According to Joystiq, it appears that LucasArts may have cut part of the development team that created The Force Unleashed. This took place earlier this month during their recent downsizing.
LucasArts may be “proud of the work” that members of its internal Star Wars: The Force Unleashed team put forth on the upcoming title, but Joystiq has learned that it nevertheless laid off a number of key personnel on the title earlier this month during its company-wide downsizing.
We spoke with one now ex-member of the team, who told us that the layoffs came just as work on the game was wrapping up.
The article continues, this time looking towards the future of the TFU.
Should The Force Unleashed live up to the hype surrounding it, and a sequel is ordered, the current team size is said to be insufficient to handle such an undertaking. Given the fact that LucasArts stressed a continued commitment to internal developement following the layoffs, it will just need to re-staff for such a project – in which case, it has already let some top talent go – unless it intends to outsource to an external developer.
I’m not sure how a sequel to TFU would work but Joystiq’s analysis of the future seems dead-on. Things definitely seem to be changing at LucasArts but only time will tell what happens. Kotaku also has a similar rumor looking at the future of LucasArts.
Shacknews is reporting, via “a reliable source,” that once Star Wars: The Force Unleashed drops in mid-September, LucasArts will pinkslip another 100 employees and quit internal development.
That would be the untitled Indiana Jones third-person actioner, and according to Shacknews, the remainder of its work, left after The Force Unleashed hits the street, will be outsourced.
All rumors seem to be pointing to a dramatic decrease in LucasArts internal development even though they have announced a dedication to it. Things definitely seem to be changing at LucasArts but only time will tell what happens.
UPDATE: LucasArts contacted Kotaku and informed them that the layoffs to the TFU team were part of the cuts mentioned earlier this month. There have be no further cuts since that time.