In some sad, but somewhat inevitable news the Walt Disney Company has brought closure to LucasArts, the interactive entertainment company which had developed numerous videos games, including those in the Star Wars series for over 30 years.
Disney took over the visionary writer and director George Lucas’ games division and film studio LucasFilms late last year in news that had many Star Wars fans feeling a disturbing lack of faith in the future of the beloved franchise. The shutdown of LucasArts had been rumoured but the news has finally come today of its official closure with the job losses of all 150 employees and future games releases immediately put on carbonite – this including the promising bounty hunter spin-off Star Wars 1313 which was teased to much applause back at the E3 Expo in June and another new title which was to be released as Star Wars: First Assault.
This announcement comes as a blow to us fans who has followed LucasArts’ games from the very earliest titles such as the Indiana Jones games and Monkey Island through the late 80s and 90s with the Super Star Wars on SNES and more modern era titles such as the Battlefront series and Knights of the Old Republic on consoles and PC.
Disney does see gaming in the future for its vision of Star Wars and is ‘evaluating’ it’s next move, offering a new hope to players saying that the move to close LucasArts came with the intent to “minimize the company’s risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games”. So games are still on the agenda but with focus on three new movie additions to the Saga, as well as the numerous rumoured (and quite unnecessary) character spin-offs it’s hard to foresee when any new titles will arrive on our consoles.