Today, the Walt Disney Company laid off the staff of LucasArts and cancelled all of their current projects. Approximately one-hundred fifty staff members were informed of the decision this morning and lost their jobs. This decision also forces the company to cancel both of LucasArts current projects- Star Wars: First Assault and Star Wars 1313. The Walt Disney Company is keeping the LucasArts name to license games, but the studio will no longer exist.
Disney has reported that their current games could be licensed out to a different publisher or developer, but according to some sources, that’s unlikely. Rumor has it that Lucas has pursued the option for one or both of these games, but nothing came of it. It appears that these games will probably be gone forever.
“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,” LucasArts parent company LucasFilm said 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.”
LucasArts actually stopped all hiring last September and product announcements also ceased at this time. LucasFilm is still in business though and this decision should not affect any of the Star Wars movies in the makings.
What do you think will happen with the LucasArts projects? Do you think they will be licensed out to another publisher?
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