Disney has shut down LucasArts.
This is it, folks. LucasArts has been shut down, causing the layoff of around 150 employees and probably canceling all Star Wars games which have been in production.
There will be no Star Wars 1313 or Star Wars: First Assault, say sources.
Disney is still planning to use the LucasArts license, but the studio is no more. Disney has said publicly that their current games could be licensed out to a different publisher or developer, but sources say it’s unlikely. George Lucas has pursued other options for one or both games, and the results were less than satisfactory.
Parent company LucasFilm has said in regards to the gaming developer:
“After evaluating our position in the games market, we’ve decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimizing the company’s risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games. As a result of this change, we’ve had layoffs across the organization. We are incredibly appreciative and proud of the talented teams who have been developing our new titles.”
This doesn’t stop Star Wars gamers across the globe from feeling a disturbance in the Force, though.
Last September, LucasArts enacted a hiring freeze and put a halt to all product announcements on the gaming front, making everything since then just happy rumor. The end of LucasArts has been rumored since February, creating fear in the hearts of gamers who wanted future Star Wars games to see the light of day. As of this morning, those fears were confirmed.
LucasArts will always be remembered for their Star Wars titles, as well as such previous games as Maniac Mansion, The Secret of Monkey Island, Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle. Successful Star Wars titles in recent years, such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Star Wars: Battlefront have been externally produced. As for the recent titles, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed had a sequel developed by LucasArts, but the sequel failed to meet expectations.
We can only say that LucasArts tried, but it wasn’t enough to convince Disney to keep them around.
How do you feel about Disney shutting down LucasArts? Do you think Disney should have given them another chance?