In what has been heralded as the end of an era for gamers of all ages, LucasArts has been shut down by Disney – the company now owning sole rights to the empire of George Lucas.
Announced last October, the deal Saw Disney take ownership of the business for upwards of $4bn and brought the announcement of a series of new Star Wars movies planned for the coming years.
Sadly for so many, it would appear that games are not of any real interest to Disney’s new wing.
According to the statement made this week by Disney, there will still be a small team present to handle the licensing out of rights to use Lucasfilm intellectual property and trademarks, but as far as production goes all in-house work on games had come to a halt.
“After evaluating our position in the games market, we’ve decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimising the company’s risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games,” read the statement.
“As a result of this change, we’ve had layoffs across the organisation. We are incredibly appreciative and proud of the talented teams who have been developing our new titles.”
On a slightly positive note, it’s looking probable that the eventual Star Wars: First Assault and Star Wars 1313 release date schedule will go ahead, though these will be the last to come directly from the LucasArts brand. From then on, any and all Star Wars games that come about will be developed by third-parties having acquired the rights to do so by Disney.
The news comes hot on the heels of a further kick in the pants for Star Wars fans last month, when Disney announced the cancellation of the hugely-popular Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV cartoon series.