It is a sad day for LucasArts with Disney announcing the decision to close the studio’s doors for good, with some 150 people being laid off this morning according the a reliable Kotaku source. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. The closure of LucasArts also means that officially all the existing Star Wars projects, such as Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault have been cancelled too.
It has since been confirmed that the name LucasArts will still be used in future to licence games, but the studio itself is no more. This is what Disney had to say regarding the shutdown:
“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.”
Now it’s still possible that 1313 & First Assault could be licenced out to be completed. However, according to reliable sources at Kotaku, it has been said that whilst the option was pursued, it did not lead anywhere. Unfortunately, this effectively confirms that the projects are cancelled.
It is never a good day when people lose their jobs, and for that our heart goes out to the staff at LucasArts. However, this news comes after months of rumours involving the studio after the initial purchase, so it is not entirely unexpected. Is it possible this could of actually been a smart move, considering the recent quality of LucasArts games, or was this all just a colossal mistake?