This week, Star Wars Battlefront 3 remake Galaxy In Turmoil, has been approved by Valve for an upcoming release on Steam.
Developed by Frontwire Studios and created in the Unreal 4 engine, this news comes following a blog post from company President Tony Romanelli. Within the post, Romanelli writes that the title will be known as Galaxy In Turmoil, and will be released as a free download. Below is a preview image of the title's supposed store page, which is now said to be skipping Steam Greenlight.
With their new distribution deal, Romanelli wrote that this will open up more "validation and awareness" for their company, as they aim to provide titles that the gamers would like to play.
"While this is undoubtedly a big step and accomplishment for Frontwire Studios itself, it’s an even bigger step for you, the community. By Steam agreeing to ship Galaxy in Turmoil we are not only adding more validation and awareness to the project by opening up the game to a whole new audience, we’re also cementing Frontwire Studios’ reputation as an up and coming developer with the opportunity to now publish our games on Steam in the future. This will help us ultimately achieve our goal of making the games that you, the community want." - Tony Romanelli, Blog Post
While Romanelli understands that there are some people still concerned of a potential "Cease & Desist" order from Disney, he remains fairly calm over the situation. In accordance to Gameinformer, Romanelli said that Galaxy in Turmoil will be classified as a parody title, and will fall into three of the four major defenses for Fair Use claims.
However according to Morrison/Lee co-founder Ryan Morrison, he believes that Frontwire does not have a strong case. Specializing in video game law and founder of the Fair Use Protection Account, Morrison says Frontwire should take down the title, as it's exercising neither fair use, nor free speech.
“It actually infuriates me to see people spreading such terrible misinformation throughout various websites, especially journalists, because it encourages other developers to do the same. It quite literally ruins lives. It doesn't take more than a five second Google search to see this game has nothing to do with parody law. And if you further examine fair use, you will see it is a defense, not a right." - Ryan Morrison to GameInformer
Though while Valve has agreed to publish the upcoming title, that is about the only extent that they've agreed on. In an article from Gameinformer, Romanelli said that benefits such as additional funds and marketing are not part of the deal.
"Valve has agreed to do nothing more than ship our game on Steam. We're not receiving any publishing benefits in the sense of funding, marketing, PR and/or anything else that is generally included in publishing deals. In addition, I can't speak for Valve, nor was I trying to speak for Valve by stating they do not share the same concern as many other do about the legal side of our project." - Tony Romanelli to GameInformer
Morrison highlights this aspect as a concern for the developer, as distributing a game is not the same as a publishing deal. This means that if a company were to come after Frontwire with a DMCA take-down, Valve will be at no risk from a potential lawsuit.
“Steam works the same as the Apple app store, where they basically let everything up, and only take things down when they get a report under the DMCA take-down procedure. That leaves the developer and his team homeless after Disney or EA comes after them, and Valve without any risk at all. This developer said they spoke with an attorney, and if they did, shame on that attorney." - Ryan Morrison, GameInformer Interview
Reported back in March, the fan remake has around four maps currently in development. With one being used as a test room for the game’s mechanics, others are recreations of the planets of Hoth, and Tatooine.
In an article written last year by TechTimes, the cancelled Battlefront III title was apparently in development by Free Radical Design, before being cancelled when Disney acquired LucasArts. Previous installments were developed by Pandemic Studios, who have since been closed down by EA.
Within the TechTimes article, it would seem that the title would've been very different to DICE's Battlefront. Building on Battlefront II's space combat, the title was said to combine an experimental new gameplay system of space and ground combat, where players could jump inside a ship and engage in conflicts in the sky. In addition to the new mechanics, the title would've also have provided a wider emphasis on a single player campaign, another thing that was lacking in DICE's initial release.
What do you think of this fan project? Do you think it has potential? Do you think it's likely that Disney will file a 'Cease & Desist' order within the near future? Do you feel Frontwire will have a strong enough case to defend their title? Let us know in the comments below!