Official statement follows:
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.
Well. I’m genuinely at a loss for words. It’s a sad fact of these economic times that studios close and hardworking people lose their jobs, but this…this is LucasArts! This was my childhood; and I know millions of people probably feel the same way.
To twist the knife even further, all in-development projects have been cancelled; including Star Wars: First Assault and – the unkindest cut of all – Star Wars 1313.
All the doomsday prophets who were in full voice when Disney’s acquisition happened would seem to be vindicated. The truth is, though, that this may not be the end for the franchises we loved – if Disney sells those IPs, there’s still a chance that we might see faithful sequels from other studios. XCOM proved it was possible last year. The fate of 1313 is murkier, and the scarcity of optimism surrounding that game means that all we might ever see of one of the most exciting games of E3 2012 are those two glorious trailers. With that gone, all we can do is hope that this might not be the end for the franchises we grew up playing.
There is, however, no escaping the fact that this is the end of LucasArts. And you will not find sadder words on this blog.