The Needles: What's Become Of LucasArts?

The Needles: What's Become Of LucasArts?

LucasArts is undestandably synonymous with the Star Wars franchise, but once upon a time, it was known for something else entirely: well-crafted, creative adventure and sim games.

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they have a super-marine with terraforming powers, that's the closest they've gotten back to the creative fare, so far...

Oh Loom....dear, sweet, genre breaking, tragically awesome Loom...how I miss your musical interface ways. How I pray, PRAY, that Lucasarts will use Guitar Hero peripherals to recreate your incredible music interface for another epic video game experience.

Or anyone, really.

Thinking about the old adventure games still makes me more excited than thinking about all those new Star Wars titles. :S

I'm surprised Grim Fandango and Outlaws weren't mention (did I miss them?). Ahh yes, I too am old enough to remember how much I loved Loom on my old IBM 4MB 386, and Monkey Island adventures....the good old days.

While I'm not making any excuses for Lucas Arts, it seems the whole industry right now is too focused on FPS and grim/gritty/blood drenched titles, rythym and sport simulators. I understand these sell, hence the reason fro soo many CC like venues, but there seems to be a decade or more lack of niche of humor-laced, greatly written, and cutting edge 'imagination' games right now.

Besides a few episodic like games: Penny Arcade, Sam & Max, Strongbad series.....what the hell happened to the more light hearted and casual fantasy games. They were so much more deep and fantastical than today's over saturation of run, shoot, reload, find cover.

When I was young, I dreamed that some day I would work for LucasArts. Now... I think I'd much rather work with a less stagnated cash cow.

fluffylandmine:
they have a super-marine with terraforming powers, that's the closest they've gotten back to the creative fare, so far...

Be fair. How many other games have terraforming down to an actual weapon? Or rather, the only weapon?

The game also earns high marks for blaming its post-apocalyptic state on global warming. I'm amazed they were the first.

But yeah, Lucasarts started making good games, but then, if you'll allow me an analogy, they got the Star Wars Midas Touch, and then decided to masturbate.

They copied Nintendo.

Jedi Knight was a really great game, I especially liked the live action cutscenes. Imo more games should have those. Thankfully the C&C franchise continues the tradition of live action in video games.

Alone Disciple:

Besides a few episodic like games: Penny Arcade, Sam & Max, Strongbad series.....what the hell happened to the more light hearted and casual fantasy games. They were so much more deep and fantastical than today's over saturation of run, shoot, reload, find cover.

Well, like you mention there are still games made by companies which are the off-spring of LucasArts of yore (ex-employees making games on their own now). By the way, you missed one such game - Insecticide. The first episode was great in my opinion and I'm waiting for more.

There are even more games like this coming soon: Bill Tiller launches his A Vampyre Story series for this Halloween and Ron Gilbert is polishing Death Spank. Also, there are titles in production like The Book of Unwritten Tales which seem to aim at continuing this kind of humor and gameplay even if their creators are already from a different generation of designers.

I may be misreading it, but the article implies that LucasArts developed Knights Of The Old Republic, when it was actually the product of BioWare (and the sequel coming from Obsidian Entertainment).

There doesn't appear to be any distinction in the article between games that LucasArts developed and those it just published.

emberage:
When I was young, I dreamed that some day I would work for LucasArts. Now... I think I'd much rather work with a less stagnated cash cow.

I hear you; TIE Fighter and Loom had me thinking the same thing. Now that I'm actually looking to have a go at turning my long time favourite hobby, game design, into a profession I find that LucasArts are just not on the chart even. I used to revere LucasArts maybe more than Lucasfilms, despite knowing the lines from Star Wars by heart ....

And today ... well, I spit on their name ....

LucasArts is a shadow of its former self.

Lucas Arts makes the most money with the LEAST original idea they've had. Typical!

Step 1: Download ScummVM.

Step 2: Donate a fiver to scummvm.org.

Step 3: Sell your house/car/grandmother to buy the Monkey Island Bounty Pack.

Step 4: Live the dream.

dochmbi:
Jedi Knight was a really great game, I especially liked the live action cutscenes. Imo more games should have those. Thankfully the C&C franchise continues the tradition of live action in video games.

Oh good god no please, I thought those things were deservedly well dead.

The FMV cutscenes in wing commander with Mark Hamill give me nightmares.

Never underestimate the power of the dark side.

Too true.

LucasArts is trying to regain it's former glory. Failing utterly.

Like Nintendo.

[quote=[Gavo] post=6.72270.757826]Too true.

LucasArts is trying to regain it's former glory. Failing utterly.

Like Nintendo.[/quote]
Except that Nintendo is flying higher right now than at any other point in the company's history, right? In contrast, Lucas Arts is on life support because because of their inept management.

*EDIT*
Damn you and your quote breaking name.
*/EDIT*

Andy Chalk:
The company's latest title, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, is a fine case in point. Despite huge levels of hype and a generally positive response to the "multimedia project" as a whole, the game itself has earned relatively low marks. It currently sits with an average Metacritic score of just over 68 across all platforms; not an abject failure, perhaps, but far from good by any measure. Worse for LucasArts, it's not just a sub-par game but also a sign that the buying public, who at one point would have lined up for days to buy crap on toast if it was an official Star Wars product, is growing more critical and demanding of solid entertainment in their licensed videogames.

I'm not sure this is very accurate. With Force Unleashed reportedly having sold more than 1.5 million copies already, and being the fastest selling SW game ever, it's well on its way to being the best selling SW video game of all time (according to VGchartz, it needs to sell some 3.3+ million).

Funny, a LucasArts PR guy emailed me to say almost the exact same thing.

I look at it this way: Yes, the game is selling well, on the strength of a massive marketing campaign and the fact that it's both the first new addition to the "current" Star Wars arc in years, and the first new Star Wars material since Jar Jar Binks and Emo Darth Vader. It fills, or at least purports to fill, a specific need in the hearts and minds of the Star Wars true believers. Does that make it a good game?

If sales figures are the only benchmark, then there's absolutely nothing to worry about. Nor is there anything to worry about at EA Sports, where the Madden NFL series continues to sell millions of copies every year. But I'm not sure that's an argument anyone wants to make.

Haha Armed And Dangerous, now THAT game was funny...and fun! It reminded me so much of Monty Python. The shark gun alone was enough reason to play that game.

Indigo_Dingo:
they got the Star Wars Midas Touch, and then decided to masturbate.

this is the best analogy I've seen in a while, and ok it does earn points for innovating gameplay(which is high in my books) but the story seems to be a little on the cliched side for me, and don't get me started on the climate change(no really I don't pay attention to that sort of thing, but I do hate unneccesary pollution).

Alone Disciple:
I'm surprised Grim Fandango and Outlaws weren't mention

Grim Fandango is easily the best thing Lucas Arts ever did.

LucasArts has definitely helped contribute to the ever stagnating ocean of commercially motivated merchandise. I, like many others, am waiting for the point and click re-birth revolution. I've yet to check out some of these episodic releases, but I'd really like to see them take off in the sales department, if only to motivate the suits at some of the older developers to start throwing some of that sweet, syrupy franchise money at getting better writing, and making it the cornerstone of any good game, as it ought to be.

Ballblazer is my favorite of their games. I'd still play that, if anyone else would put up with getting past the steep learning curve of figuring out how to survive in the arena against me. I'm just too good at it. >:) 7800 version is probably the best one, if you're curious.

They can milk the franchise all they want, their only real problem is that they're relying too heavily on the name of the brand to sell and have cut back on quality and ingenuity. All they have to do is try and revive that old spark that made their games good in the first place.

 

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