Because of course they did
In a move that should surprise absolutely no one, Disney’s Lucasfilm division and Electronic Arts have put the kibosh on Galaxy in Turmoil, a Star Wars fan game from Frontwire Studios.
According to Frontwire president Tony Romanelli, his studio received a cease and desist letter from Lucasfilm on June 22, three weeks after Frontwire announced it had come to terms with Valve on a distribution deal that would bring the unofficial Battlefront 3 successor to Steam.
An alleged phone meeting with Lucasfilm followed where unnamed executives told Romanelli “they would of [sic] been open to the idea of negotiating a license for Frontwire to work on the Star Wars IP, that they are not able to due to their contract with Electronic Arts (EA).”
“I was told that Lucasfilm had already spoken with EA about Galaxy in Turmoil and that EA expressed no desire in letting our project continue,” Romanelli added. “Their main concern was due to the possibility of Galaxy in Turmoil taking away attention from their Battlefront franchise.
“I tried to pitch the idea about putting Galaxy in Turmoil behind EA’s paywall but was told that EA had previously rejected that proposition as well. Due to their exclusive contract with EA, Lucasfilm was contractually obligated to deny our request for the use of the Star Wars IP for Galaxy in Turmoil based on EA’s decision. We tried to reach out to EA directly for more information, but we have so far gotten no response.”
While Romanelli still believes his project falls under fair use, he has no intent of pressing the issue in court, and will instead remove all direct references to Star Wars while retaining it as inspiration.
“Going forward, Frontwire Studios will be pivoting away from Star Wars and embarking on a mission to create a new, original game in a never before seen universe. Our game will still have massive 64-player battles, ground-to-space combat, destructible capital ships, and a full single-player campaign. We will also still be releasing Galaxy in Turmoil on Steam as planned and it will remain a free game.”
To bankroll the game’s development, Frontwire plans to crowdfund, but will not be kicking off any campaigns until the game has a playable demo with both single and multiplayer content.
The future of Galaxy in Turmoil [Frontwire Studios]