Kotaku has cited multiple sources claiming major staffing changes at publisher and developer LucasArts.
At least three seperate, anonymous people have reported that some number of the LucasArts team has been released, ranging between 50 and 100 employees.
These cuts came from both the publishing and development sides. Production Services, including Quality Assurance and Compliance staffers, are expected to be outsourced, whereas developers, namely programmers and artists, will simply be cut.
This worker reduction comes four months after former LucasArts President Jim Ward left the company for “personal reasons.”
One informed Gamasutra commenter claims that, whether Ward was forced out or resigned, he escaped from a strained relationship with upper management.
“One thing is clear and that is Mich (& company) was unhappy with [Ward’s] delaying of the Force Unleashed and Indiana Jones titles. They also didn’t trust his numbers for increasing expected sales as a basis for delaying the game,” vented the unnamed informant.
The poster continued to claim, “There are some that believe that more money can be made by licensing the SW and Indiana Jones IP to third party developers than through in-house development.”
Internal corporate confusion could have also been a contributor to LucasArts’ departure from the Entertainment Software Association. Whether membership fees or a lack of faith in leadership were the cause, these more immediate personal problems probably took precedent. Microsoft’s Robbie Bach suggested similar circumstances may have inspired the Activision and Vivendi withdrawals.