Disney shuts down Lucasarts...

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Link to Game Informer article:

Game Informer has learned that Disney is closing its LucasArts game publishing subsidiary. We received an email from a LucasArts representative confirming the news.

The official statement reads as follows:

"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."

Wow. Apparently quite a few people are getting laid off as a result. And the name Lucasarts is now a mask that will get slapped on whatever studio is working on Star Wars games.

I guess this shouldn't be a total surprise. Lucasarts has been doing a whole lot of nothing the last few years. Still, it feels like the end of an era. I guess there goes any chance of a proper KOTOR 3 or Battlefront 3.

Man... that's terrible news. Not just because it's the end of such a long-running studio. But all those people losing their jobs.

What a messy situation.

Ugh. I have a friend who works for LucasArts. Moved his family to California to take the job.

Really hope he didn't get laid off...

Yeah, I just wanted to Post about this too.

Bad for the people working there and yada yada, but I'm happy for another big/mid-sized publisher to go the way of the dodo.
In recent memory THQ was declared bankrupt, then ATARI and now LucasArts is being closed.

SquareEnix and EA are in trouble and fighting with layoffs, Nintendo and Sony have their own problems. Awaiting some more major closures for a good ol' proper video game crash. Hopefully after the new consoles are out on the market.

When they're all gone, maybe the industry can move on with a paradigm shift from the "AAA games, Hype, Pre-Order, Marketing, Doritos!" one they are presently stuck in.

So there's hope for a Republic Commandos 2, or not?

It doesn't mean that games like Battlefront 3 will never get made. It just means that Lucas Arts won't exist as a publisher anymore. It's sad, but you have to admit that they weren't doing very well for a long while now.

While its sad that people got laid off this actually means that there might actually be some good Star Wars games now?

Ah you beat me to it j-e-f-f-e-r-s

On topic;

Sad news for the people who've lost their jobs and sad to see another one of the old guard gaming companies slip away into the night.

Though I guess part of me is glad that LucasArts is gone, the old LucasArts that made all those great games has been dead for a long time and what was left of it was clearly not in the best hands. Plus they did dick over Free Radical...

BloatedGuppy:
Ugh. I have a friend who works for LucasArts. Moved his family to California to take the job.

Really hope he didn't get laid off...

They'll probably keep a bunch of staff to help with the running of the name, administration, liaising with Disney, stuff like that. Hopefully they'll even keep some staff to develop smaller games. And it well might be that Disney offers new jobs within their own games division to the developers they've just laid off. They've certainly got the money too, and game companies seem to be pretty good at networking with each other when redundancies happen. I hope your friend gets lucky and manages to keep hold of some form of employment. Being unemployed sucks. Currently going through it again atm.

Dexter111:
Yeah, I just wanted to Post about this too.

Bad for the people working there and yada yada, but I'm happy for another big/mid-sized publisher to go the way of the dodo.
In recent memory THQ was declared bankrupt, then ATARI and now LucasArts is being closed.

SquareEnix and EA are in trouble and fighting with layoffs, Nintendo and Sony have their own problems. Awaiting some more major closures for a good ol' proper video game crash. Hopefully after the new consoles are out on the market.

When they're all gone, maybe the industry can move on with a paradigm shift from the "AAA games, Hype, Pre-Order, Marketing!" one they are presently stuck in.

Don't forget Microsoft in the Big Three. Apparently, a lot of shareholders aren't happy with Balmer that the rise of Microsoft's gaming division (which has been very shaky in terms of profit) seems to have come at the expense of their OS division. Windows once ruled with an iron grip. Now iOS, Linux and Android have all found huge success, and Windows is playing catch up in every important market. Their Surface tablet software has had a mixed reception, Windows 8 is widely loathed, and Windows phones have yet to make even a dent in the Android market, let alone iPhones. Allegedly there's serious discussion amongst shareholders that Microsoft should scale back on the games and re-focus on their core business which they've let slip. All grapevine though, so take that with a pinch of salt, but it would explain why they've been focusing far, far less on console exclusives the last few years, and seem to be focusing more on casual gaming. Stuff like Kinect, like the Wii, is cheaper to develop for and easier to profit from than traditional triple-A gaming, so that seems to be where they're heading.

I wonder how this affects The Old Republic. Lucasarts were pretty instrumental in that, and now they're gone. Does that mean Disney now marches in and takes over where Lucasarts were?

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
I wonder how this affects The Old Republic. Lucasarts were pretty instrumental in that, and now they're gone. Does that mean Disney now marches in and takes over where Lucasarts were?

Shouldn't affect TOR at all - that's already running on the licenced model Disney are talking about switching to, as it was developed entirely by EA/BW.

Afterthought/Edit: Unless Disney are looking to use this as an excuse to renegotiate the licence, but I'd imagine EA/BW have protected themselves against that.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
I wonder how this affects The Old Republic. Lucasarts were pretty instrumental in that, and now they're gone. Does that mean Disney now marches in and takes over where Lucasarts were?

