Wars games to release since the acquisition between Lucas Art’s and Walt Disney for the Star Wars brand. This game is available on the Xbox One, PS4, and PC platforms, and is soon to receive a sequel that is due out in winter, 2017.

The truth behind EA’s abandonment from Free Radical Design’s Battlefront 3 is likely revolved around Star Wars at this stage no longer having movies to promote alongside the game, and if you pay careful attention you will see that Star Wars movies and Star Wars: Battlefront games seem to go side by side. Who knows, but it would have been cool to see a Battlefront 3 back in 2005 that was created by the same developers behind TimeSplitters: Future Perfect.


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