Given the continuing popularity of multiplayer shooters, it’s surprising that LucasArts has allowed the Star Wars: Battlefront series to lie dormant for so long. While Activision, Microsoft, and Electronic Arts reap the rewards of a gaming populace with an insatiable appetite for competitive digital shoot outs, LucasArts has allowed its multiplayer shooter series languish for an entire console generation. Apparently that hasn’t been on purpose, though. Studios apparently keep trying to make a new Star Wars: Battlefront and it just keeps getting cancelled. The most recent studio to take a stab at the series was Slant Six Games.
Siliconera reported on Wednesday that Slant Six, the studio behind 2012’s Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, was making a new game in the series called Star Wars: Battlefront Online for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 back in 2010. LucasArts cancelled the project before it was ever officially announced. Concept art for Slant Six’s take on the series is exclusively focused on scenes from Hoth, the ice planet featured in The Empire Strikes Back and roughly 300,000 different video games, both Star Wars and non-Star Wars games.
It may have been for the best. Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City was savaged by critics and fans alike when it was released in March, not just because of its bland multiplayer take on the faded horror series but also due to the myriad game breaking bugs and glitches in the game. Many reviewers found that the game simply wouldn’t work, with AI partners refusing to move. Slant Six’s response to these criticisms was that it “accomplished what [publisher] Capcom wanted us to do.”
The last major release in the Star Wars: Battlefront series was Star Wars: Battlefront II for the Xbox, PlayStation 2, and Gamecube in 2005. It remained one of the most played games on Xbox Live well into the current console generation, staying at the top of the charts until 2009.
Timesplitters developer Free Radical famously worked on Star Wars: Battlefront III for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 before that game was cancelled and the studio was closed in 2009. Free Radical co-founder Steve Ellis claimed earlier this fall that Battlefront III was “99 percent complete” when LucasArts cancelled the game, but a former LucasArts employee responded that the studio had finished just “75 percent of a mediocre game” and Free Radical repeatedly lied about its progress on the title.