Disney has moved its mouse pointer to “shut down,” and then clicked firmly on Lucasarts, ending the life of the long time great studio that brought us classics like the Monkey Island series, Indiana Jones point and clicks, Maniac Mansion and a lot of Star Wars games – plus my personal favourite, Day of the Tentacle.
“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,” Disney said in a statement (via Yahoo). It also announced layoffs across the company, with pretty much everyone that still worked at the developer let go.
Of course the classic team behind Monkey Island, Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert have been at Double Fine for a while, with the latter of the two moving on to other developments quite recently, after finishing development of The Cave. Ironically with Lucasarts now as a licensing body and Disney owning the Monkey Island franchise, there is potential for it to outsource to Gilbert’s new partnership. He has expressed an interest in the past to get in touch with Disney to make the game he “really wants to make.”
But what will become of currently in development titles like Star Wars: 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault? Disney is apparently keen to let on that these will not be cancelled and that it is looking for an external developer to take over the roles of its now fired developers.
In tribute to LucasArts of old, Tim Schafer has been posting videos of old promotional content. Look out for him at the 56 second mark in this one:[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tk3XpvDs0Kc&’]
KitGuru Says: This is a bit of a bummer. LucasArts games were some of my earliest adventure gaming memories. Monkey Island 1-3, Sam and Max, Day of the Tentacle, Indiana Jones, they were all awesome. What are some of your favourite LucasArts games?