The lights are on
This editorial piece originally ran in December 2012 after Free Radical Design's Star Wars: Battlefront III was canceled. With the upcoming release of Star Wars Battlefront from EA and Battlefield developer DICE, we thought we'd take a look back at a time when gamers held out hope that the project would be revived by Free Radical or someone else. For more on the game, check out Reiner's story of the fall of LucasArts (including what went down with Battlefront III), as well as video footage of the title.
Some things you just can't let go. Our current fascination with the unreleased Star Wars: Battlefront III is just one example throughout video game history of gamers' love affair with what could of been and what likely will never be. I understand how easy it is to pine for a title you can't play, but I wish it would stop.
Maybe I'm just too practical, but I don't see anything to be gained by wishing for what's not going to be. Even in this day of Kickstarter and success stories like Xenoblade Chronicles finally being released for Wii owners, one thing that gets me is that if the game actually did come out with another developer other than Free Radical attached, then what? It will be too easy in that case to look at every "mistake" in the New Battlefront III and compare it to some hypothetical game that Free Radical never made in the first place, and fool ourselves into thinking that Free Radical would have done things different and/or better. And the likelihood of Free Rad's version somehow coming out are next to zero, BTW.
There's so much that we don't know about the situation surrounding the game's development and demise. While I definitely love a good behind-the-scenes expose as much as the next person, the recent back-and-forth between Free Radical Steve Ellis and the anonymous LucasArts employee only goes to show that none of us know how the sausage is really made.
I don't fault anyone for their sincerity in wanting Star Wars: Battlefront III to see the light of day in the manner they think would be best, or people's optimism that they can influence the process in a positive manner. I certainly have opinions about how any given game could be better. The sticky thing with Battlefront III is that nobody knows were to start. Without knowing what the game would been like, how its gameplay would have felt, AI acted, feature-set performed, and any number of other variables that come into play during development, it can be foolish to project our own wishes onto an unfinished slate.
I'm pretty confident that one day we'll see another Battlefront title – it's a LucasArts property that's pretty good, which is something of a rarity over there. Until then, I'm going to spend my time thinking about games I'm already playing or ones that I actually have a chance of getting my hands on in the near future.
Life's too damn short to be trapped in delusions of grandeur.
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