A lot of people were worried about what would happen to LucasArts following its sale to Disney last November, and it seems like the worst case scenario has finally happened: today Disney announced that they were shutting down the company and cancelling all of the games it was in the middle of developing, including the promising looking Star Wars 1313.
According to Kotaku, all 150 of LucasArts employees were let go this morning. Before it was shuttered, LucasArts was in the middle of developing two new titles: Star Wars First Assault, which would have been a downloadable, spiritual successor to the old Star Wars Battlefront games for XBLA and PSN, and Star Wars 1313, which was supposed to be an Uncharted-style adventure/shooter set in Coruscant’s seedy lower levels. Apparently, Disney has no plans to continue development of either title with another developer.
The news is unfortunate, but not surprising: Disney previously announced that rather than focusing on internal development via studios like LucasArts, they simply plan to license out their franchises to third-party developers. This is the second big studio closure that Disney is responsible for this year — they closed Warren Spector’s Junction Point Studios last January following the release of Epic Mickey 2.
While LucasArts’ definitely struggled to create hits this generation, the company will probably best be remembered for their extensive catalog of classic titles, including pioneering adventure games like the Monkey Island series, and their older Star Wars games, such as Jedi Knight II (which has aged very well and is still a lot of fun,) and the old X-Wing and TIE Fighter series of combat sims.
April Foo… wait a minute, it’s the 3rd. This news is true?
I think I will have to buy Lucas Arts back from Disney. If they are going to let a legacy die with them, they have another thing coming.