Haden Blackman, the executive producer and writer on The Force Unleashed, has resigned from LucasArts to "explore new creative challenges."
Blackman worked on numerous Star Wars games during his 13-year career at LucasArts before taking the reins as the executive producer and lead writer on the 2008 hit Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, for which and his team won a Writers Guild of America award. He returned to the role for The Force Unleashed 2, which makes his departure a bit of a surprise, but he told IGN that it's simply time to move on.
"I've had a fantastic time working with the team at Lucasfilm and am really grateful for their ongoing support," he said. "While the decision to leave LucasArts did not happen overnight or come easily, I really feel that now is the best time for me to move on and explore new creative challenges and I look forward to the next phase of my career."
It was just last week that Blackman was talking up The Force Unleashed 2, referring to it as a "big Star Wars event" even as he admitted that some previous Star Wars videogames haven't really been up to snuff. "We are so paranoid about tarnishing Star Wars," he said at the time. "We want to make every game as good as possible, but it doesn't always work out that way."
Despite Blackman's prominent role, a LucasArts rep said his departure won't affect the development of the new game. The Force Unleashed 2 is currently slated for release on October 26 for the PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii.