According to an interview with Free Radical's founder David Doak, much hoped for Star Wars game Battlefront 3 was once in development at Free Radical, but it was canceled due to conflicts between the developer and executives at LucasArts.
"We went from talking to people who were passionate about making games to talking to psychopaths who insisted on having an unpleasant lawyer in the room," Doak said.
"For a long time we talked of LucasArts as the best relationship we'd ever had with a publisher," says Free Radical founder Steve Ellis. "Then in 2008 that disappeared, they were all either fired or left. Then there was a new guy called Darrell Rodriguez, who had been brought in to do a job and it was more to do with cost control than making any games. And the games that we were making for them were costly."
Battlefront 3 development started in 2006, and development continued until early 2008. "Steve and I began thinking that the dates were looking a bit tight for the first one," says Doak, "so we thought we'd do what we had never done before and let LucasArts know our concerns. Because LucasArts had been so good to work with, we thought they'd see the sense of what we were saying. And that coincided with [ LucasArts Executive] Jim Ward not being there one day."
Enter the psychopaths.
"In many ways it was a depressing farce talking to them," Doak said. "They had an agenda motivated by purely financial considerations. Their goal was to stop doing it. And it didn't matter that we had a contract that protected us. If we wanted to fight about it they were quite happy to fight about it, but it would be on their terms, on their turf, and we would lose not because we were wrong, but because... well, we wouldn't be able to ante up."
"My role at Free Radical meant that I was simultaneously involved in these unpleasant 'high level' discussions with psychopaths who wanted to destroy us, and then the next day sitting with our dev staff at their desks trying to boost people's morale. Helping them to pass milestones that I knew would subsequently be manipulated to cause them to fail. It was the most depressing and pointless thing that I have ever been involved in. The dream job which I once loved had become a nightmarish torture."
Thus ends a depressing tale of game development and depressing tale for gamers everywhere. Ultimately, though, it has a happy ending: Free Radical was tapped to make the updated GoldenEye, and was eventually purchased by Crytek.
The entire interview with Doak and Ellis is on Eurogamer. It's a great read.