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View Full Version : Aaaaand there goes LucasArts



Mr. JabbaJohnL
04-03-2013, 01:42 PM
Kotaku (http://kotaku.com/disney-shuts-down-lucasarts-468473749), video game journalist Geoff Keighley (https://twitter.com/geoffkeighley), and RebelForce Radio (https://www.facebook.com/RebelForceRadio) are reporting that LucasArts will no longer develop games, moving to licensing only, and starting layoffs, effectively shutting down altogether.

RebelForce Radio just posted the following from Lucasarts:

“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. 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.”

So, Disney has already cancelled the 3D releases, The Clone Wars, Detours, and now 1313, First Assault, and the planned-but-not-announced Battlefront III, all while laying off a ton of dedicated employees just so JJ Abrams can make Episode VII. (Not to mention Hasbro's own questionable, though unrelated, moves lately.) I'm waiting to hear that this has all been one elaborate April Fools joke. It's not like LucasArts hasn't been without its own issues the past several years, but a shutdown just sucks.

JediTricks
04-03-2013, 03:14 PM
RebelForceRadio there is quoting GameInformer, whose quote I just posted in the news:
http://www.sirstevesguide.com/content.php/1426-Disney-Shutting-Down-LucasArts-Canceling-SW-1313

This is really unacceptable. I get it, Disney doesn't want to do anything, they want licensees to do all the work and they just collect all the licensing fees, that's how they've done it in the past with their other brands - it's why there's no Disney Toy Company even for their parks merch, all that stuff is made by other companies even if it's not branded. But to shutter these houses without transition is bullcrap, you don't steamroll a company like this and expect fans to stay loyal.

Hasbro's troubles were unrelated of course, but between that and all your examples and today's news, it really does make the Star Wars brand feel like it's in a tailspin.

Lord Malakite
04-03-2013, 05:42 PM
Can't say this surprises me, but its still gut wrenching to hear given all the great games, Star Wars and otherwise, LucasArts has given us for 30 years. So who wants to guess what the next thing to be gutted will be?

Mr. JabbaJohnL
04-03-2013, 06:54 PM
Hasbro's troubles were unrelated of course, but between that and all your examples and today's news, it really does make the Star Wars brand feel like it's in a tailspin.
Thinking on it more, even though Hasbro had a disastrous 2012 and rising cost issues long before the Disney deal went through and we'll be feeling the repercussions for a while (see: figures with five points of articulation, vehicles that feel like party favors), they still had a number of their plans fouled up by the reshuffling. I'm sure the cancellation of the 3D releases and Clone Wars played a part in the Yoda carded figures not being available in the USA, and they can't be happy about the fact that there's no more tie-in entertainment on screens big or small until at least 2015.


So who wants to guess what the next thing to be gutted will be?
Now pretty much every big reveal from CVI has been cancelled aside from Celebration Europe II, though to hear that's not happening wouldn't remotely surprise me at this point. Heck, what would they even talk about there?

So, we Hasbro collectors are already having our own issues. Disney's ticked off Clone Wars viewers, and now gamers. EU fans are already planning on having their own crisis when the new films contradict everything, and it's likely Dark Horse will go away when their contract is up anyway. Last year was the first not to have a Fan Film Award competition since its inception, so that's out the window even though I don't know why. For all we know, they'll slap the 501st with a cease-and-desist order soon.

All Disney seems to care about is the movies, but the OT-only fans are still mad about the prequels and revisions and the PT fans don't get to see them in 3D this year. Hooray! Now we're all annoyed together. :ermm:

Lord Malakite
04-03-2013, 07:13 PM
Now pretty much every big reveal from CVI has been cancelled aside from Celebration Europe II, though to hear that's not happening wouldn't remotely surprise me at this point. Heck, what would they even talk about there?

So, we Hasbro collectors are already having our own issues. Disney's ticked off Clone Wars viewers, and now gamers. EU fans are already planning on having their own crisis when the new films contradict everything, and it's likely Dark Horse will go away when their contract is up anyway. Last year was the first not to have a Fan Film Award competition since its inception, so that's out the window even though I don't know why. For all we know, they'll slap the 501st with a cease-and-desist order soon.

All Disney seems to care about is the movies, but the OT-only fans are still mad about the prequels and revisions and the PT fans don't get to see them in 3D this year. Hooray! Now we're all annoyed together. :ermm:
I'm predicting it'll either be Skywalker Sound or ILM that gets the ax next. I'd say THX would also be up at bat if Creative Labs didn't own it and have a 60% share. Who knows though, Disney will probably just buy them out too and then gut THX. Or maybe those rumors about them attempting to buy out Hasbro will come to truth and they can gut that.:dejection:

El Chuxter
04-03-2013, 07:14 PM
This is really unacceptable. I get it, Disney doesn't want to do anything, they want licensees to do all the work and they just collect all the licensing fees, that's how they've done it in the past with their other brands - it's why there's no Disney Toy Company even for their parks merch, all that stuff is made by other companies even if it's not branded.
And, yet, they canned the Dark Horse license, despite it being one the most successful in the history of licensed comics.

Also, remember once upon a time, in the days of the NES and Genesis, when it was pretty much guaranteed a Disney video game would be good? Now, it's the exception to the rule if it doesn't suck eggs.

Darth Metalmute
04-03-2013, 10:46 PM
All this... for three movies nobody asked for.

Bel-Cam Jos
04-04-2013, 12:58 AM
This is what I feared. Disney is the Galactic Empire and doesn't even realize the irony.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
04-04-2013, 01:20 AM
I'm predicting it'll either be Skywalker Sound or ILM that gets the ax next. I'd say THX would also be up at bat if Creative Labs didn't own it and have a 60% share. Who knows though, Disney will probably just buy them out too and then gut THX. Or maybe those rumors about them attempting to buy out Hasbro will come to truth and they can gut that.:dejection:
Disney films often use Sky Sound and ILM for post-production services, along with tons of other films every year, so I hope and believe that they are relatively safe for now. LucasArts hadn't exactly been doing so hot the last few years, and it seems like Lucasfilm Animation wasn't profitable enough either, which is why those were the ones to go. Er, well, they're still around in their skeleton forms for now, but you get the idea.


And, yet, they canned the Dark Horse license, despite it being one the most successful in the history of licensed comics.
You mean Disney cancelling the Dark Horse license for Star Wars? That was just a rumor, though I'm sure it's only a matter of time before it comes true.

El Chuxter
04-04-2013, 09:13 AM
You sure it's a rumor? Last I'd heard, it came directly from the DH president.

My theory: Disney wants people to stop comparing Lando and Tinkerbell, and finding Tinkerbell is the worst traitor because she didn't have a Sith Lord breathing down her back. They marginalize Star Wars until no one cares anymore, and people just assume Lando's worse, so they can sell more Tinkerbell crap to kids who need better animated role models than a petty, spiteful b****.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
04-04-2013, 09:14 PM
Kotaku reported (http://kotaku.com/before-it-was-cancelled-star-wars-1313-was-going-to-be-470003660) that 1313 was going to star Boba Fett. They have awesome-looking concept art, one of which includes C-21 Highsinger, the droid that first appeared in The Clone Wars episode "Bounty." So it looked like this was going to be similar to 2002's great Bounty Hunter game. Given that one of the close-but-not-close-enough Clone Wars arcs was evidently going to be about Boba, that's two cool-sounding Boba projects we'll never see. Great.

Darth Metalmute
04-04-2013, 11:47 PM
Apparently, it's not just Lucasarts that's getting the axe. Disney is about to have major layoffs in its consumer production department and at their studios.

Disney Exec 1: "Hey guys! Let's buy Star Wars for 4 billion dollars!"

Disney Exec 2: "Dude, we don't have the money for that."

Disney Exec 1: "Sure we do. All we have to do is free up space by laying off all the hard working people that make our company go. Once we stop paying their salaries, cut their benefits, and essentially ruin their lives, we will have plenty of money to purchase Star Wars."


Kotaku reported (http://kotaku.com/before-it-was-cancelled-star-wars-1313-was-going-to-be-470003660) that 1313 was going to star Boba Fett. They have awesome-looking concept art, one of which includes C-21 Highsinger, the droid that first appeared in The Clone Wars episode "Bounty." So it looked like this was going to be similar to 2002's great Bounty Hunter game. Given that one of the close-but-not-close-enough Clone Wars arcs was evidently going to be about Boba, that's two cool-sounding Boba projects we'll never see. Great.

