Disney Closes LucasArts

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Disney Closes LucasArts

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All projects at the once-famed studio have been canceled and roughly 150 people have been laid off.

It's not entirely surprising but it's still very sad: LucasArts, a studio that was once among the top developers in the business, has been shut down. The news was confirmed by a LucasArts rep in a statement to Game Informer.

"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," the statement said. "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 reports that about 150 employees have been let go as a result of the closure and that all current LucasArts projects have been canceled, including the anticipated Star Wars 1313, which our former guy Steve Butts said in his E3 2012 preview could be "one of the best Star Wars games in recent memory." Disney had previously announced that the game would be delayed, however, and sources said it had actually been on hold since Disney acquired all things Lucas in November 2012.

LucasArts hasn't done much of note recently - its last game was the not-great Kinect Star Wars - but it was a player in its prime, publishing classic adventures like Full Throttle, Sam and Max and of course the Monkey Island series, and some great Star Wars games as well, like X-Wing, TIE Fighter and Knights of the Old Republic. And even though it may not have been particularly "relevant" in recent years, seeing it end like this is very sad indeed.

Sources: Game Informer, Kotaku

Permalink

yeah, Lucasarts wasn't really doing much over the past decade. Still, I imagine people are going to FLIP.

In Memoriam

Anyway, obviously condolences go to those 150-odd people, but does this mean that Tim Schafer and Double Fine could get stuff like Grim Fandango back?

Some good could potentially come from this.

Definitely not been a good week for game developers though.

I knew Disney would do some cleaning up, but I didn't anticipate this. My condolences go out to those whose jobs were cut. The only good news is that I no longer need to hate LucasArts anymore considering they no longer exist.

Andy Chalk:
all current LucasArts projects have been canceled, including the anticipated Star Wars 1313

Wow. Did not see that coming.

That's really rather extreme. Makes you wonder how far along it was, and how well (or otherwise) it was shaping up.

Such a shame. However, on the other side of the coin, LucasArts could take their cancelled projects that people have or had been anticipating and offer them to studios who might be interested - You can't tell me that 1313 can be revived or that Battlefront 3 is no longer a thing of the past if you can just sell them the rights to continue on those games.

Beat you to it by 8 minutes Andy. Don't worry, we can always go back and edit it to look like you posed first...

Anyways, as I said in t'other post, I wonder how this will affect TOR. I know EA were financing that, but I imagine as a Star Wars game, Lucasarts had a lot of control over it. Will Disney now be stepping in to fill that role?

I have to say, Disney do seem to have turned rather ruthless following the Lucasfilm purchase. The ink wasn't even dry, and they'd already announced a new trilogy of films. Then they announced that they were making additional spin-off films. And now they're shutting down the gaming division in order to minimise losses.

They certainly want to make their money back ASAP, rather than play the long game. Can't say it fills me with confidence...

Telltale Games! Can you hear me?!

Please, grab the IP rights to Grim Fandango! You know you want to. Now's your chance!

I'll put it this way...
Lucas Arts hasn't internally developed a good game since 2006.
And the last thing they pushed out was Star Wars Kinect. The game that with one video, finally dispelled any nostalgia I had remaining for Star Wars.
Don't get me wrong, it sad to see the name die, but judging by how little they've done in recent years there's little loss.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Can't say it fills me with confidence...

Boy, you said it Chewie

http://nooooooooooooooo.com

Honestly, I haven't seen a good game from them in forever.

Yet...so much of my childhood consisted of playing their games.

There goes any hope for Battlefront 3.

I am not sad at all by the studios passing. Yes, it is unfortunate that people are now unemployed, but not only, as other have pointed out, has lucas arts not made anything of worth in house in a very long time, but they also intentionally held back other games outside the studio in ways that directly damaged their own brand. It's like a old dog that keeps breaking its hip jumping down stairs, it was just its time.

Shit Disney! When did you get so damn ruthless? As on who got many enjoyable experiences from LucasArts over the years (I'd never given up on Battlefront 3... Or Jedi
Knight 4...) this is painful news. It must really suck to work for a fompany only to find out a bigger company only bought you for your IPs.

Damn shame. They didn't deserve to go out like that...

god dammit Disney! why would you do this?

That's... Absolutely horrible. I was really looking forward to 1313.

To those mentioning Grim Fandango - How? Doesn't Disney own those other IPs now, too?

I played so much X-Wing back in the day. This is sad. :(

Disney...... I am disappoint.

LucasArts did some great work, sure the Kinect StarWars was a bust, but let's be honest, Kinect ANYTHING will be a bust because it is Kinect.... At least give them a chance to recover with 1313, and if that ends up failing then yeah.... you would have some justification..... OR crazy idea I know, LET THEM WORK ON NON STAR WARS IPs!!!

spartandude:

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Can't say it fills me with confidence...

