Jim Ward Leaves LucasArts
Citing "personal reasons," Jim Ward has announced his resignation as president of LucasArts.
Ward joined LucasFilm in 1997, taking over as president of LucasArts in 2004. While in that role, he also served as vice president of marketing and distribution at LucasFilm, overseeing the worldwide marketing efforts for all of the entertainment giant's movie, television and video properties. His tenure as LucasArts president saw the development of numerous Star Wars franchise titles, including Knights of the Old Republic II, Republic Commando and the Lego Star Wars games.
In a statement to Kotaku, Ward wrote, "I am so proud of all people and the work we've done together at LucasArts over the past four years. It's been an incredible experience. Together we've rebooted the company and set LucasArts on a path to even greater success. This is a fantastic team and they are positioned for their best year ever."
According to public relations representative Margaret Grohne, Ward did not elaborate on his reasons for leaving, and said his resignation would take effect "in a couple of weeks," adding that Ward "has set up a very strong company. He is leaving us in a very good place."
"We're starting a search for a new president and in the transition Howard Roffman, president of Lucas Licensing, will be stepping in," Grohne said. "He has been with the company for over 25 years and very intimately connected with the games business."
Eh. Lucasarts has turned from an interesting company to a Star Wars whore. Good riddance. Maybe the new guy will have them actually putting out a selection of games this time instead of variants on a theme.
On one hand, I'd love to see Lucasarts branch out more, but on the other hand, Lego star wars and Republic commando (ESPECIALLY republic commando) were awesome.
was he the reason that all their games since Tie-Fighter sucked?
Just because they've had a low average game quality and held to doing nothing but Star Wars except the Sam and Max episodic games and Mercenaries doesn't mean that all their games over the past decade have sucked. Granted, most of the "good" LucasArts games have been developed with outside studios as is their tendency (Mercenaries:Pandemic, Lego SW:Giant, KotOR:BioWare, etc.), but there's no reason to write them off as a lost cause just yet. All the same, new leadership might be just what the doctor ordered.
OK, what they need now is a President that has never seen a Star Wars film. Ever.
Of course, that probably rules you out of the job immediately, but I would like to see LucasArts get back to its adventure roots (something that MAY be happening with Sam and Max), but we need new games to play.
Rehashing old franchises is not a great model from a creative aspect, but from a financial viewpoint it's very sound.
Oh, and don't let people like Tim Scahfer go! Give them carte blanche dammit!