LucasArts has apparently slashed their workforce, with reports they have laid off “about one-third” of its 250-person staff.
While the company’s Star Wars-branded titles have sold well, the company has struggled to branch out much beyond that and the LEGO-branded Indiana Jones and Star Wars releases (produced by Warner Bros.-owned Traveller’s Tales).
At present, hopes are pinned on the massive investment that is Star Wars: The Old Republic, due in 2011, but right now, it seems it’s time to downsize, minimising staff who are not attached to any particular project.
The official statement is as follows:
“LucasArts is reorganizing its teams to better address the needs of the internal studio. Unfortunately, this means adjusting staffing. LucasArts continues to be committed to creating a first-class internal studio – and to fostering relationships with trusted external partners – in order to deliver quality games that amaze and inspire fans.”
This is the latest in a series of major changes for the company – the former president, Darrell Rodriguez, left in May after only two years in the position, and Haden Blackman, creative director on the original Star Wars: The Force Unleashed unexpectedly left the company in July. (It’s not all bad, August saw Clint Hocking – high-profile game director from Ubisoft come aboard.)
Unfortunately, LucasArts aren’t alone in this situation, as a number of other video game publishers have recently cut staff – apparently in response to a “slowdown” in retail sales.