When last we looked, the situation appeared grim for the fan-made Star Wars Battlefront revival Galaxy in Turmoil. Valve agreed to allow the project to be released (for free) on Steam, but LucasFilm, because of its exclusive licensing deal with EA, shut it down.
Tony Romanelli, president of developer Frontwire Studios, vowed to carry on by "pivoting away from Star Wars" and creating an original game in a new setting, but with the big hook—that is, the promise of a "new" Star Wars Battlefront—suddenly off the table, its future appeared very shaky.
Work has continued since then, however, and last week Frontwire announced that the "full Galaxy in Turmoil demo" will be released in the third quarter of 2017. That's a long wait for a demo, but the studio said that it wanted to be certain that it is "100 percent playable and bug-free" before handing it over to the public.
"We refuse to crowdfund until you get the chance to play our demo and decide if you believe in the project enough to support us monetarily," Romanelli wrote. "So we need to make sure we take as much time as possible to ensure that the demo is everything you could ever want. Rest assured, the demo will still contain a single player story (that I believe will blow you away) and multiplayer game modes with various maps and vehicles."
Romanelli explained in an email that Frontwire continued moving forward with the project because while Electronic Arts "did not want any focus being taken away from their current Battlefront franchise"—and had the authority to issue the cease-and-desist—LucasFilm "was totally supportive and encouraged us to continue with the project as an 'inspired by' game."
"Our current state combines various elements of the classic Battlefront style (space to ground, Battlefront-inspired gamemodes, etc) mixed with our own unique ideas and concepts. While the multiplayer version of the game will be what we would like to call a 'spiritual successor' to the Battlefront 1 and 2 games, the single player is best described as a semi-linear adventure game. The player can explore our new and never-before-seen galaxy at their own pace while interacting with the world around them," Romanelli said. "We are, however, throwing our own mix of homages to the Star Wars franchise in the game that will make true Star Wars fans happy."
And one potential bright side to the loss of the Star Wars name is that it opens up the possibility of a console release at some point. "Being that the project is no longer a Star Wars game, we are now in talks with Microsoft to bring Galaxy in Turmoil as a free download to Xbox consoles, whereas in the past we would not have been able to release the project for console due to the Star Wars brand and the lack of licensing," Romanelli added. The studio hopes to be able to confirm Xbox support within the next few months.