Boy, you said it Chewie

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RAAARRGGHHHHHHUURRGGGHHHH!!!!!

Well...crap. Firstly, hope everyone who got laid off can find a new job soon.

Secondly, what does this mean for BF3? First Assault was supposed to be a precursor to a Battlefront 3 release...

My entire childhood was Star Wars games (except like, Pokemon) so it's really sad to see them go...

"Hey, instead of developing games that will sell like hotcakes, be successful and well-loved like 1313, Battlefront 3, Jedi Knight, and Sam & Max, lets instead hire a Star Trek fan to make a Star Wars film that might be worse than Phantom with a very disheartened fanbase" - disneylogic at work.

Cue the shitstorm.

LucasArts has made some of my most favourite games, the KotOR, Battlefront and Jedi Knight series respectively, and been part of the greatest MMO concerning personal and overall story and environmental design ever, Old Republic.
It appears my dislike of Disney's Star Wars acquisition continues to rise steadily.

Aggieknight:
http://nooooooooooooooo.com

That is the most apt reaction to the bad news here. I also want to say WWWHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY???!!!

I just hope that the prospect for a re-released Monkey Island 3 in HD isn't completely dead in the water with this development. It was literally the only thing I still wanted from LucasArts in these last couple of years. And I sincerely hope that TellTale will be able to make a full acquisition of the rights to Monkey Island. I really don't want Disney allowing that series to gather dust following its recent revival.

But otherwise: Damn! I hope Disney is aware that stuff like this doesn't exactly inspire goodwill or confidence in them from the fanbase.

Idiots

That is all.

/Levi

Zombie_Moogle:
Doulbe Fine! Can you hear me?!

Please, grab the IP rights to Grim Fandango! You know you want to. Now's your chance!

Fixed it for you.

OT: It's sad to see them go, but really if this means I'll get my Battlefront 3, I can't be unhappy.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
They certainly want to make their money back ASAP, rather than play the long game. Can't say it fills me with confidence...

I think it's case of Disney having a plan laid out before they even started negotiations. Given where they've gone with Marvel I'm giving Disney the benefit of the doubt for now.

I'm not sure that you can call closing a studio that hasn't delivered a hit of it's own in well over decade as ruthless. They've had their name alongside Bioware, Red 5, Totally Games and whole bunch of others, but if that's all they're good for I can't see Disney even considering paying to prop them up.

Aiddon:
yeah, Lucasarts wasn't really doing much over the past decade. Still, I imagine people are going to FLIP.

Amen to that. But I can't help but feel sorta sad since Monkey Island was born there...

LucasArts has become more powerful than we could possibly imagine.

Ehh... Nothing they've made since KotOR has been any good so I don't really lament the loss of the studio. I imagine most of the people that have been behind their awesome previous games have left a long time ago. Certainly THAT LucasArts hasn't existed in a long time.

1313 being cancelled though... that's odd. I can only hope it was a case similar to Colonial Marine, and it just LOOKED good, but in fact it was a piece of shit (not entirely unreasonable, look at The Force Unleashed) and not just stupid corporate decision-making.

Though sadly it was most likely the latter.

Wait, does this mean no Battlefront 3?

Dear deities in Heaven, say this is not the end for Battlefront 3!!!!

You fucking idiots.

Oh, it's evil, sure. But not as much as it is monumentally stupid.

You have an incredibly talented group of people here, all ready and set up to make whatever you want, from a new, fresh IP, to, hell, challenging them to make a half decent tie in to star wars 7, and what do you do? You put 'em in the trash. Good job, disney. This is the worst incident of complete ignorance to a wealth of talent since you closed Blackrock.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Beat you to it by 8 minutes Andy. Don't worry, we can always go back and edit it to look like you posed first...

Anyways, as I said in t'other post, I wonder how this will affect TOR. I know EA were financing that, but I imagine as a Star Wars game, Lucasarts had a lot of control over it. Will Disney now be stepping in to fill that role?

I have to say, Disney do seem to have turned rather ruthless following the Lucasfilm purchase. The ink wasn't even dry, and they'd already announced a new trilogy of films. Then they announced that they were making additional spin-off films. And now they're shutting down the gaming division in order to minimise losses.

They certainly want to make their money back ASAP, rather than play the long game. Can't say it fills me with confidence...

To be fair, Andy actually did an article-style write up, vs. just posting the link to the story and making a comment.

OT: Can Tim Schaefer have Monkey Island back? Please?

I hate hearing news about people losing their jobs. Sad. I really love Monkey Island, too

VladG:
Ehh... Nothing they've made since KotOR has been any good so I don't really lament the loss of the studio. I imagine most of the people that have been behind their awesome previous games have left a long time ago.

They didn't make KotOR that was Bioware, they just nodded and said "go forth and make us money". But I'm sure Disney will still control the IP's until the either decide to sell them or whore them out to game studio x.

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