Another famous name in history of video gaming has departed. Disney has shut down LucasArts games studios, which was acquired as part of its $4 billion deal when it bought Lucasfilm in October last year. Disney has announced a new series of Star Wars films but all in-house game development has been halted.
A number of highly-anticipated games titles were in development at the time the axe fell. Two major projects, Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault, were some way into development. You can see an impressive trailer for the Star Wars 1313 game from last year’s E3 below.
Star Wars 1313 E3 trailer
Some news sources speculate that the games will be picked up and developed to completion by other development houses. However another source speaking to Kotaku said “With the teams now basically being dispersed I think both games are effectively dead forever”. With a second insider saying the odds of Star Wars 1313 being developed to completion as “effectively zero”.
The official statement from Disney read as follows: “After evaluating our position in the games market, we've decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimising 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 organisation. We are incredibly appreciative and proud of the talented teams who have been developing our new titles.” Only a “small team” would remain in place to handle games licensing issues.
LucasArts was founded in 1982 and was famous for its adventure games titles including Manic Mansion and The Secret of Monkey Island as well as all the blockbuster Star Wars themed titles it developed. Around 150 jobs will be lost due to the closure.