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Disney closes LucasArts, the fate of current projects unknown
News reported by 
Editor-in-chief
April 03, 2013, 20:32:10
 

Not long after their acquisition of Lucasfilm and several related properties, Disney has closed the LucasArts game publishing and development studio. Although LucasArts has not output much on Nintendo platforms in recent years, it's still sad to see them go. You can read the full story here.

From Disney:

"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."

Kotaku was reporting that the current projects like Star Wars 1313 were all cancelled, but Game Informer spoke to a source that says there might be other options.

"It is worth noting that we are looking for proven external partners who can help us provide video games to our fans. We still believe in the video game industry, we still will provide Star Wars games, we're just looking at different models rather than internal production... They're evaluating everything. There's always a possibility that it [Star Wars 1313] can still come out via licensing."

I must note that this is not an April Fool's joke. The date of this news is April 3rd.

SOURCE: Game Informer

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Posted: 04/03/13, 20:32:10  - Edited by 
 on: 04/08/13, 03:39:00    
 
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Reposted

Breaking: Disney shuts down Lucasarts, a studio that hasn't made a game you liked in 10 years

It's all over twitter right now: people are crying foul at Disney for shutting down Lucasarts, reminding me that the studio was still chugging along until now. Could have fooled me.

I sympathize with the creative people who lost their jobs today and I hope they land on their feet quickly. That said, about a decade ago the management at Lucasarts changed and a lot of the people who made the games Lucasarts is actually known for got the axe. The people who have made Monkey Island, Grim Fandango, Tie Fighter, etc. didn't lose their jobs today. They've been working at TellTale Games, Double Fine, Gaijin Games and more, for years now.

Lucasarts, this isn't good news exactly, but it's not an injustice either. I mourned you over a decade ago.


Posted by 
 on: 04/03/13, 20:34:32
Hmm... You can say what you want about LucasArts, but Star Wars 1313 did have a lot of heat on it. I wonder if this means the project wasn't really going very well?


Posted by 
 on: 04/03/13, 20:36:26
Man, I used to like their old point-and-click games (Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle, original Sam & Max, the original Monkey Island games, etc). To be honest, I think the last game of theirs that I played was Battlefront, which was a lot of fun. Sad to see them go though.


Posted by 
 on: 04/03/13, 20:38:43
I recall that Obi-wan Xbox game having a lot of heat on it, pre-system launch.


Posted by 
 on: 04/03/13, 20:39:05  - Edited by 
 on: 04/03/13, 20:39:54
Joining Sierra in video game company heaven.


Posted by 
 on: 04/03/13, 20:41:51
If they're really moving to a licensing model, I suspect that 1313 will survive in some form. If only someone else buying the license to get the hype and making something that only vaguely resembles it or something.


Posted by 
 on: 04/03/13, 20:42:18
I was going to say...yeah it sucks that people lost their jobs, but they'll find other jobs out there. I really can't remember the last LucasArts game I played....I think I briefly played Battlefront 2?


Posted by 
 on: 04/03/13, 20:44:52
Of course, when you start releasing garbage like this, well...



Posted by 
 on: 04/03/13, 20:45:10
@ludist210

I thought that was great.

LucasArts just published that anyway, right? What's the last game they actually developed?


Posted by 
 on: 04/03/13, 20:48:15
@Jargon

Hey, their name's on it. Tarnishing the Star Wars license...

Come to think of it, I don't know what they last developed. I was going to say The Old Republic, but that was Bioware.


Posted by 
 on: 04/03/13, 20:50:23
Yeah sad to say this is probably a smart move on behalf of Disney, the last Lucas Arts game I played was the first Force Unleashed and it wasn't too great, even though there were a few things about it I enjoyed.

Star Wars 1313 had great graphics tech but beyond that it seemed rather bland.

The need to resurrect the Jedi Knight franchise, but I wonder which developer would be a good fit? Maybe Raven?


Posted by 
 on: 04/03/13, 20:54:22  - Edited by 
 on: 04/03/13, 20:54:47
News leaves me strangely more optimistic about the future of their franchises. Hopefully Double Fine has a better chance of future access to the IP Tim created.

Or at least a second season of Monkey Island from Telltale (I quite enjoyed the first - no idea why Lucas denied them the right to make more).


Posted by 
 on: 04/03/13, 20:54:59
Hmmm. Well, it's not like much internal talent remained anyway... as long as they are licensing out their franchises to talented developers, this could end up being a good thing.


Posted by 
 on: 04/03/13, 21:06:33
@Guillaume
As did Star Wars: Force Unleashed...


Posted by 
 on: 04/03/13, 21:11:30
@ludist210

That cracks me up every time.


Posted by 
 on: 04/03/13, 21:45:56
ludist210 said:
Man, I used to LOVE their old point-and-click games (Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle, original Sam & Max, the original Monkey Island games, etc).

Fixed for me, and then quoted for truth.


Posted by 
 on: 04/03/13, 21:51:04
Well, it's sad to see LucasArts go since they've been around so long, but they've been VERY hit and miss over their time making games.

And if you think about it, Disney may be on to something with licensing out Star Wars to developers. Licensing Star Wars to Bioware gave us Star Wars: KOTOR. Think what other developers could do with Star Wars. Developers like say....Nintendo and Retro.


Posted by 
 on: 04/03/13, 21:56:06
@Guillaume
@Infinitywave
You both echo my thoughts.

I really enjoyed Telltale's Monkey Island too. It was one of their best games.


Posted by 
 on: 04/03/13, 22:35:00
It's weird, I have a real sinking feeling when reading this. Like it's the end of an era and somehow a loss to us all.

Yet reading the posts here, that sentiment makes no logical sense. After all the best Star Wars stuff of recent years has been licensed.

Maybe it's just lingering nostalgia for their better games. Would Disney ever grenlight something like The Dig again? ...But then again, neither would LucasArts.

And of course I'll miss that LA logo I got to know and love from endless school lunchtimes spent monopolising the class PC playing Rebel Assault.

Farewell LucasArts. You shall be remembered fondly. All I ask now is that Disney puts a competent developer to work on Battlefront 3 ASAP.


Posted by 
 on: 04/03/13, 23:21:07
Well there goes my dream of a new game in the Maniac Mansion series.


Posted by 
 on: 04/04/13, 00:04:14
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