Star Wars fans are no stranger to cancelled games. The loss of the original Star Wars: Battlefront III still stings, and even three years after its debut, Star Wars 1313 still looks amazing.
It’s not just the fact that they were cancelled that hurts, either: games like Star Wars Battlefront and Star Wars: Uprising haven’t done much to get fans excited about the franchise. Why not cancel the half-baked mobile game instead of the Uncharted-style Boba Fett biography?
It looks like fans have yet another cancelled game to add to the list: on May 12, footage of what appeared to be a cancelled, unannounced Star Wars real-time strategy game surfaced on Vimeo. Obviously, the video was quickly taken down – but this is the Internet, and it was only a matter of time before the footage started popping up elsewhere.
As the game had never been publicly revealed, it’s hard to tell exactly what was going on behind the scenes. The video shows off roughly a minute of gameplay, and while it’s definitely unpolished, it doesn’t look terrible. The miniaturized battle for Mos Eisley looks playable enough, and most of the major art assets seemed to be in place – so why was it cancelled?
One of the many questions that remains unanswered is what platform the game was being developed for. Most gamers would automatically assume that an RTS game would be built for PCs, but judging from the simplified art style and unfinished user interface, EA may have been planning on releasing the game for smartphones.
Either way, it looks like the game was well into development when things hit the fan: sure, the interface is clearly unfinished, and many of the animations are a bit wonky, but those are likely just placeholders.
The rest of the assets are actually pretty impressive: Mos Eisley itself is extremely detailed, as are many of the different vehicles. The ground troops (including Luke Skywalker, in all of his Episode IV glory) aren’t nearly as complex, but the game’s engine manages to run smoothly with quite a few of them on screen. If the game was indeed being run on a mobile engine, it’s a pretty impressive showcase.
Unfortunately for strategy fans, we may never know what happened to EA’s Star Wars RTS. Perhaps the game wasn’t as good as the gameplay clip implies, or perhaps EA simply wanted to double-down on big-budget, triple-A holiday releases. Either way, it’s starting to look like the only Star Wars games that’ll actually make it to market are action games and first-person shooters – a far cry from the variety that gamers enjoyed a decade ago.
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