Sad, yet not surprising news to report: Disney is shutting down LucasArts effective immediately. Close to 150 LucasArts staff members have been laid off, and all current projects have been cancelled, including Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault. According to Kotaku, Star Wars 1313’s future may still be saved, but will possibly not be licensed out to a different publisher. Disney has mentioned that future Star Wars and Lucasfilm properties will be licensed out under the LucasArts name, but without a development studio in tact.
The official statement from Disney:
“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.”
Despite the writing already being on the wall, the closing of LucasArts is being felt through the gaming community. The famed game development studio has been responsible for titles (aside from various Star Wars games) such as Monkey Island and Sam & Max. In addition, famed game designer, Tim Schafer, got his first big break with LucasArts. Although, financial troubles and previous layoffs have plagued the publisher since 2010, so Disney swaying the axe was all but a matter of time.
As mentioned, LucasArts’ games have had an everlasting effect on many gamers growing up in the early 1980s and 90s, so we ask this: What was your favorite LucasArts memory? While you discuss, there’s a copy of X-Wing and Rogue Squadron II that I need to go dig up.