LucasArts and Red Fly Studio worked on a Star Wars game featuring Darth Maul for eight months before the now-defunct publisher canceled the title, according to a report in the latest issue of Game Informer.
Darth Maul was the Sith Lord who debuted and (seemingly) died in the 1999 film Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, and played a much larger role in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Citing anonymous sources as well as Red Fly CEO Dan Borth, Game Informer reports that LucasArts gave the Austin, Texas-based indie developer a chance to make a Darth Maul game after the studio proved itself with the Wii version of 2010's Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2. However, the publisher initially provided very little guidance except to say that Maul survived being cleaved in half — Red Fly wasn't directly informed of Lucasfilm's plans for Maul in The Clone Wars.
According to developers who had worked on the Darth Maul project, it was originally intended to be exclusive to Nintendo platforms before LucasArts shifted it to PlayStation 3, Wii U, Windows PC and Xbox 360. Red Fly began creating prototypes in October 2010 based on the information it had, but during a meeting with Star Wars creator George Lucas, he presented a new vision for the Darth Maul title. According to Game Informer, Lucas wanted a "buddy cop-like experience" with Darth Maul and Darth Talon — a Sith Lady separated by more than 170 years of Star Wars fiction from Maul — teaming up as friends.
Red Fly tried to make that new direction work, figuring out gameplay mechanics to satisfy LucasArts' suggestions. LucasArts reportedly considered buying Red Fly outright. But according to an ex-developer, the publisher eventually cut off communication with the studio for two weeks before canceling the project in late June 2011.
Disney closed LucasArts in April 2013, less than six months after acquiring its parent company, Lucasfilm, for $4 billion. Electronic Arts is now working on Star Wars games including Star Wars: Battlefront at EA DICE and unannounced titles at Visceral Games and BioWare.
For the full story, check out the May 2014 issue of Game Informer.