Disney’s questionable treatment of non-Star Wars: Episode VII content has continued today with the closure of legendary video game arm LucasArts. Following the Mickey Mouse marker's acquisition of LucasFilm along with its various subsidiaries late last year, the company has opted to shutter a large portion of its $4.05 billion investment.
"After evaluating our position in the games market, we've decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimising the company's risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games," a company representative told Game Informer.
"As a result of this change, we've had layoffs across the organisation," the spokesperson added. "We are incredibly appreciative and proud of the talented teams who have been developing our new titles." Those casualties top out at around 150 employees according to Kotaku, with both Star Wars 1313 and downloadable shooter Star Wars: First Assault on shaky ground.
Apparently, the company is currently considering its options with regards to the future of the aforementioned titles. "It is worth noting that we are looking for proven external partners who can help us provide video games to our fans," a source said. "We still believe in the video game industry, we still will provide Star Wars games, we're just looking at different models rather than internal production. There's always a possibility that [Star Wars 1313] can still come out via licensing."
For now, the celebrated firm will have to make do with the awful Kinect Star Wars being its last ever published product. Fortunately, it will be best remembered for its wealth of adventure games, including Maniac Mansion, Grim Fandango, and The Secret of Monkey Island.
Over the past few years, Disney has closed down a slew of talented studios, including Black Rock, Propaganda Games, and Junction Point. The company's currently hard at work on Disney Infinity, a multiplatform sandbox title that uses toys in a similar fashion to Activision’s popular Skylanders series. For the sake of the remaining employees at the organisation, we hope that it’s a huge success.
In the meantime, though, our thoughts go out to all of those that have lost their job today.