"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."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LucasArts
From what I can tell from the above quote, not much will happen since that runs on a licensing deal with EA.

Jim Ward's retarded business moves as CEO from 2004 onward decided that they should stop doing licensing and instead "focus on internal development" (he is also responsible for cancelling and shelfing Full Throttle: Payback/Hell on Wheels and Sam&Max: Freelance Police (that one shortly before it was set to be released), as such we got games like "The Force Unleashed I+II" etc. instead of previous great titles (Jedi Knights, Battlefronts, X-Wings, KOTORs or similar).

There was a brief light at the end of the tunnel when Rodriguez took over and we saw Releases of past LucasArts titles on both Steam (The Dig, Loom etc.), aswell as the Monkey Island 1+2 Remakes. He also closed the deal with EA/BioWare over SW:ToR since the previous "no outsourcing/licensing" rule wasn't exactly his thing. His reign wasn't long lasting though (under two years) and then it was back to business as usual.

They've also cancelled Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault: http://kotaku.com/disney-shuts-down-lucasarts-468473749

1313 was cancelled which sucks since it actually had some promise.

First Assault too.

Fuck you Disney.

Oh. I am currently re-living on old game by Lucasarts from my childhood, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine. I can't say I'm familiar with the company beyond that one game, but still. Huge childhood favourite there and an influence on my life, so this seems a shame.

Shame to see such a storied developer go down. Their games were such a huge part of my gaming time while growing up.

Damn. That sucks.

I really enjoyed the Battlefront games. It's a shame to see these guys get laid off.

Lucasarts hadn't made anything good in years so while I'm sad to hear about people losing their jobs, if closing down the studio means there's a chance of some of the IP's they've been sitting on for years being sold off it's a good thing.

I want DoubleFine to get Grim Fandango and Full Throttle, meanwhile Ron Gilbert can have Monkey Island back and might as well give Telltale Sam & Max so they can finally re-release Sam & Max: Hit the Road. OO, maybe even make a HD version. I'm getting tingles just from the thought of it!

scorptatious:
Damn. That sucks.

I really enjoyed the Battlefront games. It's a shame to see these guys get laid off.

The Battlefront games weren't actually developed in-house. Pandemic developed the first two on license, and was working on the third one before they got closed down. Then Free Radical were working on it before they got bought out by Crytek.

Still a huge shame though. Whether through their own development teams, or by hiring other developers, Lucasarts made some of the most important games in the medium. Sure, it's easy to take the piss out of how many Star Wars games they released, but then again, many of those Star Wars games were hhugely innovative and succesful. Dark Forces was one of the first FPS games to allow you to actually look up and down, as well as having levels with multiple floors, and paved the way for the rest of the genre as a result. X-Wing and TIE Fighter are some of the best space sims out there. The KOTOR games are both held up as high points of the WRPG genre. The Battlefront series was one of the best multiplayer shooters ever made.

It's a shame recent games weren't up to snuff, because back in the day, a new Star Wars game announcement offered up hope of something really special.

"We are incredibly appreciative and proud of the talented teams who have been developing our new titles and this is how we show appreciation."

endtherapture:
1313 was cancelled which sucks since it actually had some promise.

First Assault too.

Fuck you Disney.

1313 was cancelled?! Fuck you Disney. I had hopes for that game.

All the Star Wars memories of my youth aside, Full Throttle was one of my favorite games of all time. I would like to be optimistic and think that this move is to make the games that will come out STRONGER. I would like to think that this means that new games will not feel like generous demos of bigger projects we'll never see (Force Unleashed 2 lasted for what, forty five minutes? I think I actually spent more time playing and replaying the demo of the original game than it took to beat the second one), but I just can't put the Pollyanna glasses on anymore.

I'm torn. One one hand, I would like to see something like a boycott against certain corporations for the way they have treated their products and their customers, but at the same time, and though I doubt it would actually accomplish much, I would hate to see franchises I care about (or at the very least enjoy) destroyed because we turned our backs on them.

There is an issue here with scale. Disney's facebook page has something like 4 million+ likes. The article about Lucasarts closing had around 193 comments (as of the time I read it.) It reminds me of the "ant attacking a sleeping elephant" speech from Fist of Legend.

I still hope one day we'll get Grim Fandango HD. But a girl can only dream.

I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if dozens of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened...

Joke aside, this sucks, I hope they land on their feet okay and still have some work to fall back on or find something quick.

Oh geez. Sure my hopes in a Battlefront 3 died years ago, but to know possibly many people lost there jobs and 1313 was cancelled.
Thats just heartbreaking.

It's a shame as LucasArts started out as a fantastic development studio. I believe they made all the old adventure games (Maniac Mansion, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Day of the Tenticle, Sam and Max Hit the Road, The Dig, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango), the classic Star Wars games (X-Wing, Dark Forces, Rebel Assault), Afterlife which sounded awesome but I never got to play, and some others. I was excited to hear they were actually developing Star Wars 1313 in house, as it seems they have been nothing but a publishing company for years now. Looks like that's all it will be at this point.

triggrhappy94:
So there's hope for a Republic Commandos 2, or not?

