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LucasArts Officially Shuttered by Disney

The once mighty publisher of nearly all things Star Wars and Indiana Jones will be shifting to a "licensing" focused model.

The once promising looking Star Wars: 1313 will not continue development, it seems.

Word surrounding LucasArts, the once dominant, but more recently dormant video game publishing and development arm of the house that Star Wars built, had not been good of late. After a strong showing at last year's E3 with an intriguing new Star Wars project, 1313, radio silence kicked in immediately following the sale of all things Lucasfilm to Disney late last year, and rumors began to swirl that the project was dead. That news has been all but confirmed, alongside news of the publisher's effective closing today, as announced by Disney in a brief 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."

LucasArts of the modern era hardly reflected its once dominant days as a publisher and development house. Apart from having total access to the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises--for each of which it produced countless memorable games--it also held court as one of the great producers of adventure games back in the 1990s, hosting burgeoning talents like Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert, who produced such classics as Grim Fandango and The Secret of Monkey Island.

Unfortunately, those days were largely in the past. Recent sequels in the Star Wars: Battlefront and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed franchises failed to gain much momentum; EA's Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO ended up going free-to-play inside of it's one year anniversary; and the dismal Star Wars: Kinect is all but assured to be LucasArts' publishing swan song. Still, the company at least showed signs of life with an impressive demo of Star Wars: 1313 to select press at last year's E3. Though it was exceptionally early in development, it showed a great deal of promise, and seemed like just the kind of thing that could have renewed a bit of interest in Star Wars video gaming in the next console generation. Sadly, that was not to be. Layoffs have been reported at LucasArts, and it seems the brand is set to be little more than a publishing stamp to be attached to licensed products.

We'll bring you more on this as it becomes available.

Alex Navarro on Google+
325 Comments
Posted by mrfluke

wow

Posted by psylah

Trek wins again.

Posted by daggon55

Pour one out for TIE Fighter

Edited by MooseyMcMan

I'm quite bummed at this news.

I never really had the chance to play any non-Star Wars LucasArts games, but I played a ton of the Rogue Squadron games back in the day. Rogue Squadron II was such a fantastic game!

And all those people that are out of jobs. I hope they find work soon.

Moderator
Posted by Xearo

1313 looked really interesting.

Posted by MachoFantastico

Shame for all those working there, and a shame for 1313. Thought it had potential to be at least interesting.

Have to say, I'm not loving the way Disney have handled Lucas stuff so far. Though one might argue that LucasArts weren't doing to good before the buy-out.

Posted by Brodehouse

Star Wars 1313 will be coming out in 13... Dammit that one doesn't work.

3131?

Posted by Saganomics

@mrfluke said:

wow

Yep, pretty much sums it up.

Edited by Atwa

Really shocked by this.

Posted by Theory

maybe someone else will pick up 1313 and its team... otherwise it'd be quite a shame.

Edited by soralapio

Fucking Disney.

Edited by pbhawks45

Star Wars: Dark Forces is what took me down the games rabbit hole as a six-year-old. Sad day.

Posted by TheManWithNoPlan

That's too bad. The game seemed promising. Guess we'll never see gritty Star Wars. Maybe one day.

Posted by Adrian79

But we'll still get a Day of the Tentacle remake right?.....RIGHT???

Edited by Toxin066

Fuck. I want Battlefront 3 pretty badly. And 1313 could have been something special. No chance of Disney auctioning off those IPs, eh?

Edited by louiedog

Does this mean the people working on 1313 got laid off today and not the day after the game would have gone gold?

Posted by elko84
Edited by Heartless_Enigma

Anyone else check the date today to see if it was the first? My jaw's on the floor...

Edited by Nerolus

Off to a good start, Disney. Can 150 people and cancel two great looking games.

Excuse me a few minutes while I polish this pitchfork...

Edited by BaconGames

I guess I'm not surprised only to the extent that I kind of always assumed they would shutter LucasArts relatively soon after the acquisition. The devs at Lucas were always known or assumed to be great at what they do up to the present day so I wouldn't be shocked if a lot of those people laid off found happy homes elsewhere.

The only real question in my mind after all this time is how Disney plans to approach legacy game properties both Star Wars and non-Star Wars related.

Edited by BabyChooChoo

Edited by Soapy86

Can't say I'm all that sad about it. LucasArts hasn't put out anything really good in a long time.

Edited by Bollard
Posted by Morningstar

Such bad news...

Edited by AlexanderSheen
Posted by DrDarkStryfe

It was rumored that development stopped on 1313 sometime late last year. The company was a shell of its former glory, and could not hold onto a leading executive for its life.

A shame that one of the all time greats had to be put down. They will be missed by anyone that has played the great software they put out in the 90's.

Posted by deskp

@toxin066: No need to auction it off when people can just lisence them or something.

Edited by Mentlegen26

I wonder how far along 1313 was, and if it will be a sunk project or licensed out.

Posted by Krystal_Sackful

Damn it Johnny V. You did this didn't you?

Edited by Maitimo

Given Disney's lack of success with games publishing and LucasArts' continued irrelevance, it might be sad but it's hardly a surprise.

Edited by antipothis

Best news I've heard since Lucas sold star wars. The last thing of note that LA developed internally was the force unleashed 1 and 2 (Kinect Star Wars is not of note). Now we can actually finally start getting star wars games again.

Edited by ejiehi

Give Tim Schafer his games back Johnny V. >:(

Posted by PsychoPenguin

@chavtheworld: 2005 is recent, right? It's not like they've developed anything good since then.

Edited by Abendlaender
Posted by BBAlpert

@adrian79 said:

But we'll still get a Day of the Tentacle remake right?.....RIGHT???

I don't know if this is anything like the THQ situation where orphaned franchises get divvied up between other publishers, or if the case is that Disney still keeps all those licenses even if they have no plans of doing anything with them.

Edited by MikkaQ

Wow that sucks. I loved growing up with LucasArts games.

Edited by StoicForce

I can't imagine Star Wars 1313 being completely cancelled if it was even half-way done. Either it's being marketed assets-and-all to a 3rd party developer or it really was in such early stages that there is nothing to sell.

Edited by BaneFireLord

Yeah, no shit "recent titles in the Battlefront franchise failed to gain momentum"...they were all on the fucking PSP.

Posted by chikin_n_rofls

:(

Edited by villainy

Damn you John Vignocchi!!! Seriously though it is a shame Disney isn't going to even attempt to bring the LucasArts name back to its former glory.

Edited by weegieanawrench

What the shit? Aww man, 1313 was looking real cool.

Posted by SpicyRichter

What are they THINKING?

Posted by LegendaryChopChop

1313 still has to come out in some way. Some way, right? That game looked awesome.

Posted by sissylion

Hey, Disney, if you aren't going to be doing anything with all those LucasArts adventure game properties, maybe sell them off to a company that will rerelease them? Just an idea. Alright, cool, talk to you later. Love you.

Posted by 2HeadedNinja

Vignocchiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!

Edited by eccentrix

The video game industry is doing weird things.

Edited by XenoNick
Posted by AdmiralStupid

BOOOOOOOO!

Posted by Phatmac

video games are dying. :(