Free Radical Was Offered Goldeneye 2; Battlefront 3 “Was Pretty Much Done”
Before it entered administration in 2008 and was bought out by Crytek in early 2009, Free Radical was allegedly offered the opportunity to make a sequel to the N64 classic Goldeneye: 007, and had nearly completed work on a new entry in the Battlefront series.
Speaking to GamesIndustry International, Free Radical co-founder Steve Ellis discussed the opportunity the studio had to develop Goldeneye 2 with Activision:
“As you can imagine that was something that was very well-received by a lot of the staff, it was going to be a great project to work on. But as we jumped at the opportunity it suddenly disappeared. We never got a real explanation about why it disappeared. I suspect it was to do with rights about which platforms a GoldenEye sequel could be released on.
“[Activision] probably wanted it on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and then realized they’d been a bit premature with that and they could actually release it on those platforms. Things like that caused us to hold on a bit longer and perhaps not pursue other opportunities as aggressively because it really sounded like that was a possibility.”
Prior to the Activision offer, LucasArts had offered Free Radical development duties on a sequel to Battlefront before the first game was even released thanks to a relationship with then-LucasArts president Jim Ward and VP of product development Peter Hirschman that he described as the “best” the studio had seen.
“It was a project that looked like it would probably be the most successful thing we had ever done and they were asking us to make the sequel to it too. It seemed like a no-brainer.”
But when Ward left LucasArts in 2008, the company’s relationship with Free Radical changed, and a nearly-completed Battlefront 3 and its in-development sequel were canceled.
“It was pretty much done, it was in final QA. It had been in final QA for half of 2008 it was just being fixed for release.”
Oh, what could have been.