Disney pulls the plug on LucasArts

4 Apr 2013

Only six months after acquiring the games developer, the Walt Disney Company is shutting down LucasArts, the firm behind the Star Wars and Monkey Island series of games.

In October, Disney bought Lucasfilm for US$4bn in a deal that included all of the company’s subsidiaries, including Lucasfilm Animation and its video-games arm LucasArts.  

Disney now plans to license the Star Wars games brand to other developers, BBC News Online reported.

The closure of LucasArts will include job losses, but a small team out of the 150 staff will remain to work on licensing partnerships.

“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,” Lucasfilm said in a statement. “As a result of this change, we’ve had layoffs across the organisation.”

Internal development on games that had been announced, such as Star Wars 1313 and First Assault, have ceased, but the company is evaluating its options in terms of having those games completed by an outside developer, Wired reported.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic