Galaxy in Turmoil is in some turmoil of its own. The indie shooter inspired by the original Star Wars: Battlefront games has finally popped up on LucasFilm's radar and, surprising no one, they've asked the development team at Frontwire Studios to pull the plug. Well, sort of.
To be clear, LucasFilm appears to have been a great sport about all of this, explaining to Frontwire President Tony Romanelli that while they can't give their blessing to the studio using the Star Wars property, they don't see any harm in a completely different game that was inspired by their universe.
First, a bit of backstory for those of you unfamiliar with Galaxy in Turmoil. The game is being built from the ground up by Frontwire and, as mentioned above, it's an homage to the classic games in the Battlefront series. Along with a single player campaign, the team planned on having a robust multiplayer mode with all of the shooting, flying and assaults a Star Wars fan could hope for. Here's the rub, though: The game was literally set in the Star Wars universe.
Since Galaxy in Turmoil was being developed with the intention of launching free of charge, the thinking was that the game was covered by fair use practices. In other words, if they aren't making money off of the game, what would it matter if they were using Star Wars locations, characters, etc?
Well, the fact of the matter is that that is not how these things work. As such, LucasFilm reached out to Romanelli asking that Frontwire knock it off and, after the developer requesting a meeting, they were actually granted one.
Long story short, Electronic Arts has the sole rights to making Star Wars games and they had zero interest in allowing Galaxy in Turmoil to use that license, for a free game or otherwise. Romanelli points out that he does not blame LucasFilm or EA for these decisions, as they make a heck of a lot of sense and are, you know, legally sound.
However, there's light at the end of the tunnel. Romanelli explained that the LucasFilm team stated they were totally fine with a game inspired by previous Star Wars games, so long as this new game isn't actually trying to be a Star Wars game.
As such, Romanelli said that the team will continue full steam ahead on Galaxy in Turmoil, though it will now take place in an original setting and likely carry a new name. As planned, however, the game will be launched free of charge, even though the removal of the Star Wars content means they could try to make some money off of it, if they want.
A crowdfunding campaign is planned to help the development along, but Romanelli said the team has no plans to attempt this until they can offer a single player mission and a couple of multiplayer maps with a single game mode for folks to try first.
So good luck, Frontwire, on your new game set in the slyly named "Celestial Conflict" universe!