LucasArts, the game publishing wing of Lucasfilm Ltd., is no more. Disney, which acquired the game designer and publisher along with other assets formerly owned by some experimental filmmaking guy named George Lucas, has ditched the studio and its staff as of today. Disney/Lucasfilm released a statement indicating game production has ceased and that LucasArts will be charting a new direction as the licensing arm for Lucasfilm-related videogames:
“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.”
Though LucasArts had once been viewed as a premium studio capable of releasing noteworthy games (Monkey Island series, Full Throttle, early Indiana Jones titles) it soon was overshadowed by the Star Wars prequel/marketing juggernaut (not to mention buried by Lego blocks), and though that resulted in some good (sometimes great) games, more often than not the result was a lackluster game that rarely lived up to the late 80s/90s adventure game standards for mere fun and playability. For the unlucky fan waiting for the last Star Wars game in development, Star Wars: 1313, there’s the chance that title might be the first one to transfer to a different game studio under the new LucasArts licensing company… for other game companies that want in on Lucasfilm characters, locations and scenarios the news probably couldn’t be better.