Dear Galaxy in Turmoil community,
It is with a humble heart that I’m writing this message to you, the community. As of late, we have been creating a big media buzz with the announcement of our on Steam distribution deal. We have garnered a growing fan base of over 30,000 people in a little over three months. We have showcased original music and even announced our new charity The Frontwire Foundation, none of which could have been made possible without the support from all of you. It’s crazy! Our hopes have been so high, we could almost touch the clouds. That is why the nature of this letter is so bitter-sweet.
On Wednesday June 22, 2016, we received a letter from Lucasfilm requesting that we halt production of Galaxy in Turmoil with any Star Wars related IP at once. Rather than laying down at the first sign of trouble, I requested a meeting with the Lucasfilm executives to discuss our project and to find some common ground to work with. Honestly, I didn’t expect too much negotiation to occur. But much to my surprise, executives at the top of Lucasfilm agreed to meet. A week later, that meeting took place.
I had the pleasure of sitting down via phone and speaking with two of the top decision makers at Lucasfilm. Before I go any further, let it be known that the people I spoke with are really great people and it was a pleasure to be able to speak with them. I only wish we were able to speak and conduct business on different terms.
During our meeting, there was a fair share of both lighthearted and serious moments. LucasFilm informed me that although they would of been open to the idea of negotiating a license for Frontwire to work on the Star Wars IP, that they are not able to due to their contract with Electronic Arts (EA). I was told that Lucasfilm had already spoken with EA about Galaxy in Turmoil and that EA expressed no desire in letting our project continue. Their main concern was due to the possibility of Galaxy in Turmoil taking away attention from their Battlefront franchise. I tried to pitch the idea about putting Galaxy in Turmoil behind EA’s paywall but was told that EA had previously rejected that proposition as well. Due to their exclusive contract with EA, Lucasfilm was contractually obligated to deny our request for the use of the Star Wars IP for Galaxy in Turmoil based on EA’s decision. We tried to reach out to EA directly for more information, but we have so far gotten no response.
Let me stop for a moment. I do not for a second hold any grudge against Electronic Arts and/or Lucasfilm, and neither should our community. The Star Wars brand is a highly valuable and lucrative brand. I would expect nothing less from Lucasfilm than to do everything they can to protect and preserve their intellectual property. As for EA they have an extremely expensive and profitable production contract with Lucasfilm. Likewise, EA has done what they felt they needed to do and if I were in the same position, I hope I would also do anything to protect my golden egg. While I do wish EA would realize that backing a free fan game would actually be an effective way to help and promote their brand, their decision is final, and we as both a business and as a community must respect that.
While I and our attorneys still believe that we fall under the Fair Use law, I have no desire to get into any type of legal battle with Lucasfilm, and lose due to the sheer amount of money Lucasfilm has. As a businessman, I have enough respect for other companies and their intellectual properties to not put up a fight that should not be fought in the first place. At the end of the day Star Wars is Lucasfilm’s property, and they have every right to request Frontwire stop using their IP, even if we believe that we were within legal limits. In a perfect world, they will see we were team players and we may just have the chance to work with them in the distant future.
Most likely, you are asking yourself “what does this mean for Galaxy in Turmoil?“ Our highly publicized project as you have come to know it will no longer be a Star Wars game inspired by Battlefront. However, there is a new hope (Sorry, I had to slip that in!). Upon speaking with Lucasfilm, they informed us that they have no issue with a Battlefront inspired game that is not using the Star Wars IP itself. Regardless of what some have said, all of our code, sounds and many other non-Star Wars assets have been created in-house, which means they are indeed owned by us.
Going forward, Frontwire Studios will be pivoting away from Star Wars and embarking on a mission to create a new, original game in a never before seen universe. Our game will still have massive 64-player battles, ground-to-space combat, destructible capital ships, and a full single-player campaign. We will also still be releasing Galaxy in Turmoil on Steam as planned and it will remain a free game. No, we will not be adding any micro transactions or pay-to-win content. When Frontwire Studios makes a promise, we keep it. With that being said, we will still create the game you have all wanted and deserved, even if it turns out to not be Star Wars-related.
I am sure you are wondering about the monetary side of Galaxy in Turmoil. We do have plans to crowdfund GiT in the future. However, we have decided that we will not crowdfund until we can release a fully playable demo consisting of a single player mission & at least two multiplayer maps with a single gamemode. Too often have we seen video game projects crowdfund, make a boat load of cash and then die out leaving the community empty handed. We refuse to be another statistic. That’s why we’re not accepting any donations until we have something you can play first hand before deciding to back us monetarily. Our team has been hard at work creating this new universe and are excited to continue to share new and exciting information with you over the next coming weeks. For more information on the game’s progress, story and overall development, be sure to keep an eye on the game’s official website located at http://git.frontwirestudios.com
Now, being that Star Wars: Galaxy in Turmoil is no more, we have decided to release a few unreleased items from our project that were so painstakingly developed by the team. We hope you have enjoyed the experience and excitement Galaxy in Turmoil has brought thus far. Please stick around to see how we pivot to a brand new IP. I promise it will be something you will not want to miss out on. Our team had a creative meeting last night and let me be the first to tell you that we are all extremely excited about the new direction that GiT is taking, and we know the story we are going to put out will blow you away.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to hop onto our Discord server and ask one of our team members.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you all for your continued support of both Frontwire Studios and Galaxy in Turmoil. I look forward to continuing this ride together as we move forward with the brand new Galaxy in Turmoil universe.
All the best,
President, Frontwire Studios