|Free Radical founder disputes accusation of mishandling of Battlefront III|
|Posted: 04.12.2012 04:13 by||Comments: 2|
Recently, an anonymous source claimed that Star Wars: Battlefront III was not "99% finished", as Free Radical Design cofounder Steve Ellis claimed, but was "subpar", and that the developer used Battlefront III as a "Ponzi scheme" to fund Haze, which was being developed by Ubisoft.
Ellis has disputed the claim. He stated that Ubisoft increased its budget when Haze needed extra development time; the budget for Battlefront III was untouched.
Ellis stated, "I want to set the record straight because a lot of people worked very hard on BFIII (and BFIV) and they don't deserve their efforts to be distorted in this way."
"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."
He went on to state, "The suggestion that we kept our difficulties to ourselves is also false. We may have been guilty of this in our earlier publisher relationships, believing that we could quietly deal with our problems by ourselves and not have to risk instigating a situation where the publishers response added further risk to the project or our company. However, with LucasArts this was absolutely not the case; it was the best publisher relationship we had ever had, so when it became clear that the design changes that we had mutually agreed to make meant that there was a risk to the end date, the first thing we did was to bring it to the attention of LucasArts senior management, almost a full year before the scheduled release. There was a lot of discussion and it was agreed to push back the release date. There were no secrets."
"I don't know who he might be referring to when he says that 'key staff' left in September 2008. During that month we lost a couple of mid-level programmers, a couple of artists, and a member of our admin staff."
He also disputed the idea that Battlefront III was "subpar", pointing to a video that was posted four years ago that LucasArts had taken down "recently".
"(The YouTube video) was leaked by people who were very proud of the game that they had spent over 2 years developing and wanted the world to at least have an opportunity to see it before it was consigned to history. Unfortunately, four years on, LucasArts have chosen to have the video removed," he insisted.
Ellis noted that 1998 was a period of turmoil for LucasArts, and that many projects had been cancelled by the company. "We were told (and it seemed wholly believable given the aforementioned facts) that they could not afford to continue development of both BFIII and its sequel, so they negotiated the termination of BFIV, then later BFIII. There was no 'termination for breach,'" he stated.