I was pretty shocked when I saw the news this afternoon that Disney shut down LucasArts. I won’t say I was surprised though, as I suspected a move like this might be coming.
Over the course of the last few years, Disney’s been shutting down video game studios that either don’t align with their vision of mobile and online gaming, or haven’t turned a decent profit on a release. The most recent closure was Warren Spector’s Junction Point Studios at the end of January.
So, what does this mean for upcoming releases Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault? I think Alderaan has a better chance of reassembling itself than these games have of seeing a release. All of LucasArts staff has been laid off, which means no developers to work on those titles. Furthermore, Disney has cancelled any projects that were in the works.
Sadly, I think that LucasArts had been slipping in recent years and working on what they wanted instead of what the fans/gamers wanted.
For what it’s worth, I hope I’m wrong and they find some way of resurrecting Star Wars 1313 at least. The game looked very promising!
It looks like the LucasArts name will still live on and my sources say that it will become a licensing entity that will allow licensed development of games based on the Star Wars franchise by other game studios. This is something that LucasArts has already been doing with titles like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Star Wars: Battlefront. In fact, LucasArts hasn’t really had a successful game of their own since 2008’s Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Sure, there have been other LucasArts developed titles since then, but nobody can argue that either Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II or Kinect Star Wars for Xbox 360 were great successes.