Star Wars Saturday – Is Star Wars 1313 Doomed?
Star Wars Saturday is my weekly blog post where I highlight the most interesting news from the galaxy far, far away… Usually anyway, this week I’m trying something a little different: an article on something that’s been on my mind lately, the fate of Star Wars 1313.
Star Wars 1313 is a game that looks fantastic. It was one of the first next-gen games we ever saw, showing a highly detailed rendition of the bleak seedy underbelly of Imperial capital Coruscant. Not only were the visuals stunning, but the gameplay looked exhilarating taking cues from modern masterpieces such as the Uncharted franchise. That was back in June 2012, since then? We haven’t seen a peep.
Rumours are pointing the finger at Disney. Over the last few weeks we’ve seen signs of them cleaning house. Star Wars Detours has been indefinitely shelved and Clone Wars is canned. Clone Wars, as depressing as the news is, I can almost understand. It’s an expensive show that’s had a good run. But Detours? From the footage we saw last year it looked very far along in development, yet we’ve not even seen a single episode air. Will we ever see one? Disney’s official statement was:
Detours was conceived and produced before we decided to move forward with the new Star Wars trilogy, and in the wake of that decision, Lucasfilm has reconsidered whether launching an animated comedy prior to the launch of Episode VII makes sense. As a result, we’ve decided to postpone the release of Detours until a later date.
Pointing out Episode VII as a reason seems very telling. If Disney are looking to ramp up expectations as high as possible for Episode VII, then they’re going to want it to be everywhere you look. Was Detours brushed aside because it was too reminiscent of the original movies? Seems that way.
This may also be the reason 1313 has gone dark. 1313 is a game set between the trilogies, that is to say the prequels and the originals. It has nothing to do with Episode VII. One theory is that 1313 is being canned so they can put into production a game (or games?) that will tie in to the new trilogy instead. Further evidence is that we’ve heard that LucasArts have been in a precarious position since the purchase. Developers of unannounced FPS First Assault are continuing work with no idea if the game will be released. In fact, First Assault was supposed to already be out by now, thus why the XBLA cover leaked late last year. Meanwhile with 1313 things are reportedly even worse, allegedly development was halted at the time of the buyout.
If we’re lucky we’ll still get 1313. One thing it has going for it is it was already announced, and to a strong reception too. The game had a loose release window of the end of this year. Meaning the game must only have approximately one year left of development so a lot has already been invested. But will Disney care? LucasArts themselves already canned Battlefront 3 when it was apparently almost finished. Disney might make the same call here if they think it’s resources better spent on Episode VII.
Another factor that hasn’t been reported much is the fact that LucasArts were hiring for an open world RPG and an aerial combat game back in 2011. If these games aren’t already dead they could be the next causalities of Disney. Speculation is that the aerial combat game could have been a revival of X-Wing or at least a new Rogue Squadron game. Two series’ that are very popular amongst fans.
It’s depressing to think we could have been on the verge of LucasArts’ resurgence. 1313 and First Assault both looked very promising and the unannounced games sounded equally ambitious. Lacking any official word on their status E3 is likely the next time we can draw some real conclusions. If 1313 isn’t present in any capacity this June then it’s most certainly been vapourized. For now there’s still hope, but from what we’ve heard things aren’t looking good.