Question Of The Week: LucasArts
On Wednesday, Disney announced it would close development studio and game publisher LucasArts. You may know them as the publisher behind games like Star Wars Battlefront, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Day of the Tentacle and many others. What are your thoughts regarding their closing?
The GGN staff have their say:
A sad day indeed but if I said I was surprised I would be lying. To be honest I’m surprised this didn’t happen sooner. LucasArts has been on it’s death bed for awhile now and with each release constantly missing its mark, it’s remarkable they made it this long.
In my mind the saddest thing (apart from people losing their jobs) is the fact that we may never see Star Wars 1313. This game looked so promising. Also the debacle that was the Battlefront 3 development failures was disheartening. I hope that one day those two games (or some forms) see the light of day.
I wish the best of luck to all those affected by this but something tells me all of them had plenty of time to polish up their resumes. This is an instance of seeing the writing on the walls.
Let me start out by saying that while I don’t agree with what Disney did, from a business standpoint, it made sense to a degree. What was the last profitable game Lucasarts developed or published in 5 years? Unleashed 2 is the only game I can even conjure up. But that’s where I draw the line because there are plenty of developers/publishers out there which haven’t been relevant in years and still exist to this day.
Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault could have been exactly what the franchise needed to get the ball rolling again. Now, we have to wait and see if anyone will pick up the licensing for both games. I was personally excited for 1313 and the potentially for a Battlefront 3. My heart goes out to all those affected. I’m sure they will find jobs in no time though.
To my knowledge, LucasArts became increasingly more important as a publisher rather than a developer over the past decade. Their adventure game licenses, such as Monkey Island, have been handled by Telltale, while Traveler’s Tales developed the Lego Star Wars series with LucasArts as publisher. From what I understand, Star Wars 1313 was an attempt to get back in the development game, but it looks like we won’t see where that was headed.
Full Throttle (developed by LucasArts) was released in 1995, on the eve of the downfall of the point-and-click adventure genre. In it, protagonist Ben fights to defend his antiquated biker gang against new, high-tech vehicles and massive corporations. He realizes the biker society he so loves will soon disappear in the face of new social and technological developments, but he struggles with all his might regardless. (Think John Wayne in The Searchers.) Layoffs are no small matter, of course, and nothing can trivialize the fact that talented folks are now out of jobs. I just mean to say that time has a way of eroding all things.
Between the three of us, it looks like everyone saw this coming, even in the face of promising titles such as Star Wars 1313. However, it’s worth noting that we only expected Star Wars games from LucasArts, whose 1990s portfolio is colorful and diverse.
What are your thoughts on the recent closing of LucasArts?