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Disney Closes LucasArts: Current Projects At Risk and Layoffs

By on April 4th, 2013 12:39 pm

LucasArts (1982 - 2013)

Disney has shut down the video game developer and publisher LucasArts, laying off 150 people and cancelling all ongoing projects, reports Kotaku.

This sad happening follows on the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney in 2012. Disney says that they will still use the LucasArts name as a licensing entity under Lucasfilm, but the studio itself disappears. LucasArts was currently working on the action titles Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault, which, if no licensing deal can be made will most probably get cancelled.

“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.” ~The Walt Disney Company (advanced by GameInformer.com)

The Secret of Monkey Island | LucasArts

The Secret of Monkey Island (1990)

Founded in 1982 by George Lucas, LucasArts was responsible for all Star Wars and Indiana Jones game titles, and some of the most memorable graphic adventure games produced, such as the Monkey Island series (1990), Day of the Tentacle (1993) or Grim Fandango (1998).

This most certainly doesn’t mean the end for Star Wars games – and Disney’s statement seems to reinforce that – with the new movies on the works and all. But, it’s always very sad to witness the death of a game house that produced so much brilliant entertainment for such an extended period of time (~30 years). Not that we were seeing much coming out of it lately though, one has to say.

Star Wars: X-Wing | LucasArts

Star Wars: X-Wing (1993)

So, where does this leave the so much anticipated space sim sequel for X-Wing? And, what about the possibility for a new deep strategy game set in the Star Wars universe? Will this event hopelessly end all the dreams for seeing those games coming to life one day soon? Or, could the new licensing strategy prove be more effective and productive on that respect?

Layoffs are a terrible thing, and I hope that all the people who have lost their jobs may find a new position inside the Disney group, or elsewhere in the gaming industry, or some place else, fast.

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20 Comments


  1. Towerbooks3192 says:

    RIP

    My wish to have a new Star Wars battlefront game.

  2. Garmine says:

    Damn. I knew they’ll shoot stuff down that I liked. #### you Disney :(

  3. dayrinni says:

    I guess that means TOR is next :P

  4. AstralWanderer says:

    This really stuck out from Disney’s statement:

    “…We are incredibly appreciative and proud of the talented teams who have been developing our new titles.”

    Yeah, right, so appreciative that you’re sacking those teams to avoid some imagined “risk” to the rest of your corporate backside. What a bunch of dishonest turds you are, Disney – I’m glad I’ve boycotted your trash for the last decade or more. And may Darth Vader reincarnate to give all your corporate throats a good squeeze…

  5. ashbery76 says:

    They truth they died a long time ago after producing turd after turd.Grim Fandango was way back in 98.

  6. JohnR says:

    I hear you Astral. Typical corporate Orwellian bs from the Disney ‘suits’, trying to put a positive spin on things as they screw people. Mankind is truly a fallen race.

    I asked a friend months ago what she thought about Disney buying Star Wars, and her response was priceless: “But hasn’t Star Wars gotten embarrassing enough already (with the prequel trilogy)?” How true.

    On a related note, I did sort of like Star Wars: Empires at War, except that it was one of those strategy games where you go to a lot of trouble to take a planet, but after you move your forces off it the AI does an end run on you and retakes it, so you have to repeatedly pay for the same ground more than once. It was also one of those games where it’s all over if you let the AI get even slightly ahead of you in the tech race.

    And I agree Dayrinni, it doesn’t look good for SWTOR. :(

  7. zigzag says:

    It’s also worth noting that they were one of the oldest – perhaps the oldest – design studios.

  8. Lens Flares Suck says:

    I’ve wanted a new version of ‘X-Wing’ and/or ‘TIE-Fighter’ FOREVER.

    Best damn games ever made.

  9. lammaer says:

    Honestly, I just took a look on the game list of the Lucasarts, and in the past couple years they didn’t make any original or blockbusting, especially if we look just the PC section (their release list is long, because they ported all their stuff to several platforms, but if we realy count the number of titles… the list is not impressive).

    For me the last really good lucasarts game were KOTOR2 and Republic commando – and gosh, they are games of 2005! 8 years!

    While layoffs are painful (just in like other industries), I can understand disney. Lucasarts was not a really good studio, they were just lived from the brand name, with very few ideas or innivation.

  10. Gray Carlyle says:

    I know its not one of the most known LA games, but I loved SW Rebellion. I still play it sometimes.

    • lammaer says:

      I played a lot with it as well. The strategy part was pretty well designed, and the tactical battles also were something new – but a bit clumsy. Nevertheless, it was a really good title.

    • Mark says:

      Rebellion was bloody awesome! The GUI was a nightmare but the gameplay more than made up for it Lucasarts will be missed.

    • zigzag says:

      I also loved Rebellion, but that was developed by Coolhand Interactive, not LEC’s internal studio.

      • ashbery76 says:

        People get confused by Lucasarts the developer which is being shut and the Lucasarts licence.Empire at War,KOTOR,etc were not developed by Lucasarts either.


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