Earlier this morning, Disney shut down LucasArts studio and cancelled any projects that the company was developing. Roughly 150 people were laid off and the two major projects: Star Wars: First Assault and Star Wars 1313 were terminated. It was mentioned that Disney will still use the LucasArts name to license games but will no longer be producing them. Potentially the two projects could be produced by other companies but it might not have the same feel to it as previous LucasArts games.
Disney released a statement confirming the closure of the studio and it says, “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,” LucasArts parent company LucasFilm said in a statement. “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.”
This closing comes after multiple months of uncertainty after Disney purchased LucasFilms and its affiliates in fall of 2012. In September of 2012, LucasArts suspended all hiring and product announcements which hinted at the coming to an end. The last title to have success for LucasArts was Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. The two other major Star Wars games of the last decade that were successful were, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Star Wars: Battlefront but those of those were externally developed by Bioware and Pandemic Studios.
So for all those that are hoping for that new Star Wars game in the near future, just know that it is still possible but it might not be exactly what you were expecting. Also this dwindles down the fire of hope in some gamer’s hearts that were hoping for a continuation to the Star Wars: Battlefront Franchise. Hopefully the men and women who were released from LucasArts studios will find employment shortly and be happy wherever they land.