Disney Closes LucasArts, Layoffs Reported

    Disney has laid off the staff of LucasArts and possibly cancelled all current projects.

    Disney, which acquired Lucasfilm and LucasArts last year in a $4.05 billion deal, has shut down the legendary LucasArts division.

    With the shut down of the studio it has been reported that somewhere around 150 people have been laid off, and both of the studio’s current projects, Star Wars: First Assault and Star Wars 1313 were cancelled. Disney will still use the LucasArts name to license games, but the studio is no more.

    Here is what was said in the statement released today:

    “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.”

    Disney acquired Lucasfilm, Ltd in for $4.05 billion in October 2012. The acquisition included Lucasfilm Animation and the long-running video game development studio, LucasArts, which has worked on classic titles like The Secret of Monkey Island, Grim Fandango and a slew of Star Wars games. More recently, LucasArts caused a stir at E3 2012 with an impressive looking demo for a new Star Wars project entitled Star Wars 1313. However, in the months that followed, the project seemed to lose steam, and rumors circulated that the game had ceased production.

    So what is really happening with Star Wars 1313?

    No one really can be sure but as of now it looks like it is definitely not completely shut down.

    Earlier today GameInformer spoke to a LucasFilm representative to talk about the recent shut down and the future of current projects. This is what the rep had to say:

    “All of these things happened at once. Naturally, as any company that goes through a big announcement like this, you have to look through your whole portfolio and realign some things. 1313 was looking fantastic, the reception has been great. Our other unannounced titles are fine, it just got to a point where from a business standpoint we couldn’t continue developing those internally and keep up with the direction that the company was going.”

    It was reported that some 150 LucasArts employees have been laid off, and that the games Star Wars: First Assault and Star Wars 1313 have been cancelled. However, the representative that was spoken to said that the company is also evaluating its options regarding projects currently in development, which could be licensed out to external development and publishing partners:

    “It is worth noting that we are looking for proven external partners who can help us provide video games to our fans. We still believe in the video game industry, we still will provide Star Wars games, we’re just looking at different models rather than internal production… They’re evaluating everything. There’s always a possibility that it [Star Wars 1313] can still come out via licensing.”

     

    Keep your eye on this post as we will update it as new information arises.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rammur65 Roger Means

      figure the one starwar game that everyone was looking forward too would get axed stupid move disney stupid first impression already least for the gaming community.

      • http://twitter.com/moosewithaj john nuyen

        By personal experience of family. Disney is a heck of a lot like Walmart, They don’t pay anything, expect you to do a lot, and all the merchandise from them is crap these days. So as much as i’d love to seen 1313, this might have been a blessing. Disney would prob pull a nintendo move of the 1990′s and make all blood be green or non-existent and then put a perm. family friendly filter in the game.

    • http://www.facebook.com/gabriel.martin.5682 Gabriel Martin

      WOW , Disney just took a massive dump on my childhood. Star Wars 1313 will be licensed and will turn out to be crap like aliens colonial marines, Well done.

    • http://www.facebook.com/thelethrface Steven Opie Wallace

      I expect that I will see a number of petitions and “screw you disney!” articles on the internet within the week lol

    • Bushninja

      well, for some reason im not surprised.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.hawes.7 Kevin Hawes

      zzzzzz

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Max-Lanctot/653378742 Max Lanctot

      sure Lucasarts has made some poor titles in the past, but theyve also made some amazing ones, def. going to miss Lucasarts.

    • 117

      sad.. :
      really dont like disney

    • http://twitter.com/Luke_Malcolm Luke Malcolm

      Disney is worse & more evil than EA !!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Scott-Blair/614675377 Daniel Scott Blair

      Good, I don’t know about most people but Lucas Arts was really good at showing amazing games only to be revealed that it played like crap at release. Sucks that some people lost jobs but it happens and I hope they find new homes else where, I’m sure Disney will put out some quality Star Wars products out in the future. Look what they’ve done with Marvel and you’ll realize there is potential. Also Lucas has been taking a dump on our child hood since the re release of the original trilogy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=794793904 Jeremy Griffis

      all of this and they cant close down swtor? sheeeeeeeesh. I want SWG back.

      • http://twitter.com/maaDDoc =maD.Doc:.

        Since SWTOR is allready licensed to another company, and wasn’t developed in house by LucasArts.

