With big Star Wars announcements last week, such as the news that Gareth Edwards will be directing the first Star Wars spin-off, it's understandable that some smaller headlines slipped through the cracks. One such dissemination that isn't getting much attention is the cancellation of Star Wars: Attack Squadrons.
Attack Squadrons was a online space combat game being developed by Disney Interactive via the new-found studio, Area 52 Games. Attack Squadrons was first teased back on December 17th, 2014 through a trailer and launched a closed beta in January 2014. The trailer showed exciting game play, albeit briefly, which involved the Battle of Endor. Also featured were custom paint jobs for both Imperial and Rebellion ships and the classic Original Trilogy score setting the theme.
Overall opinions of the beta were lukewarm at best, which isn't too uncommon during a beta test. Some exciting details did come out after the beta launched though, that did raise expectations of the final project. These included 16-player matches in three different modes, a variety of maps (including the Death Star II over Endor, and that the game would be using the Unity Game Engine.
While no release date was ever announced during development, all signs pointed towards an eventual release. On May 23rd, it was therefore slightly surprising when it was announced that development on Attack Squadrons would be coming to a halt. This simple message was displayed on the official Facebook page and website, found at www.starwarsattacksquadrons.com
No other reasoning or elucidation has been provided as of yet, but critics are claiming it was impacted by the overall low ambitions and reception of the game. It should be noted that EA Games does hold the contract for all forthcoming Star Wars games. The only exceptions, so far, are for mobile and online-only games. Disney is handling these in house, as seen with its internal studio (Area 52 Games) developing Attack Squadrons. It will be interesting to see if Disney plans to focus on another game internally, or perhaps allows more possibilities to EA Games.