Star Wars Rogue Leaders: Rogue Squadron Wii (unreleased video game; 2009)

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Star Wars Rogue Leaders Rogue Squadron Wii - splash screen.jpg

Splash screen from IGN displayed demo.

Status: Lost

Star Wars Rogue Leaders: Rogue Squadron Wii was to be a re-release of entire Star Wars: Rouge Squadron trilogy for Xbox and later Wii. Its development was completed, but due to 2008's financial crisis and mismanagement of Factor 5's Superman video game, which resulted in company not paying its workers and eventual lawsuits, the game was never released.

Development

2003

Initially as reported by Julian Eggebrecht (former president of Factor 5) in interview with IGN in 2014, developer pitched to LucasArts a concept for Star Wars: Dark Squadron (a spin-off of Rogue Squadron, where a player would play as Darth Vader).[1] The game itself, however, lost to a concept of LucasArts' Action-adventure game, with Chewbacca as the main protagonist. What's more - LucasArts wanted Factor 5 to abandon Gamecube exclusivity pact (as the sales on the platform were rather a law) and develop the games on a more powerful console. Thus the concept of the remastered trilogy was pitched in the form of Star Wars Rogue Squadron Collection for Xbox and officially approved by LucasArts in late 2003. The collection was planned to have an online Co-op via Xbox Live.[2]

2004

Work on the collection proceeded smoothly until the major shift in LucasArts management in April 2004. As the new management wanted to cut losses, many of the projects were scrapped, including Star Wars Rogue Squadron Collection,[2] despite it being 50% completed at that moment in time (and on scheduled to be released in late 2004).[1]

2007

When Factor 5 was wrapping up development on their PlayStation 3-exclusive game Lair, developers started pitching ideas for the next project. One of which was resurrecting the Rogue Squadron Collection, this time with the target platform being Wii (due to good relationships between Factor 5 and Nintendo and having extensive knowledge of the hardware). With new ideas on how to utilize Wii exclusive features, like implementing a Lightsaber combat mode or Speeder-bike race mode, scrapping online component and full Nintendo support behind it, the developer managed to convince LucasArts to greenlit the project. As reported it was supposed to have a local Co-op support for all of the remastered Rogue Squadron campaigns and run at 60fps.[2][1]

2008

The project development run smoothly under December 2008, when the studio faced bankruptcy. Developer also worked on Superman for Brash Entertainment, who went under in 2008[3]. Factor 5 unwilling to scrap the project opted in to pay for development themselves, hoping that a new publisher would pick up the project.[1] Due to the financial crisis at the time, this has not happened and the developer ran out of money, having not paid many of its employees for 2 months.

2009

Before the liquidation of Factor 5, the management of the company reportedly created a contingency plan, selling assets of the projects to a newly founded company named Bluharvest. In January 2009, Bluharvest was renamed to Whiteharvest and opened for business. It was made of developers previously employed by Factor 5, who continued the work on the projects where Factor 5 left off until July 2009. In that time, Whiteharvest managed to finish Star Wars Rogue Leaders: Rogue Squadron Wii (code-named: Green Harvest). However, due to major lawsuits against Whiteharvest, by its former employees, LucasArts itself decided not to release the game to avoid bad PR. These lawsuits lasted for years, with the last few being resolved in 2015, along past Wii's popularity period, which ultimately buried the chances of the game ever being released.

Other Information

  • On November 10, 2017 - former Factor 5 president in the interview for IGN mentioned that he'd love to see Star Wars Rogue Leaders: Rogue Squadron on Nintendo Switch.[4]

Video

Star Wars Games You've Never Seen Before - DidYouKnowGaming? Episode

References