Galaxy in Turmoil

Here’s a great idea: Make a Star Wars game without the permission of Disney and Lucasfilm. That’ll work, right?

Turns out, that’s not the case, as Frontwire Studios recently learned. The erstwhile developers of Star Wars: Galaxy in Turmoil, meant to be a substitute for the unreleased Battlefront 3, received a cease-and-desist letter from Lucasfilm back in June. Today the hammer came down. In a post on the Frontwire website, President Tony Romanelli states that his company will no longer be able to produce Galaxy in Turmoil as a Star Wars-inspired game.

Despite maintaining that Galaxy in Turmoil qualifies under the aegis of fair use, Romanelli is quite cordial in the letter, praising LucasFilm’s patience in the matter and its representatives’ willingness to talk to him. In the end, though, Lucasfilm has an exclusive agreement in place with Electronic Arts to produce Star Wars-based video games, and that trumped all else.

It’s hard to paint EA or Lucasfilm as villains in this scenario; license agreements, especially for mega-popular intellectual properties like Star Wars, are pretty cut-and-dry, and there’s rarely room for third parties to (legally) create products using those IPs. That’s just basic business, and Romanelli admits he would “do anything to protect my golden egg” were the situations reversed.

But all is not lost. Frontwire is going to continue development of Galaxy in Turmoil, using the same general gameplay as Battlefront but without Star Wars elements — presumably things like lightsabers, Jedi, X-Wings, and so on. As with the original vision of the game, the new GiT will be completely free-to-play with no microtransactions and be financed via crowdfunding.

While it’s hard not to question Romanelli’s original decision to try and co-opt Star Wars’ IP for his own use, it’s at least admirable to see him continue development on his new vision for the game. Galaxy in Turmoil is quite the ambitious project, one that’s worth watching to see how it comes along.

the author

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

11 Readers Commented

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  1. Merkadis on August 3, 2016

    Right there, a fine example of what happens when one imbecile company hogs the rights to something promising that could spark a lot of creativity in a lot of people.
    An endless river of potential being completely wasted.

    And then they went and sold the rights to another imbecile company, now what do we have here? An endless river of imbecility i guess.

    • Shanex on August 3, 2016

      If you want to spark creativity, create something new, or join a company that is making what you want to make. Saying Disney is wasting the potential, they are making like 6 games within 3 years of different genres. People act like disney is so bad but if it wasn’t for them to begin with, there wouldn’t be this boom in new star wars games to begin with. Plus I would rather have a well funded and developed set of games than one game that looks like a mod and looks like it was made 6 years ago.

  2. LAMBDA471 on August 2, 2016

    Lucasfilm probably had this in mind:

    You aren’t allowed to make better games than ours. People need to play our shitty games and make us rich.

    • Shanex on August 3, 2016

      Lucasfilm doesn’t even make games lol, they assist in the development of games, but they don’t make games themselves. And what shitty games.

  3. Captain Squareyez on August 2, 2016

    You would think Lucasfilms wouldnt care who makes what, as long as it generates revenue. guess they dont want to make more money afterall!

    • Shanex on August 3, 2016

      They wouldn’t have made any money off of it though. It was going to come out as Free to play. And you cant make money off a game you are not publishing.

  4. ASA on August 2, 2016

    I’m not a huge fan of star wars but I’m not suprised this happened since disney acquired the rights. But I personally think it was a mistake selling the rights to starwars to disney they already ruined the star wars series.

    • SqueezyTime on August 5, 2016

      George Lucas ruined Star Wars withe the prequel movies.. Disney made basically an exact copy of A New Hope, which is pretty much what everyone wanted, and it went over extremely well… The issue here has nothing to do with the fact that Disney owns the rights to Star Wars, it’s that they have a contract agreement that gives EA EXCLUSIVE rights to make Star Wars video games. They literally have no choice but to stop anyone else from making a Star Wars game.

      • Razer on August 6, 2016

        And who was it that had the power to give EA the sole license to make Star Wars games, genius?
        Here’s a hint: it wasn’t EA and it wasn’t Lucas

      • ASA on August 13, 2016

        It was disney

  5. Razer on August 1, 2016

    They used to be very permissive towards fan-created Star Wars stuff in the past but that quickly changed when Di$ney acquired the rights.