Traveler, writer, reviewer, all-round observer. I like anything cool & fast, but occasionally sit at a cafe watching the world go by.
Written by Aki Solomos – April 3, 2013
With new management, comes new changes -good or bad, and sometimes both. Changes were expected once it was announced that Disney would be acquiring LucasFilms for $4 billion. The unfortunate thing is that those changes is leading to a final farewell to LucasArts along with many of its projects, including Star Wars, as we know it.
In its transition, Disney would be using LucasArts as a controlling arm and license its projects to third-party developers. With this licensing model, it was announced that hundreds would be laid off in its games studio.
LucasFilm issued 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.”
When Wired asked for a comment, a representative said that many internal projects and games, including StarWars 1313, had been ceased and are currently evaluating its options such as having outside developers completing them.
In a separate statement, Disney’s video games division, Disney Interactive, said it “looks forward to working with LucasFilm on new games opportunities that leverage their incredible IP (intellectual property) and brings it to life across gaming platforms.”
At the moment, with rumors flying, unofficial comments from inside sources (according to Wired), many things still seem to be in the air. Among the unconfirmed reports are: There are no outside takers for StarWars 1313 therefore it may never come out; and StarWars console games may not be off the table.
According to Digital World Research analyst P.J. McNealy, “Layoffs are going to continue to happen fairly regularly in the video game space as companies figure out how to either re-tool for all the mobile opportunities, or how to re-deploy other assets such as licensing out their intellectual properties.” He continued to say, “With Disney now potentially licensing Star Wars out to external developers, the potential for future great versions of the game will grow. Any platform, whether it be iOS, Android, Xbox, PlayStation or Nintendo, will always want Star Wars games available.”