Disney has pulled the plug on LucasArts. Consequently, LucasFilm’s erstwhile video games development arm becomes the second significant casualty of Disney’s purchase of George Lucas’ family of entertainment companies. The first to die by Disney’s hand, of course, is the excellent Clone Wars animated series.
With LucasArts’ shutdown, around 150 members of its staff were laid off and all current projects, including Star Wars: First Assault and Star Wars 1313, were canceled with immediate effect.
Instead of developing video games in-house, Disney announced through LucasFilm that it will “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.”
Perhaps signaling Disney’s ultimate plans in the video game market, Disney Interactive, the company’s video game development arm, said that it “looks forward to working with Lucasfilm on new games opportunities that leverage their incredible IP (intellectual property) and brings it to life across gaming platforms.”
LucasArts was founded in 1982. In its more than three decades of existence it spawned and published classics such as the Star Wars-inspired titles X-Wing, Rebel Assault, Knights of the Old Republic, and The Force Unleashed, as well as non-Star Wars titles such as Grim Fandango from 1998 and the Monkey Island series of games.