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Disney shuts down LucasArts, all games/projects cancelled
 PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:23 pm Reply with quote  
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  Luke92
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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.”


All projects cancelled, so no 1313, First Assault, potential Republic Commando/Battlefront sequels Crying or Very sad
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 PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:39 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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Neither Battlefront game (nor the previously cancelled Battlefront 3) were developed by LucasArts, but were licensed out to other developers, which LucasFilm says will be its new model for game development. So I wouldn't discount Battlefront 3 because of this, but I suppose the general inertia and emphasis on the new films probably precludes it.

I don't think that this bodes well for the Expanded Universe in general. I suspect LucasFilm/Disney would cancel all upcoming novels and comics if they weren't contracted out to Del Rey and Dark Horse, respectively. They cancelled their in-house productions of TCW, 1313, and First Assault, and have laid off the animation studio and LucasArts. The novels' and comics' saving grace seems to be their external development and their preexisting contracts.


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 PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:42 pm Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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Crash Override wrote:
Neither Battlefront game (nor the previously cancelled Battlefront 3) were developed by LucasArts, but were licensed out to other developers, which LucasFilm says will be its new model for game development. So I wouldn't discount Battlefront 3 because of this, but I suppose the general inertia and emphasis on the new films probably precludes it.

I don't think that this boded well for the Expanded Universe in general. I suspect LucasFilm/Disney would cancel all upcoming novels and comics if they weren't contracted out to Del Rey and Dark Horse, respectively.


You can be darn sure they'll try here soon. They'll want to buy the contracts and cancel everything to replace it with their new literature.
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 PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:42 pm Reply with quote  
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  Werehunter
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Crash Override wrote:

I don't think that this bodes well for the Expanded Universe in general. I suspect LucasFilm/Disney would cancel all upcoming novels and comics if they weren't contracted out to Del Rey and Dark Horse, respectively. They cancelled their in-house productions of TCW, 1313, and First Assault, and have laid off the animation studio and LucasArts. The novels' and comics' saving grace seems to be their external development and their preexisting contracts.



I'm not sure. The books are still turning products consistently and, I believe, profits. While Lucas Arts on the other hand hasn't been faring to well as of late. They only had a few things in development and their last big project, Old Republic, performed nowhere close to what they hoped. Business wise, it makes more sense to clean house and go back to the licensing, which has produced a number of quality Star Wars games in the past. The only difference is that Lucas Arts won't be publishing it, like they used to do with licensed games.

I'm actually hoping this will be a good thing. Though it will mean people need to stop worrying about continuity when it comes to game, I do think this will give us more games than we would have gotten if Lucas Arts stayed open.


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 PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:50 pm Reply with quote  
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  GrandMaster
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Werehunter wrote:
The books are still turning products consistently and, I believe, profits.


I think that most of the recent SW novels have ended up somewhere in the top 10 NY Times Bestseller list, so I would agree that they are probably turning profits. I'm not sure that Del Ray and Dark Horse will maintain their licenses when their current contracts expire, but that doesn't mean that the EU will be destroyed.
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 PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:15 pm Reply with quote  
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  Cerrinea
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1313 may not be over. http://goo.gl/XOinO

LucasArts was an in-house production and wasn't making money. Books and comics are both already licensed out and making profits. I think the EU will definitely change, but it isn't going away.

If you want an idea of Disney's mentality per LFL, read this http://goo.gl/CyH4Z
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 PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:12 pm Reply with quote  
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  VileZero
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Fantastic news!!


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 PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:35 pm Reply with quote  
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  1337Jedi
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 PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:43 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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If 1313 is potentially going to be licensed out, then closing down LucasArts as a development studio could turn out to be a good thing in the long run, since they really haven't been that good a studio for the past decade. Apart from the first The Force Unleashed, they haven't developed much worth talking about since they stopped doing the Dark Forces/Jedi Knight series. Jedi Academy's ten year anniversary will be in this September. That's how long it will be since they've done a really great game, except for TFU (and some people don't consider that to be a great game).

Games like KOTOR and Rogue Squadron were licensed out to Bioware and Factor 5, for example. That's the new development model.


