The writing has been on the wall ever since Disney acquired the massive Lucas empire last year, but today it became official as the House of Mouse closed LucasArts. Speaking to Game Informer, a LucasArts representative repeated the official statement from Disney:
“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.”
So while this is the end for LucasArts, this isn’t the end for Star Wars video games. But what about Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault, the two Star Wars games currently in development? Another LucasArts representative spoke to Game Informer and revealed that both of those games may be passed on to third-party developers to finish:
“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 [Star Wars 1313] can still come out via licensing.”
LucasArts was something special for a lot of different people and the video game landscape is going to be a very different place without it.