Last week I reported on LucasArts' canceled Darth Maul video game and its possible revival, so it only felt natural to report on their canceled Boba Fett video game. Yes, you read that correctly, LucasArts had a Boba Fett video game in the works! You'd think that a game based on one of Star Wars' most popular characters would be a massive hit, so what exactly went wrong?
The Early Days
Titled Star Wars: 1313, the game was supposed to revolve around Boba Fett in his early adulthood, navigating past the scum and villainy of the criminal underground of Coruscant known as 'Level 1313' (pronounced: "thirteen-thirteen"), and fulfilling his destiny as a full-fledged bounty hunter like his father. Various "exotic" weapons would have been utilized as the player uncovered a criminal conspiracy.
Star Wars: 1313 was revealed at E3 2012, confirming several facts and stating there is no release date as of yet. At Gamescon 2012, a gameplay trailer was released, showing new footage from the game.
The game was stated to have a 'Mature' rating with the game's director, Dominic Robilliard, stating,
"1313 is also going for a 'Mature' rating, great news for anyone who believes Star Wars' more child-centric offerings have been its most disappointing. For LucasArts this doesn't mean gore and sensationalism, it means adult-themes and stories, another reason for glowing anticipation."
A game revolving around Boba Fett's bounty hunter escapades, based on Coruscant and it also has a 'Mature' rating!? Who wouldn't want to play a game like this!? Well, Disney for one...
On March 1, 2013 it was reported that the game was placed "on hold" due to Disney's acquisition of LucasArts, stating that Disney will focus mostly on the new Star Wars film franchise.
On April 3, 2013, it was announced that Disney had stopped development at LucasArts and laid off its staff, except a skeleton crew of less than 10 employees which would allow LucasArts to remain open as a licensor. As a result, all projects were shelved, including titles such as Star Wars: First Assault and Star Wars 1313. A Lucasfilm representative stated:
"After evaluating our position in the games market, we’ve decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimizing the company's risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games. As a result of this change, we've had layoffs across the organization."
Disney chose not to renew the trademark for Star Wars 1313 at the end of 2013 and so as a result, The United States Patent and Trademark Office considers the trademark abandoned.
Star Wars: 1313 may resume development if an external developer is found, but until that happens the game remains on hold. Electronic Arts (EA) have since struck a deal with Disney to produce Star Wars games for their core gaming market. However, Disney Interactive Studios still remains the developer, and LucasArts still retain the ability to license their product. When asked whether EA would kick-start Star Wars: 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault, a representative for the company stated that they would not be announcing any titles. EA went on to announce Star Wars: Battlefront, due for release later this month.
Will 1313 ever see the light of day again? Well, with the main focus on Battlefront for the next few months, and the possible revival of Battle of the Sith Lords, don't expect any news about 1313 for quite sometime. All of this coupled with the fact that it is a mature game make it very unlikely that LucasArts' vision of 1313 will ever be released. Disney would not want to associate themselves with a game like 1313.
Visceral's 'Star Wars' franchise
While 1313 may never see the light of day, its spirit may very well live on in Viscerals upcoming Star Wars game. Voice actor Nolan North revealed some information about the game. While not lending his voice to the project, he seems to know quite a lot about it. According to North, the game is "different" but "along the same lines" as 1313. Announcing the game, and on the departure of Amy Hennig from Naughty Dog, North has stated,
"If you're a big fan of Amy Hennig and her style of story, she's gone to EA and is going to reboot a brand new Star Wars franchise in the style of Uncharted,"
Would I play a Star Wars game in the style of Uncharted? Absolutely!
While we may never see 1313, one has to hope that Visceral's Star Wars franchise will capture the spirit of its fallen brother.