LucasArts Shut Down
LucasArts, the video game development studio that worked with LucasFilm and several other video game studios, was recently shut down by its owner The Walt Disney Company. LucasArts will become more of a “licensing” company more than a video game development studio and publisher.
Over 150 employees were laid off, as well as several other employees who were working for Industrial Light & Magic, the special effects studio that worked with LucasFilms on several of the Star Wars films and the Indiana Jones films.
This comes as a shock and disappointment to many game retailers, journalists, and gamers. As of March of this year, the newest Star Wars games and a new “revolutionary” online service were put into production. The developers also expected to make several movie tie-in games to the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII.
As of right now, the new video game Star Wars: 1313, which was an action focused game about a bounty hunter within the universe of the movies, as well as several other projects including their online service have ceased production indefinitely. Future Star Wars games will be given to Disney Interactive, Disney’s own video game development studio, and to any third party developer interested in making Star Wars games.
Disney has said that the closure of the studio will, “[minimize] the company’s risk while achieving a broad portfolio of quality Star Wars games.”
As of right now, there are rumors of Electronic Arts and other video game studios, buying out other properties from LucasArts. However, EA has stated that they have no plans to buy anything from LucasArts.
This is not the first video game company that Disney has shut down in the past year. Junction Point Studios, the development studio that created the Epic Mickey games and headed by video game industry legend Warren Spector, closed its doors on January 29th this year. This is also the third big video game publisher and developer, with THQ also gone.
The video game development and publishing company was one of the many properties purchased by the Walt Disney Company back in October of 2012.
LucasArts has been around since 1982, and amongst their massive library of Star Wars games, the company has developed and published many cult classics amongst gamers, including the Monkey Island and Sam & Max series.