Unsurprisingly, Frostwire Studios, the developer behind Galaxy in Turmoil, stated on Sunday that it received a request from Lucasfilm to pull all Star Wars-related content from its game currently in development. Galaxy in Turmoil is essentially a fan revival of Star Wars Battlefront III, which Free Radical Design had nearly completed in 2008 when it was canceled by LucasArts because the publisher reportedly couldn’t shell out the money for a huge marketing campaign.
To resolve the Star Wars-related issue, Frontwire Studios actually had a meeting with top executives at Lucasfilm to find some common ground that would enable the developers to keep pushing on with their fan-based project. Unfortunately, Electronic Arts is currently hogging all the game-related rights to the Star Wars franchise, a big red stop sign in terms of using Star Wars characters and other related content in a video game.
“I was told that Lucasfilm had already spoken with EA about Galaxy in Turmoil and that EA expressed no desire in letting our project continue,” said Frontwire president Tony Romanelli. “Their main concern was due to the possibility of Galaxy in Turmoil taking away attention from their Battlefront franchise. I tried to pitch the idea about putting Galaxy in Turmoil behind EA’s paywall but was told that EA had previously rejected that proposition as well.”
Because of EA’s decision, Lucasfilm was legally obliged to deny use of the Star Wars franchise in Frostwire’s game. That’s unfortunate, as Lucasfilm itself had no problem licensing the rights of the Star Wars franchise to Romanelli and his team of developers. Furthermore, Frostwire’s attorneys believe that the project falls under the Fair Use law, which grants a limited use of copyrighted material without the need for permission. The massive Roblox game-building community seems to fall under this rule.
So without access to the Star Wars IP, what will become of Galaxy in Turmoil now? It will no longer be a Star Wars game, obviously. However, Lucasfilm gave Frostwire the green light to create a Battlefront-inspired game based on the original, non-Star Wars content already inserted into Galaxy in Turmoil. It will also continue to offer 64-player battles, ground-to-space combat, a full single-player campaign, and more. And since it won’t have anything to do with Star Wars, the game will instead introduce players to an entirely new universe.
Right now, Galaxy in Turmoil is still heading to Steam as a free game. There will be no microtransactions or pay-to-win schemes to generate revenue. Instead, there is a plan to launch a crowdfunding program once a playable demo with a single-player mission and two multiplayer maps becomes available. The studio has to earn some cash for all their hard work and time, right?
“We hope you have enjoyed the experience and excitement Galaxy in Turmoil has brought thus far. Please stick around to see how we pivot to a brand new IP. I promise it will be something you will not want to miss out on,” Romanelli said.
In addition to the public announcement, Romanelli added a number of previously unreleased images that are based on the studio’s Star Wars-related work on the game, as seen at the bottom of his post right here.