Star Wars: Battlefront 3 recently stumbled out of the morgue and into the spotlight when Free Radical Design co-founder Steve Ellis claimed the game was “99 percent finished” before its cancellation.
The next in the Battlefield-esque series created by now-defunct Pandemic Studios was unceremoniously canned by LucasArts for financial reasons, Ellis said. But a former LucasArts employee told GameSpot that is a load of bantha fodder.
“This 99 percent complete stuff is just bullsh*t,” the employee told GameSpot on the condition of anonymity. “A generous estimate would be 75 percent of a mediocre game.”
The employee said he worked at LucasArts while the series was being developed by Pandemic and then Free Radical. While many developers miss a deadline here or there, Free Radical missed milestone after milestone, he said. The studio seemed to be having trouble developing the tepidly received Haze and Battlefront 3 simultaneously in 2007.
“At this point, I felt that Free Radical was akin to a Ponzi scheme where time and budget from the next game was being used to finish the previous, late, title,” he said.
After Haze’s disappointing launch, development continued to miss milestones and prototypes didn’t impress LucasArts, the employee said. Eventually, the belabored project was taken out back and shot.
“The failure of Battlefront 3 was tragic for everyone involved, not least the fans,” he said. “There’s a lot of blame to go around and many different perspectives. I won’t, though, let Steve Ellis whitewash the part that he and Free Radical played. I’d suggest that everyone keep this as something tragic to muse over with a beer rather than throwing stones in public.”
UPDATE: Ellis has responded at length to the source’s comments.