The studio behind a fan-made spin-off to the Star Wars Battlefront series has teamed up with Valve to release the title for free on Steam.
Galaxy in Turmoil is being created by Frontwire Studios, with the team consisting of around 50 part-time volunteers.
The game is billed as an unofficial follow-up to 2005’s Star Wars Battlefront II, developed by Pandemic Studios, with an official numbered sequel long-rumoured but eventually unreleased – being instead usurped by last year’s self-titled reboot of the franchise created by EA DICE.
While it may seem that Galaxy in Turmoil’s close relationship and clear inspiration from the original Battlefront series may put it in danger of being struck with a destructive cease and desist notice from Star Wars licence holder Disney, Frontwire president Tony Romanelli assured Polygon that multiple legal advisors had confirmed that the game was covered by fair use laws in the US.
This is because the title will be released for free, and Frontwire has not sought any additional funding to support its development – technically classifying it as a ‘parody’, Romanelli explained.
Galaxy in Turmoil will utilise characters, vehicles and other elements from the Star Wars franchise, but will not have the sci-fi franchise’s name in its title or use John William’s iconic score. The game is built in Unreal Engine 4.
Adding credence to Romanelli’s assuredness over the safety of the project is the news that Frontwire has inked a publishing agreement with Valve, as part of its route to launching the game on Steam.
“By Steam agreeing to ship Galaxy in Turmoil we are not only adding more validation and awareness to the project by opening up the game to a whole new audience, we’re also cementing Frontwire Studios’ reputation as an up and coming developer with the opportunity to now publish our games on Steam in the future,” Romanelli wrote on the studio’s blog.
“People have been expressed their concern as of late, saying they expect us to get a cease and desist from Disney. I’ll be honest – I’ve had mild concerns myself from time to time. However Valve clearly lacks that same concern. By agreeing to publish Galaxy in Turmoil, Valve is assisting us in growing and ensuring the longevity of the Galaxy in Turmoil project and community as a whole.
“I encourage everyone, including those that doubt we’ll be able to pull this off, to take a page from Valve’s book. Take a deep breath and just take a chance on our project. In the end, it’ll pay off for everyone involved.”