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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

RIP, LucasArts

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 11:44 AM

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  • From Day of the Tentacle

In news that's hardly surprising—but still pretty depressing, at least for a guy like me, who started playing videogames in the '90s—Disney has shut down LucasArts, the videogame division of LucasFilm. After acquiring LucasFilm for billions of billions of billions of dollars and then instantly greenlighting a slew of new Star Wars movies, Disney's streamlining the empire that once belonged to George Lucas—first getting rid of the animation division that produced The Clone Wars (canceling the show in the process) and now getting rid of LucasArts, along with their in-development titles Star Wars: 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault. Here's some soulless PR:

“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," LucasArts parent company LucasFilm said in a statement. "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.” (Via.)

LucasArts hadn't had a great game in a while—the last game they developed that I played was the underwhelming The Force Unleashed 2—but it's worth remembering that in addition to a bunch of great Star Wars games (the Dark Forces/Jedi Knight series, the X-Wing series), they were home to a rash of some of gaming's best, funniest, and most groundbreaking point-and-click adventure titles: Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Sam & Max, Full Throttle, The Secret of Monkey Island. I always felt like it was a huge missed opportunity that only one of those games—Monkey Island—was ported to iOS; while there are still ways to play those games on a PC, I would've paid good money to tap my way through Fate of Atlantis while riding the bus.

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