Not surprising it was about Boba Fett. It was pretty much the worst kept secret, considering who would really want to play a game as some random, not jetpack, bounty hunter. Still, since it was confirmed, it does make it that much more of a bummer.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
04-06-2013, 01:20 PM
I don't know how I missed this, but apparently the LucasArts and Lucasfilm Animation layoffs caused an unknown number of layoffs at ILM (http://variety.com/2013/digital/news/lucasarts-shutdown-triggers-layoffs-at-ilm-1200332765/), mostly support staff and people involved with the other two companies. Joel Aron posted another set (http://www.flickr.com/photos/joelaron/sets/72157633179668852/show/) of portraits of those affected at LucasArts and ILM, sadly.

JediTricks
04-07-2013, 05:29 PM
Kotaku makes a compelling argument for why we shouldn't be lamenting LucasArts' loss, why its management troubles led it to being a total disaster before Disney closed its doors, and why Disney could end up being good for their brands: http://kotaku.com/lucasarts-closing-down-could-be-a-good-thing-from-a-ce-468833930

Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Monkey Island, Loom, Maniac Mansion, Grim Fandango, Fracture... these are titles that should have been current-gen console and PC game stars. And yet under LucasArts in the last decade, they stagnated, they went nowhere, they stalled and almost nothing they produced came out right.

When you keep handing the kitchen staff filet mignon and they keep either turning out hamburger or just throwing it away, it's time to fire the kitchen staff.


All Disney seems to care about is the movies, but the OT-only fans are still mad about the prequels and revisions and the PT fans don't get to see them in 3D this year. Hooray! Now we're all annoyed together. :ermm: Disney has shown that they are hungry for ancillary sales in all areas. I don't think that's all they care about, just that they don't want to pay another company's infrastructure in those other areas when they already have in-house people for those things.


I'm predicting it'll either be Skywalker Sound or ILM that gets the ax next. I'd say THX would also be up at bat if Creative Labs didn't own it and have a 60% share. Who knows though, Disney will probably just buy them out too and then gut THX. Or maybe those rumors about them attempting to buy out Hasbro will come to truth and they can gut that.:dejection:I would be surprised if ILM gets the axe, I would think the most successful fx house in the world is going to be allowed to keep its own campus the same way they let Pixar keep their own campus. Skywalker Sound pretty much the same. THX holds ultra-valuable patents and are developing a lot of licensed technology based on that, it'd be really stupid to close their doors or sell off 40% if that's what Disney owns.


And, yet, they canned the Dark Horse license, despite it being one the most successful in the history of licensed comics.Well, the one thing Disney is stuck owning is Marvel Comics, so why lose money to Dark Horse when you can keep it all?


All this... for three movies nobody asked for.Lucas was going to make them either way, but I hear ya, why sell your soul to make something that nobody has faith will work.


Apparently, it's not just Lucasarts that's getting the axe. Disney is about to have major layoffs in its consumer production department and at their studios.Ugh, those guys at Lucas Licensing are really top drawer people, they are knowledgeable and passionate about the brand and developing product based on it, you're not going to get that with just any ol' corporate exec.


I don't know how I missed this, but apparently the LucasArts and Lucasfilm Animation layoffs caused an unknown number of layoffs at ILM (http://variety.com/2013/digital/news/lucasarts-shutdown-triggers-layoffs-at-ilm-1200332765/), mostly support staff and people involved with the other two companies. Joel Aron posted another set (http://www.flickr.com/photos/joelaron/sets/72157633179668852/show/) of portraits of those affected at LucasArts and ILM, sadly.Geez, that's brutal. It'd have been nice for management to have gotten their houses in order so this wouldn't have happened, loaning employees around could only end in problems like this. Disney must really be tightening the belts there to have not been able to absorb those "refugees".

bigbarada
04-26-2013, 09:56 AM
Kotaku makes a compelling argument for why we shouldn't be lamenting LucasArts' loss, why its management troubles led it to being a total disaster before Disney closed its doors, and why Disney could end up being good for their brands: http://kotaku.com/lucasarts-closing-down-could-be-a-good-thing-from-a-ce-468833930

Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Monkey Island, Loom, Maniac Mansion, Grim Fandango, Fracture... these are titles that should have been current-gen console and PC game stars. And yet under LucasArts in the last decade, they stagnated, they went nowhere, they stalled and almost nothing they produced came out right.

When you keep handing the kitchen staff filet mignon and they keep either turning out hamburger or just throwing it away, it's time to fire the kitchen staff.

That's pretty much the way I see it. When I think of games like Star Wars Kinect, then I can't help but think that shutting down LucasArts was the best possible decision Disney could have made.

Maybe Lucas liked his companies to be bloated and inefficient and Disney just likes to run a tighter ship.