The Vault Project has shared a really detailed document about the development of Free Radical’s Battlefront 3 game. According to the document, Free Radical had plans for more Battlefront games and signed up a deal with Lucas Arts.
In 2007, and due to how ambitious Battlefront 3 actually was, Free Radical Design signed a contract to create Battlefront IV, V and VI. In addition, yearly installments were considered at that point, meaning that each and every year we’d be getting a new Battlefront game (whether in the form of expansion or brand new game).
In 2008-2009, Rebellion – who has been working on the PSP and DS versions of Battlefront 3 – signed up a deal with Lucas Arts. This deal gave Rebellion full control over all Battlefront 3 versions (PC, PS3, X360, PS2 and Wii). Rebellion promised low production costs and a tight deadline, however it was unable to fulfil those promises. As such, both Rebellion and Lucas Arts decided to drop the main versions and focus on the PSP and DS versions. Battlefront 3 was then renamed to Star Wars: Elite Squadron and was released in 2009 for both PSP and DS.
What’s also interesting here is that according to The Vault Project, the console ports were most likely what caused the demise of Battlefront 3. As The Vault Project claims, prior to the console ports, everything was working fine. Memory was no issue and high-end PCs could be used in order to brute force some potentially performance optimization issues. However, everything fall apart the moment Free Radical started working on the console versions.
According to The Vault Project’s speculations – and given the fact that X360 and PS3 were not as powerful as PCs – the assets that were used led to memory issues and major performance issues. The only solution that was present was rebuilding a lot of objects/assets but this would still be a long process.
In the end, it appears that those plans to release the game on multiple consoles – instead of focusing on the PC version as that’s where the game’s development started – was what killed Free Radical’s Battlefront 3 game!