Thursday, April 4, 2013

Farewell, LucasArts

I heard the big news during my Audio/Visual Production class yesterday afternoon and, honestly, I'm still not happy about it.

Disney shut down LucasArts.

There wasn't any warning.  There weren't any rumors about it.  They just discussed it quietly and then suddenly laid off over a hundred employees yesterday morning.

And gamers like me are still sitting here in shock at the whole thing.

For those of you who don't know, LucasArts is the video game company that George Lucas - the Maker himself - founded years ago.  They've been the publishers and developers behind games like LEGO Star Wars, The Force Unleashed, Battlefront, and so many others.  And now it's gone.

By a technicality, LucasArts still exists.  According to one of the company's representatives, their position was compared to other similar developer/publishers in the gaming industry, and they'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.  As a result of this change, we've had layoffs across the organization" (Computerandvideogames.com)

Basically, LucasArts will no longer be developing games, just publishing them.  It also means that two big games that so many people were looking forward to playing - Star Wars 1313 and First Assault - have apparently been totally cancelled.  Supposedly, they're looking for another development company to finish both games, but that may or may not end up happening.  It's all rather up in the air at the moment, and probably will be for a while.

Honestly, I'm really not liking this.  I mean, I had some initial reservations about Disney taking over the Lucas Empire, but then I figured, "Hey, it's Disney.  They do quality stuff, so they probably won't screw this up."

Then they cancelled The Clone Wars.

And now they've totally messed with LucasArts.

I think what makes me the most upset is the fact that over 150 LucasArts employees were laid off because of this decision.  I mean, it would have been one thing if Disney had warned them about it, but from everything I've read it seems like the developers just walked in one day and found their jobs gone.

I mean, really, Disney.  Couldn't you have at least let them finish making Star Wars 1313 and First Assault before you laid them off?  Those guys had been working on those projects for so long, and now they don't have the opportunity to finish what they started.  And for a creative person (which game designers, programmers, and developers definitely are) who puts so much time, effort, and imagination into his work, being dropped from that project that you put almost everything into is nothing short of terrible.

But what's done is done.  Disney has made its choice and, unfortunately, that choice involved almost two hundred men and women losing their jobs.  For me, I know I'll be praying that all those who were laid off will find good work soon and specifically work that they love, and I would encourage everyone else out there to do the same.

And who knows?  Maybe one day we'll look back and realize that this was ultimately a good decision for everyone.  Right now it feels like anything but.

Expectations are sky high for you, Disney.  Please don't mess this up.




 - Edessa, signing off


7 comments:

  1. Yeah Disney's new episodes had better be good or they're going to have a mob on their hands.

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  2. *Shakes head* I had a bad feeling when I heard that Disney had bought Star Wars out. Considering all that they've done and are planning to do, I have the same feeling.

    My solution: Reject anything that Disney makes that is screwed up as non-canon.

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  3. Alright, here are my ideas (and I am in no way being judgemental)

    Star Wars was supposed to be about the movies from the beginning. That is the only thing (besides Lego Star Wars and the Force Unleashed) which I really pay attention to. Also, you're forgetting that LucasArts being cancelled also means no more Indiana Jones games.

    Really, I think the movies will vastly improve. J. J. Abrams is the only person I would trust with Star Wars (even more than George Lucas himself)

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  4. I think that we are about to have a pretty big problem. Now that Lucasarts is basically gone, I feel like the whole Star Wars universe will be different. Now that the two cool new games will not be coming out, I don't feel optimistic about the future of star wars. And they cancelled The Clone Wars, I mean really. They have already messed it up enough. This is a big change, and seems like its going to effect the rest if Star Wars future.

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  5. @Captaincrispus I'd trust Steven Spielberg with Star Wars.

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  6. I don't know. I mean, you saw what he did with Indiana Jones 4. After seeing Star Trek, I would trust J. J. Abrams with just about anything. Or maybe Christopher Nolan, who was able to transform Batman from a cartoonish character that got mocked into a crime-fighting vigilante that everyone saw as the apex. I may trust him too.

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