GamesBeat

Disney shutters publisher LucasArts

That’s what I’m trying to tell you, kid. It ain’t there — it’s been totally blown away.

After 30 years of developing Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and other original video games, developer LucasArts is no more. Destroyed not by the Empire but closed by its new owner, The Walt Disney Company, as originally reported today by GameInformer.

Disney released the following 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.

This means that Disney has ceased all internal development at LucasArts. Sources tell GamesBeat that this doesn’t necessarily mean Star Wars 1313, the promising third-person action game set in the Imperial capital of Coruscant’s underworld, or any other LucasArts game is dead. Disney and Lucasfilm is evaluating each project along with third-party publishers that could come in as licensing partners.

After the layoffs, a small team will remain on at LucasArts to help guide the properties. Some of the laid-off employees are moving on to Disney Interactive.

Since its inception, LucasArts developed and published scores of games including dozens of Star Wars titles. As a developer, its most notable period was in the late 1980s through the early 1990s when it produced beloved adventure titles like Maniac Mansion, The Secret of Monkey Island, and Day of the Tentacle.

After adventure games felt out of fashion, LucasArts fell back on the Star Wars universe for most of its releases. In 2003, it published BioWare’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic role-playing game to glowing reviews.

In 2011, Lucas Arts partnered with publisher Electronic Arts and developer BioWare to release the massively multiplayer online RPG. The highly anticipated title failed to maintain a paying audience and moved to a free-to-play model in 2012.

In October, Disney bought Lucasfilm, Star Wars, and LucasArts from creator George Lucas for around $4 billion. Since that time, Disney publicly stated that it wasn’t interested in following up with the kind of development that LucasArts specializes in, which is traditional console and PC releases.

Founded in 1982, LucasArts handled the development and publishing of all Lucas-related video games. While it developed many titles internally, it also worked with outside developers to produce licensed games.


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