Disney Shuts Down LucasArts

Big news has hit tonight as Disney has closed down game developer and publisher LucasArts, which created and published games such as the Monkey Island series, Grim Fandango, a host of Star Wars games including the Battlefront series and Knights Of The Old Republic, as well as the more recent Force Unleashed, and Kinect Star Wars title.

In a statement, Disney has stated that the closure is due to moving from a development model to licensing the company’s various titles to developers outside of the company. The status of the projects that were currently in development, including Star Wars 1313, are unknown but, with the development team being disbanded, it doesn’t look good.

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LucasArts was founded in 1982 and enjoyed quite a lot of success with its various franchises, though in the last couple of years it has suffered in terms of critically acclaimed games with the Force Unleashed games and Kinect Star Wars failing to really capture the same fan base as the Battlefront games did. It was purchased along with Lucasfilm in October last year for the sum of $4 billion.

It’s a shame because I was quite looking forward to seeing more of Star Wars 1313. We wish all those who have been laid off luck in finding new positions.

Source: Statement via GameInformer

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24 Comments

  1. Any faith in how Disney would handle their management of the Star Wars brand has rapidly plummeted because of this. Both 1313 and First Assault looked very interesting, and it’s such a shame to see such great potential go to waste, alongside the loss of the talent behind both games. Hopefully they’ll get rehired quickly. Now to sit in a corner and cry about the fact my dreams of one day seeing Battlefront III have taken another hit…

    • I don’t think there’s any reason that this affects the idea of Battlefront 3 ever being made, it may actually increase the odds, as it may have been the heads of LucasArts keeping one from being made, and now Disney have the license they may get someone else to make it.

      • I’m basing it on the rumour that the development team behind First Assault were apparently using it as a foundation for the development of Battlefront II at their studio. With First Assault probably canned, it seems like that’s another developer who was actually interested in the game crossed off the list.

      • *Battlefront III

      • Ahh, I did not know about that, if that was true that may be an issue.

  2. this is really sad, lucas arts are a part of my youth.

    schnief

  3. Such a shame. I hope Disney release top quality games even though they’ll be using outside developers.

  4. Really gutted about this. One of the reasons I wanted to be a games designer was because of some of the awesome games they produced when I was young. My dream of working for Lucasarts is no more. Good luck to all those affected by this.

    Although, plenty of their best titles in recent years weren’t developed by themselves, only published; Battlefront 1 and 2, Kotor 1 and 2, Revenge of the Sith, Empire at war, Mercenaries…

    If Disney allow other studios to develop games in the Star Wars universe we may still get some great games.

    • What’s really sad is the last game they released was Star Wars Kinect. How the mighty had fallen.

  5. Not cool, bro. :'(

  6. Damn. There goes any chance of Rescue on Fractalus or the Eidolon coming out on PS4!

    Obviously, these were not the developers they were looking for.

  7. You’re fucking kidding me, man.

    :(

    Late April fools?

  8. Yay! More shovelware from Disney. :-/ I can’t remeber the last decent game Lucasarts released but Disney shouldn’t have shut them down as they could have had them cater exclusivly to the core market whilst shovelware by Disney’s developers or outsourced developers get released by Disney. I’m assuming Drake Wars:1313 has been canned. I wonder if Disney plans on using Obsidian for their mature titles or Bioware? As Star Wars is suited to the RPG genre. Although Bioware is probably not the best developer for Star Wars as they are past their prime now.

    Ooo, what if Bethesda is allowed to develop an open world Star Wars RPG? That would be excellent, if they don’t use the TES template and come up with something original. Or if the developer behind Dark Souls is allowed to do a RPG? Or Naughty Dog?

    • I’ve always wondered how an open world RPG like skyrim would work for a Star Wars game. I doubt it would work well as the beauty of the SW universe is just that…a universe to explore rather than one fixed location like say tatooine (probably a terrible choice as it’s just a desert planet but there is a bit of variety like the desert, mos eisley, mos espa, jabba’s palace/ pod race arena, the canyons). Wait, that already sounds awesome!

      Unless they had space travel between each location to make it ‘seamless’ and without loading times. That’s all I’ve got :)

  9. This is crap news, hopefully all the talent at Lucasarts can find good jobs elsewhere and continue to make amazing games. I can’t believe a 30 year old developer with a name to be in awe of and stacks of incredibly strong games behind it had to be closed, but then Disney seem to be on some sort of buying and closing spree as they’ve done the same thing to several mobile app companies lately so it shouldn’t be a huge surprise. Times are changing. RIP Lucasarts, 30 years of firing our imaginations hasn’t been in vain. Now, where’s my X-Wing Alliance gone…

  10. Very sad, part of my childhood gone. I hoped that one day I’d see a remake of Grim Fandango. Disney have just lost a considerable amount of cred.

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