None. RepCom was an in house production by Lucasarts (though I think Pandemic helped a little bit), and the sequel was already canceled in 2007 during their financial troubles that also killed Rogue Squadron 4, KOTOR 3 and Battlefront 3.

Are these the guys who made Rogue Squadron 2? Because if so I am very sad about this.

The_Lost_King:

endtherapture:
1313 was cancelled which sucks since it actually had some promise.

First Assault too.

Fuck you Disney.

1313 was cancelled?! Fuck you Disney. I had hopes for that game.

I wasn't upset until I heard this. Is that true? That's awful. I don't feel too bad for Lucasarts, they haven't been doing so well lately, and maybe we can get better quality games out of this. But damn. 1313 looked promising.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

scorptatious:
Damn. That sucks.

I really enjoyed the Battlefront games. It's a shame to see these guys get laid off.

The Battlefront games weren't actually developed in-house. Pandemic developed the first two on license, and was working on the third one before they got closed down. Then Free Radical were working on it before they got bought out by Crytek.

Oh yeah, you're right. I probably should have remembered that because Pandemic were the same guys who made the Destroy All Humans! games.

Soviet Heavy:

triggrhappy94:
So there's hope for a Republic Commandos 2, or not?

None. RepCom was an in house production by Lucasarts (though I think Pandemic helped a little bit), and the sequel was already canceled in 2007 during their financial troubles that also killed Rogue Squadron 4, KOTOR 3 and Battlefront 3.

Financial trouble killed KOTOR 3? That game would be a sure fire money maker! What sane man would... Man this bites.

Cpt. Lozan:

Soviet Heavy:

triggrhappy94:
So there's hope for a Republic Commandos 2, or not?

None. RepCom was an in house production by Lucasarts (though I think Pandemic helped a little bit), and the sequel was already canceled in 2007 during their financial troubles that also killed Rogue Squadron 4, KOTOR 3 and Battlefront 3.

Financial trouble killed KOTOR 3? That game would be a sure fire money maker! What sane man would... Man this bites.

It does cost money to make games you know. If they can't afford the dev cycle, then you won't get the final product.

Kind of sad, but also good riddance. I loved Lucasarts in my youth and was sad to watch it crumble dramatically over the years.
Bring back 1998 and Grim Fandango. After that there wasn't a single decent development and only the rare decent game published (like KOTOR, and it was Lucasarts fault that KOTOR2 was so rushed and buggy!)

Soviet Heavy:

Cpt. Lozan:

Soviet Heavy:

None. RepCom was an in house production by Lucasarts (though I think Pandemic helped a little bit), and the sequel was already canceled in 2007 during their financial troubles that also killed Rogue Squadron 4, KOTOR 3 and Battlefront 3.

Financial trouble killed KOTOR 3? That game would be a sure fire money maker! What sane man would... Man this bites.

It does cost money to make games you know. If they can't afford the dev cycle, then you won't get the final product.

Additionally, a lot of people felt burned from KOTOR 2. I freaking love the game, but there's no denying Lucasarts shoved it out in an unfinished state. Kind of hard to feel excited for a new game when the previous one didn't even have a proper ending. After they damn near murdered 2, I'm guessing Lucasarts thought 3 wouldn't be a worthwhile investment.

It's worth remembering that TOR only came out because a) Bioware had become RPG developer du jour with Mass Effect, and b) the KOTOR games had spent five years after release getting more and more praise from RPG fans. Well, that and the fact that EA was hungry for a WOW killer. After 2 came out, making a KOTOR 3 prolly didn't seem like all that wise a business venture.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Additionally, a lot of people felt burned from KOTOR 2. I freaking love the game, but there's no denying Lucasarts shoved it out in an unfinished state. Kind of hard to feel excited for a new game when the previous one didn't even have a proper ending. After they damn near murdered 2, I'm guessing Lucasarts thought 3 wouldn't be a worthwhile investment

Lucas Arts?
SW:KotR2 was developed by Obsidian.

And remember:

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Link to Game Informer article:

Game Informer has learned that Disney is closing its LucasArts game publishing subsidiary. We received an email from a LucasArts representative confirming the news.

The official statement reads as follows:

"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."

Wow. Apparently quite a few people are getting laid off as a result. And the name Lucasarts is now a mask that will get slapped on whatever studio is working on Star Wars games.

I guess this shouldn't be a total surprise. Lucasarts has been doing a whole lot of nothing the last few years. Still, it feels like the end of an era. I guess there goes any chance of a proper KOTOR 3 or Battlefront 3.

Ya i died a little on the inside when i saw this.... for all of lucas arts faults they made a lot of good games

OlasDAlmighty:
Are these the guys who made Rogue Squadron 2? Because if so I am very sad about this.

That would be Factor 5, but I don't think the people behind Rogue Leader are still around.

LucasArts was partnered with them on RS, but I don't think they did much in the way of actually developing it, IIRC.

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