Earlier this year, when Slant Six enacted "temporary" layoffs to its studio, reports circulated that it meant the cancellation of a current-gen Star Wars Battlefront title rumored to be in development at the Vancouver-based studio. According to a Joystiq source the April 7, 2010 layoffs were a direct result of LucasArts canceling production of the online-only title and, in the same fell swoop, the publisher canceled a multiplayer mode said to be included in the upcoming sequel to Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.
The supposedly canceled multiplayer component in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 was said to have been in development separately at Vancouver-based developer Blue Castle Games (currently developing Dead Rising 2 for Capcom) and was set to be included along with the LucasArts-developed single-player title; similar to the development process of Bioshock 2's multiple game modes.
A Blue Castle representative told Joystiq it does not comment on potential business relationships. Today, during a Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 demo, executive producer Haden Blackman told Joystiq that the team "definitely talked about all possible features" for a Force Unleashed sequel but ultimately they decided to focus on a "really solid" single-player experience. Blackman says he personally feels that multiplayer and co-op are "hugely important" and he would be "surprised if we didn't see some multiplayer and co-op somewhere down the line" in the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed franchise.
Specifically addressing the rumored Blue Castle-developed multiplayer mode, Blackman said he "can't talk any specifics about that or even whether they were doing it." A full interview with Blackman is forthcoming.