      • Josh Osmer

        Have you played SWTOR recently? The game is quite healthy and the first expansion launches early access next week. In fact James Ohlen has stated their sub numbers are now second to only WoW in the West. EA would be the first one to cut and run, and they haven’t. Should tell you something. On Prophecy of the Five, imp side, there’s always 3 instances of the fleet, that’s about 700 people just on the fleet at any given time. I started leveling a Sentinel and last night on Alderaan, pub side, there were 2 instances of the planet. It’s quite healthy.

    • Suicideking666

      did anyone not think this was going to happen after development got paused when the bought the property?

    • http://www.facebook.com/inkogni.alex Inkogni Alex

      can i shove Disney in the same hate corner that is for EA, WarZ, FF XIV and swtor first F2P plan?

      • http://twitter.com/dularr Dularr

        While I’m sad to see all those folks lose their jobs. If Disney was unwilling to stand behind the studio, I would rather see Disney shutdown the studio than force them to put out some crappy, rushed games for a quick profit.

        • http://www.facebook.com/inkogni.alex Inkogni Alex

          i still believe that EA and maybe blizzard will pull that one, the quick alfa version of the game getting sold as the finished product. but who knows, i need my Star Wars 1313 for reasons unknown to me.

        • Bilbo Batten

          At least they would be making some money though. Fuck Disney for buying out a company so they could shut it down. What kind of asshole does that.

          • http://twitter.com/dularr Dularr

            Clearly a company that wants the Star Wars IP, but didn’t want to be in the business of developing games.

            • http://witkh.tumblr.com/ Michael Swift Ryan

              Disney already has other divisions/companies that DO develop games.

      • Erik Johnsen

        Yes, I would say you could do so. I already have done so

      • Ravenstorm

        Absolutely. God I hate Disney so hard right now. How dare they close Lucasfilm and LucasArts. And those snide mofo’s talking their bs about how Disney is a solid business blabla, they know when something isn’t viable blabla. Bloody EA fanboys.

        God sakes’ it’s frigging Star Wars! Only amazingly stupid prickheads can screw up that IP in a game. Star Wars 1313 was looking so amazing. Really p*sses me off, this. Yeah go external, Disney, that’ll save your arses.

    • http://twitter.com/dularr Dularr

      Thats a shame, but not surprised. Have to figure Disney only purchased Lucas for the Star Wars IP.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=754168227 Len Hobbel

      And so it begins…do not think swtor will stand the battle to long it is in horrible shape period….most likely EA will sell it to get some money and then…

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Bergevin-Jr/1393526370 Jim Bergevin Jr

        Actually it’s not. By all reports, after going F2P, it’s bringing in some beaucoup money for EA, though the quarterly investor call at the end of the month may (or may not) have more details on that. Otherwise, the game is actually doing quite well – population in game is back (if not better) than it was a couple of weeks after launch.

        • http://twitter.com/moosewithaj john nuyen

          I figured that would happen with swtor. Star trek online is the same way. When it was a sub game it was on life support. When they went FTP they are making a killing on it now.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=714772938 Mark Ryan Strong

      Given the downward spiral of quality seen in their recent titles and the increasing cost of maintaining an in house development team, I personally can not find fault with Disney’s decision on a corporate level. On a sentimental level however, I was hoping for possibly some retooling of the development team to provide new focus but alas that was not to be the case.

    • Sandillian

      For the record Bioware made KOTOR, and Pandemic made Battlefront 1 & 2. The only good in house Lucas Arts game to come out recently was Republic Commando. So i dont see this as a loss.

      • Josh Osmer

        This. While I’m dismayed about 1313 and Assault, LucasArts really hasn’t been a strict in house developer since Dark Forces 2 came out. Their biggest games over the last 10 years have all been made by other developers. Bioware with KOTOR and SWTOR. Raven games with Outcast and Academy. The LEGO series made by TT Games. Galaxies by SOE. KOTOR 2 by Obsidian.

        I do fear though that many devs will shy away from picking up the titles, a hefty license fee will probably render 1313 and Assault as games that could have been. Sad.

    • Bebo

      Disney are a business and a very succesful one at that.
      Them buying the rights to lucasarts etc was the best thing that could have happened for the franchise. I laugh at how many people think they will just trash it, yet don’t actually bother to look at their portfolio and see how many hugely succesful films they have made.
      George Lucas created the Star Wars universe vs Disney and what they have accomplished, no competition sorry.
      Please, if you are actually a fan boy, be glad they took it on and be glad they have done this.
      They know the figures and whether something is worth holding on to or investing in, starwars games obviously aren’t profitable anymore like they might have been “A long time ago…..”
      Our precious George Lucas made sure of that after the prequels!

