Disney axes nostalgic publisher LucasArts

Sad news for retro fans, as Disney announces it's the end of the line for LucasArts, the company's recently-aquired, long-running game publishing arm.

The official statement from Disney is short and to-the-point:

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.

LucasArts

LucasArts

While gamers across the world are mourning the end of an era, most are lamenting the LucasArts games from the 80s and 90s, when the studio - as Lucasfilm Games - published classic titles such as the Monkey Island series, Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango and Full Throttle.

In more recent years, the studio focussed more on Star Wars-related titles, including Knights of the Old Republic and early MMO Star Wars Galaxies. Critics and gamers alike believed the quality of LucasArts games had started to drop, and the studio became stagnant.

The studio looked set for a glorious return following the exciting showing of Star Wars 1313 at E3 2012, but the project has apparently lost momentum over the past 12 months, with rumours swirling that development on the game has ceased.

As of April 3rd 2013, LucasArts no longer exists as a video game developer. Instead, it serves as licensor, with all games developed by third-party studios or by Disney Interactive. All games in development (including Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault) have reportedly been all-but cancelled, and "most" staff have been laid off.

The future of LucasArts-held licenses remains unclear, but - predictably - fans are already picketing Tim Schaefer and Double Fine to try and pick up Grim Fandango at least.

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3 Responses to “Disney axes nostalgic publisher LucasArts”

  1. [...] news comes after Disney's decision to close Lucasarts, the traditional gaming home of all things from a galaxy far, far [...]

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