Now witness the power of a fully armed and operational Mouse House. Disney has officially and swiftly laid off all 150 employees at Lucasarts, and announced today that the studio is being shuttered.
Sayeth the official statement: “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.”
The most notable new title in question would be M-rated bounty hunter title Star Wars: 1313, which was shown off at E3 last year. Disney has already attempted to have the game farmed out to an outside developer, but since no takers were found, the game is effectively dead, along with a game called First Assault which was rumored to essentially be Battlefront III in all but name.
That’s the bad news. Here’s the silver lining, if Disney decides to do this right: Licensing basically means that if Double Fine wants to make a new Grim Fandango, or Telltale wants to resurrect Maniac Mansion, or if Naughty Dog wants to do the crossover of a lifetime and have Nathan Drake meet Indiana Jones, they can, long as they’re willing to pony up the cash to Disney. In theory, this means any AAA studio with the right mindset can have at on any number of Lucasarts’ properties, and I can’t imagine anyone doing any worse than Kinect Star Wars. IF Disney decides to do this right, that is. Worst case scenario is we get another god damned Force Unleashed.
Still, the studio was responsible for a lot, and I mean a fucking LOT of memories for a lot of gamers, and no matter what comes of this, it’s going to be weird as hell not having that little stick figure branded on a game.
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