Nottingham’s Free Radical Design was once the creme of the crop in terms of how awesome a studio could be. They produced really fantastic games with a level of innovation and disregard for genre conventions that was scarcely possessed by anyone. In an interview with Games Industry International, studio co-founder Steve Ellis described the opportunity they had to develop Goldeneye 2 alongside 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.”
I do love the part where he mentions that they never got an explanation as to why the opportunity was retracted. Leave it to Activision to treat everyone like garbage, right? And they backed out of an opportunity for many people to get a game that would be awesome, because they don’t care about making people happy, they just want lots of money. But here’s the subject that irks me more than Goldeneye. It’s on the topic of Star Wars Battlefront 3. I really wanted this game to exist, and it technically did exist. Prior to Activision’s offer, LucasArts made an offer to Free Radical to develop Battlefront before the first game was even launched yet because of a good relationship they had with Jim Ward who was the president of LucasArts at the time. Ellis provided this commentary on the matter, “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.”
Unfortunately, Ward left LucasArts in 2008 and the result was that their relationship with Free Radical changed. Battlefront 3 was in the QA stages at the time and was being prepared for release. The game and it’s sequel were cancelled. Smart business killed my hopes and dreams, thanks a lot LucasArts. I just wanted to play a video game (one that would have been amazing in every way) but you wouldn’t let me, you big meanies.
Source: Games Industry International