Or rather, the LucasArts we've known and sometimes loved/sometimes hated (Kinect Star Wars WHY WHY WHY!) and sometimes raised an eyebrow to. But in what doesn't feel like that surprising of a move, the House of Mouse decided to close the Electronic House that Lucas built. A Disney rep confirmed with Game Informer the news:
"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."
Not surprising since the big M likes to control their properties fairly aggressively, but where this troubles me as a gamer is that the visually impressive Star Wars: 1313 will now only a story of what ifs. With a reported 150 employees being laid off, this also undoubtably shelves 1313 and any other projects they may or may not have been working on.
I was a supported of this merger, I supported the House of Mouse when they bought Marvel and was hoping for the same level of care they would take with the Star Wars franchise. Admittedly, franchises like Battlefront and The Force Unleashed failed to really make that deep of an impact in the gaming world and seemingly fizzled in recent months (especially with the cancellation of Star Wars Battlefield III). But it pains me to see that 1313 won't come, I was looking forward to playing it and felt like it would totally make up for Kinect Star Wars if it was good. Unfortunately, the memory of this studio will now be just that, a sub par Kinect game... kinda sad to be honest, kinda sad.