According to a lengthy investigation conducted by Kotaku, the number of games stuck in purgatory and eventually cancelled at LucasArts in its final years is quite a bit more than we all expected.
Games in development run the gamut of what you might imagine being able to do in the Star Wars universe – a game codenamed Smuggler had the player creating an avatar and running contraband in and out of various intergalactic locales, while Outpost was (no joke) a FarmVille-style life and harvest simulation. In Death Star, an iOS game, the player would actually get to control the famed ruination station with a few taps of a finger. Due to various factors, including but not limited to frequent executive shifts and an indecisive George Lucas, none of these games were able to make it out alive.
Perhaps the most fascinating tidbit is that early on in development, the higher-ups at LucasArts wanted the eventually much-hyped Star Wars 1313 to essentially be “Star Wars GTA.” Just imagine that! An open world Star Wars the size of something like Grand Theft Auto V would offer the type of exploration, freedom, and world detail that not even The Old Republic has been able to deliver. Alas, once it was determined that it’d cost millions of dollars and require hundreds of team members, they scrapped the idea. The whole thing flashed in and out of existence in just two months.
The article covers a handful of non-Star Wars releases that never saw the light of day too, so if you’re a big LucasArts fan or just feel like reading something equal parts interesting and depressing, then definitely click the source link below. The article even reveals that a deal with EA almost saved the company as a whole, but problems with SimCity and other distractions threw negotiations off course, and soon it was too late.
Silver lining? EA did at least manage to save Star Wars Battlefront. The loss of 1313 and others is still just as upsetting, though. It’s been said before, but rest in peace, LucasArts – you are and will continue to be sorely missed.