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 PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:46 pm Reply with quote  
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  Salaris Vorn
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While I'm sorry that so many people were laid off I can't honestly say it's necessarily a bad choice. To be honest LA's quality control wasn't really impressing me when they were the ones who had to patch/bug fix post launch. It seemed like they'd just pump out a game, patch it once or twice and then abandon it for the next shiny thing.

That attitude was glaringly obvious with BFII. I remember trying online matches where people would glitch into walls and other exploits. There was also the reward sniper rifle that couldn't headshot enemies in turrets (so in single player you had to intentionally avoid getting that award permanently or else you'd be stuck with a weapon that performed more poorly compared to the default sniper rifle). To my knowledge they were never patched. Meanwhile I also played Battlefield 2142 which got patched regularly and for that reason eventually I stopped playing BFII in favor of 2142 that had better quality control.

I noticed the same thing with Empire at War: Forces of Corruption. There was a bug where, if Rogue Squadron was destroyed, they would disappear entirely and not respawn after a set period of time like other heroes. Bug was never patched to my knowledge and it really irritated me to see such an obvious bug that directly impacted gameplay never get fixed.

So all in all I think it was inevitable that LA would get canned. They didn't have the quality control to remain competitive with other developers and I think the only reason they stuck around so long was because they had the Star Wars label. If they weren't making games for such an iconic label (or similar label) I think they would've closed years ago based on their lack of post launch quality control.
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 PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:35 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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You can justify it as a business decision and all that has been said is true... but that doesn't make it fair. It should have been LA's decision about their own company, not their new investors bottom line. And for that the fault lies in Disney and with Lucas. If LA was a sinking business, then why invest in them in the first place? That is a bad investment decision.

The answer is because Disney never cared about LA and that was just part of the package deal to gain control of the SW property. Of course they are going to axe the now to them unnecessary departments when they already have their own in house producers and preferred partners. But that doesn't benefit anyone except for Lucas and Disney.
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 PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:27 am Reply with quote  
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  Hogy
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I guess those poor 150 will have to start their own company, make one super hit and than sell themselves to the EA.

I hope 1313 will see the light of day, BF III and such on the other hand were projects so far from being made in the near future, that it doesn't matter if they get develop by LA or any other company imo. I don't know if LA had any other, non SW games in development, but I sure haven't heard anything about a new Monkey island in awhile.


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 PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:49 am Reply with quote  
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  Cerrinea
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The facts are that for the last decade LucasArts had a poor performance, but under Lucas, LucasArts was part of a privately held company and as such Lucas didn't have to answer to anyone. Disney is a publicly traded company and has a responsibility to its stockholders. Retaining a division that could be detrimental to a publicly traded company is irresponsible management because it decreases the worth of the company.

You may not like the system, but that's the way it works. As someone who's retirement was hit very hard in 2008, I appreciate responsible management.
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 PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:01 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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http://kotaku.com/before-it-was-cancelled-star-wars-1313-was-going-to-be-470003660

1313 had Boba Fett as the player character. Also, it sounds like if it is made (which the article makes sound unlikely), it will likely be done over from scratch.


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 PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:42 pm Reply with quote  
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  Salaris Vorn
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Cerrinea wrote:
The facts are that for the last decade LucasArts had a poor performance, but under Lucas, LucasArts was part of a privately held company and as such Lucas didn't have to answer to anyone. Disney is a publicly traded company and has a responsibility to its stockholders. Retaining a division that could be detrimental to a publicly traded company is irresponsible management because it decreases the worth of the company.


This indeed. If LA had been like any other game developer they would've had to close their doors years ago because of their poor performance. Even privately owned they wouldn't have stayed in operation if they didn't have a hugely popular franchise (Star Wars in this case) to market. At least IMO no game developer attempting to market games that weren't part of a huge franchise could've had the approach LA did and stayed in business so long.

Honestly I think LA sold games simply because it was Star Wars, not because the games were great or because LA made up for average games with quality control that blew competition out of the water.

I'd rather have a new Battlefront game that is licensed to another company that does their best to make it competitive with the Battlefield and Call of Duty franchises than have LA still around, produce a Battlefront game that isn't competitive with the franchises they're going against and just hope that the Star Wars label is enough to generate lots of sales.
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