      • Revanhavoc

        Nonsense regarding eveything except the dominance of Disney – this decision by Disney is meant to focus on the new films and related content. There will be more video games developed using the Star Wars IP – they just won’t be Star Wars 1313 or anything set in the traditional Star Wars timeline.

        Most of the diehard Star Wars fans are of an age where they pine for Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back – a more dark, mature, telling of a Star Wars story.

        Putting this dream in the hands of Disney makes it even more unlikely. That basically sums up the frustration and mistrust you were wondering about.

        • Bebo

          Lol because Disney haven’t made any dark films, i think you might want to spend some time going through their back catalogue and also what they have involvement in now, Disney has gone the way of the Dark knight!

          • Revanhavoc

            Your lack of specific examples, even just a few off the top of your head speaks volumes.

            I’m just trying to explain the logic of mistrust toward a film company responsible for Pirates of the Caribbean and Toy Story…both amazing, top notch movies, neither of which I would classify as dark or gritty or mature.

            I wasn’t a huge fan of Avengers, which Disney bought the rights to, nor the new Star Trek movie which JJ Abrams directed. As I said, fans like myself pine for more of the Dark Knight, Empire Strikes Back vibe, and the piece parts of Episode VII don’t seem to lead to that.

            • Bebo

              You lost any credibility when you said you weren’t a huge fan of the avengers film It was widely respected by marvel fans and films goers alike. Star trek? lol no, because that was such a pile of crap how that went, and the new one looks even more fluffy and colourful. You seem like someone who hates change and even if something is for the better you wouldn’t admit it. They won’t ever please everyone, just fortunately they seem to please most, just the the die hard starwars gamers will have to find something else now to play.
              I hear Swtor is really good these days lol

            • http://www.facebook.com/thelethrface Steven Opie Wallace

              How does one’s opinion of a film make them lose credibility? Opinions != facts.

            • Bilbo Batten

              Other than the capitalization of the o that was a superb assignment statement.

            • Bebo

              When ones opinion differs from the majority and the films were a huge success, (as that is what a films purpose is) then you lose credibility, slating something that purpose was to make a lot of money, make fans of the genre happy and enable them to make a sequel, which is what has happened, or would the person not admit that these are the facts about the 2 films
              How can you then base an argument on an opinion not shared by a majority when the whole argument would be about what the majority think?
              Also because you didn’t like them, that means the company won’t succeed in making another genre very successful.
              Lol like I said, credibility lost!

            • http://www.facebook.com/thelethrface Steven Opie Wallace

              Credibility is based on fact. An argument based on opinion can in no way be discredited unless the person stating their view states that it is fact. The person with whom you are arguing with did not state that his opinion was fact but rather he stated he was not a fan of those films.

              If the majority of the world believes in a flying fish monster, does that mean that there truly is a flying fish monster?

            • Bebo

              If the majority had seen a flying fish monster, then yes it would be considered fact.

    • http://twitter.com/Thaguf Thaguf

      This sounds bad however I believe that star wars type games will still come out in the future just not with the lucas arts tag.

      • http://twitter.com/superponte Michael Ponte

        The Lucasarts tag will still be on them. They will jsut be farming EVERYTHING to other studios. Like they did with Battlefront 2

    • http://twitter.com/Hoigwai Hoigwai

      Disappointed, more sad for the people who worked there, the industry is so volatile right now. They are just adding to it by closing another development house.

      Whatever, I’m tired of corporate America anymore, mega-corporations need to go away.

      • http://twitter.com/moosewithaj john nuyen

        One word Shadowrun, chummer!

        • http://twitter.com/Hoigwai Hoigwai

          Indeed my man, and not in a good way.

    • Hicks64

      Sad to see Lucasarts and employees get laid off, but they really needed to restructure and get more Star Wars games fans want. No Battlefront, X-wing (or variants), Dark Forces/Jedi Knight, and so on is quite incompetent considering those titles did great and people want them. Also the huge licensing fee for outside companies to make SW games, hurt the creation of SW games (EA and SOE say they don’t like licensed games (less $$$)). So I’m thinking this was probably necessary to get the ball moving towards the new trilogy and the future of Star Wars in games.

    • Revanhavoc

      At this point, Disney is focusing all of Star Wars on the buildup to Episode VII.
      This means we won’t be getting any new Star Wars related content, unless it ties into the Episode VII marketing, and the movie hasn’t even been written yet.

      I find it all rather depressing. I’m depressed.

