Have you ever wanted to play as the infamous bounty hunter Boba Fett so you could stop idolizing the only real-world alternative, Dog the Bounty Hunter? Or have you ever wanted to play as Darth Maul, one of the coolest looking Star Wars characters to only have like 60 words of dialogue in total? Well, you almost had both of those, but unfortunately Disney and LucasArts took those dreams away.
Whether the problem was licensing issues or money problems, Star Wars games have never had easy development schedules. Battlefront may not have been the game that you were looking for, but at least it actually came out.
Here I've compiled some of the best looking Star Wars games that never came to be. Let's all use this opportunity to bask in our collective sadness and mourn the loss of these games that never were.
1. 'Star Wars: Battle Of The Sith Lords'
What once could have been the Arkham Asylum of Star Wars games is just another game that got lost in the annals of history.
All the way back in 2010, developer Red Fly was contracted by LucasArts to port The Force Unleashed 2 to the original Wii system. Even though that game wasn't the biggest hit with critics or audiences, it allowed Red Fly to cozy up next to big man Lucas.
Working in secret, Red Fly began to work on a Batman: Arkham Asylum-esque game called Star Wars: Battle of the Sith Lords (starring Darth Maul). According to an anonymous Red Fly employee who spoke with Game Informer magazine:
“The initial plan was to explore making a stealth game that was action-centric. So instead of a stop-and-wait game like Thief, it was more forward stealth, like kill that person before they can actually alert someone, then disappear into the rafters. We also started developing the concept of Maul as a glass cannon. Taking our cues from Arkham Asylum, you are insanely -powerful and deadly, but one or two hits will take you out.”
Unfortunately, after a confusing meeting with George Lucas and LucasArts pulling the rug out from under the project, in June of 2011 the Darth Maul game was chopped in half and shoved over a very large precipice.
Apparently, just like the real(?) Darth Maul, this game doesn't look like it's dead for good. During a Reddit AMA from October of 2015, Dan Borth, a developer at Red Fly, stated the following:
We have been burning a candle for this game since it was killed in hopes we can get it turned back on again. IF that is to happen we need to approach EA with a demo that will impress them. I think we have that or are close to it. Still it is completely not up to us.
2. 'Star Wars 1313'
Perhaps the most disappointing game of the bunch, Star Wars 1313 was revealed to a hurricane of fan excitement only to be quickly blown away like a rancid fart.
1313 first made its appearance at 2012's E3 show. Originally slated for a release on PC, Xbox One, and PS4, 1313 followed the early adventures of bounty hunter Boba Fett as he battled the underground thugs of Coruscant that inhabited Level 1313. The game featured a mixture of third person shooting and cinematic platforming, much like the Uncharted series of games.
Despite a fully-functioning prototype, unfortunately 1313 couldn't survive the sale of the Star Wars license to Disney. When Disney took over the rights to all things Star Wars in 2012, they stripped developer LucasArts of most of their staff and all of their ongoing projects along with them, apparently in an effort to diversify their pool of developers who would work on future Star Wars titles.
Is is possible that 1313 may one day emerge from the sarlacc pit?
Unfortunately, that doesn't look very likely.
In 2013 Disney abandoned the 1313 trademark, making it unlikely that this game will ever see the light of day again.
3. 'Star Wars Rogue Squadron: X-Wing Vs. TIE Fighter'
In what would be the second in a series of THREE canceled Star Wars games developed by Factor 5, this Rogue Squadron game actually had the best fate out of any of the games mentioned in this piece.
After having their Rogue Squadron compilation game for the original Xbox canceled by the powers over at LucasArts during the early 2000s, developer Factor 5 began shopping around for another opportunity to jump into the Star Wars gaming universe.
After some urging from Microsoft and Xbox executives, Factor 5 began work on a exclusive launch title for the Xbox 360. This was particularly interesting because the Xbox Live infrastructure would enable the team at Factor 5 to pursue online multiplayer, something the team had had their eye on for some time. Julian Eggebrecht, president of Factor 5, stated:
He went on to state:
"It [Rogue Squadron: X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter] was much more about groups, because it's always Rogue Squadron, right...? So, you would be Red 5, together with the Reds essentially attacking, and there would be the Imperial side. And that would be the two factions duking it out in essentially the [Star Wars] movie battles, and then in additional battles."
However, because of fears over at LucasArts about creating a launch title, the title was scrapped during development and the team had to look elsewhere for support.
Eventually, the folks over at the PlayStation division of Sony Entertainment took interest in Factor 5's now defunct Star Wars project. However, Sony executives were interested in developing their own original IPs, not in using already existing properties like Star Wars.
Sony took Factor 5 into their fold and Factor 5 used the assets from what was once a Rogue Squadron game for their new dragon-flying game, Lair. Unfortunately, Lair wasn't very good.
Will we ever see a modern Rogue Squadron game? Probably not, because developer Factor 5 is now defunct, but it's entirely possible that someone at EA revitalizes what was once a great franchise.
But hey, at least we got something from Factor 5's work.
4. 'Star Wars: First Assault'
What could have been the precursor to a modern Battlefront title, First Assault was yet another Star Wars title that was pulled from development right before it was ready to be shown to the public.
What was to be the first in a series of two (perhaps even three) games, Star Wars: First Assault was a cooperative shooter that took place during the rebellion against the Empire.
On the surface, First Assault resembles most team-based shooters (e.g. Halo and Titanfall), but past all of the familiar gadgets, mechanics, and objectives lay the grander Star Wars universe. Each match in First Assault was meant to be one battle of the many in the much larger war between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Republic.
Even the way that the spawns worked puts each fight on a grand scale. According to Edwin Evans-Thirlwell of gamesradar:
Respawns would occur in waves, players materializing aboard a dropship as it sped to one of the map’s capture points. This was more than a glorified lobby screen: you could lean from the craft to size up the battle and even snipe at people below, perhaps scraping a cheeky kill or at least rattling foes enough to create opportunities for allies.
This mechanic — along with others, including the ability to heal your teammates without any dedicated tools or weapons — contributes to a more team-based environment, one that more closely resembles a "real" battle in the Star Wars universe.
Unfortunately, due to the liquidation of LucasArts after Disney bought the rights to Star Wars, First Assault was completely scrapped, along with its planned sequels.
5. 'Star Wars: Attack Squadrons'
This "free-to-play, open web, space combat game" didn't even get a chance to change spoilers into attack position.
Announced in December of 2013 and developed by Area 52 games, Attack Squadrons was to be a web-browser based multiplayer space shooter. Players could choose from various different ship models (e.g. X-wings and TIE fighters) and could actually customize their load-outs. Attack Squadrons also featured a number of various game modes like Free-for-All and Team Deathmatch where players from all around the world could blast each other to bits from the comfort of their own homes. You know, to avoid all that real life death and stuff.
The beta launched in January of 2014 to mixed, but certainly not bad, fan feedback. However, immediately following the beta, the developers made the announcement that they would not be going forward with Attack Squadrons and that the game was forever canceled.
It's not really clear why the game was canceled, but as with the other titles I've covered here, it seems that the deal made with Disney put the kibosh on many a Star Wars game.