Disney Shutters LucasArts; Cancels Two Star Wars Projects
It looks like my dreams of a Maniac Mansion 3 may be dead in the water. Not like there was a good chance anyway, but that chance is at near zero now, along with any new developments for Sam & Max, Monkey Island, or Zak McKracken, as Disney has shut the doors on LucasArts, resulting in nearly 150 layoffs.
The closing of the game development arm of LucasFilm came after months of speculation when Disney issued a hiring freeze on the studio after its mega-merger with the portfolio of George Lucas. Now the creator of the “SCUMM” machine which made many ’90s point-and-clicks possible, as well as the license holder of Star Wars games, will remain a licensing model but will not develop games any longer.
LucasFilm announced in a statement (featured on Kotaku) that
“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.”
Those new titles, by the way, were the highly-anticipated Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault, both of which were scrapped as of the announcement.
LucasArts’ last published game was the widely-panned bomb Kinect Star Wars for the XBox 360.