There is some bad news for all of you Star Wars gamers out there. Disney has made the decision to shut down LucasArts, after just five months of purchasing Lucasfilm for $4.06 billion. This will not only affect video game fans, but many will be out of a job.
This means that about 150 employees have been given their pink slips in the video game area. The production of the highly-anticipated ‘Star Wars: First Assault’ and ‘Star Wars 1313′ have also been canceled due to this decision. The only chance they have of being released is if another publisher hops aboard to complete them. Otherwise, they could both be gone forever.
“After evaluating our position in the games market, we’ve decided to shift Lucas Arts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimizing the company’s risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games,” the company explained in a statement. “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.”
Disney will be licensing out the titles from now on. Sales have dropped of Lucasfilm games in the past few years. Disney is said to be headed in a new direction. The news comes after they had recently decided to cancel Cartoon Network’s The Clone Wars. The animated TV series has been a fan favorite since 2008.
Their focus is now turned towards social and mobile rather than console. Star Wars console titles will still be available, but they will be produced by external developers. It seems that this might be the end of an era for all things Star Wars nostalgic. LucasArts was a pioneer in bringing a special flair to video games. This might make sense to forge ahead and go with the changing times, but it is still a sad thing to see a brilliant company from the past go down this way.
Disney also added, “Disney Interactive looks forward to working with Lucasfilm on new games opportunities that leverage their incredible IP and brings it to life across gaming platforms.”
The odds for either of those uncompleted Star Wars games being licensed out might be very slim, especially for 1313. As the saying goes, “May the force be with you.”
Are you sad to see this happen or do you think this all makes sense businesswise?