      There is such a small chance any other developer would pick up a game Disney already dropped, one that has nothing to do with the new movies, and very well might flop like SWTOR.

      I guess we can all look forward to the new trilogy and the shake up that will mean. Lots more Star Wars is on the way, it just won’t be right now. And I worry that it will alienate me from the universe like the new Star Trek movie…

    • http://twitter.com/superponte Michael Ponte

      Mercy Killing. This studio has been dying for 10 years…just slowly. All their better stuff recently was farmed out anyway.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shawn-Hargrave/100003202374593 Shawn Hargrave

      guess julio torres will be back working at starbucks and not destroying star wars anymore. One can only hope this affect swtor and james ohlen and thos related idiots. Im not sure why everyone thinks lucasarts was all that great in the first place lol it was an EA in the making glad to see it go.

    • Verus

      Next is for them to not renew the star wars the old republic license when that expires.

    • http://twitter.com/OMikeV Michael Van Ingen

      Thank god Disney doesn’t participate in corporate raiding. Oh wait. . .

    • Bill Lia

      I figured this would happen. Disney isn’t in the business to finance and develop games. But they will…for a heavy price tag… license it out to outside developers. If the game is successul they get a cut of profits on top of licensing fee. If the game tanks they still make money on the fee and dont loose any investment.

      They wanted the IP to do what they wanted with it. I have high hopes for the films. Given that Disney also purchased Marvel studios and The Avengers was so kick ass. I just feel bad for those at Lucas Arts who have lost there jobs. Also for projects like Detours, the star wars animated sitcom, which has been “postponed” and The Clone wars which has been canceled. Hopefully when the next films come out we will start seeing some cool star wars stuff come back.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Ekaan92 Erik Andersson

      If Disney is not gonna support lucasarts actively then I’d rather have them get an partnered game studio which can get the job done with the licenses, Maybe Square or Bethesda might pick it up, Even Creative assembly could be intresting

    • http://www.facebook.com/markince Mark Andrew Ince

      Monkey Island will ALWAYS be my fav RPG ever in the history of RPG’s. RIP Lucasarts

    • http://www.facebook.com/craig.robinson.3388630 Craig Robinson

      Well this is bullshit they say they keep the games going but that is only words. Disney is horrible why did they buy it if they are going to shut down most of it and cancel things that people have been looking for a long time. Movies probably aren’t going to happen now I bet.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=23331060 Nathan Solinsky

      Not surprising, I’ve not had a desire for a Lucasarts created product, ever.

    • Curza

      A lot of misplaced outrage here. With only a couple of crappy exceptions, LucasArts has been a publisher and not a developer of video games for a decade. Disney is one of the biggest publishers in the world, they don’t need them just to fund and distribute Star Wars games. While my nostalgia gets hit in the feels here, Disney is just making a sound business decision.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shawn-Hargrave/100003202374593 Shawn Hargrave

      i hope julio piece of shit torres lost his job mr “NGE” and swg fiasco i hope tor gets shut down once and for all. Id like to see disney support the project swg people or the swg emu community and revive a REAL star wars mmo with sandbox features and real space and no cartel pack garbage.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Bergevin-Jr/1393526370 Jim Bergevin Jr

        Need to get your facts straight there, Shawn. LA just licensed out the IP to Sony and EA to use for their respective MMOs. That is not going to change, so this re-structuring has nothing to do with those games. They were developed by outside sources and not developed by LA. Disney wants to continue with the business plan, therefore LA will strictly handle licensing of the IP to other devs to continue making games.

        If anything SWGemu will have to tread very carefully. I highly doubt that they have obtained any rights to use the Star Wars IP and if so, Disney will be within their rights to take them to court and shut them down. So, if I was a SWG fan, I would watch my tone and where I post things about EMU because you could be doing more harm than good in the long run.

    • Jado Cast

      I hope that farm out 1313 and finish it. Honestly though, Lucas Arts had its share of bad games in the past. Hopefully the talented people find work soon.

    • Bilbo Batten

      I’m going to go play Grim Fandango now. It is a sad day for the gaming and Star Wars community.

    • Kevyne_Shandris

      Finally.

      Gamers yelled at SOE for the changes in SWG, but it wasn’t SOE’s fault as they licensed to make/maintain SWG. It was George Lucas who asked for the changes, and the rest is history.

      This is why when SWTOR came out I said that if there’s any failure in it, it’ll come from the creator itself.

      A year later, we know the rest of the story.

      Online gaming is different from movie production. It’s why the two rarely are successful (movie to game spin offs especially).