It was announced today Disney has decided to slam the door on in house game developer LucasArts in a business decision to outsource Star Wars related games to licensees. I can understand the thinking behind the move because Disney has effectively closed the doors on all game development outside of Disney Infinity – which doesn’t look overly exciting in my book – by taking a page out of its Marvel Comics property by putting all the risk on other companies to develop titles the public will actually buy; Disney will still make it’s money through licenses. Video gaming saw a shocking dip in profits in 2012 as sales of new game disks dropped a staggering 23%.
Granted, the recent past hasn’t been overly kind to LucasArts as there were plenty more misses than hits over the last decade as the company became a mere shadow of the gaming pioneer the company had once been. That said, it’s too bad to see the futures of such titles as Star Wars: 1313 and First Assault are now in limbo while a company which developed such classics of my PC gaming such as Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle, X-Wing, and Grim Fandango is no more…
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.