Vader “Noooo”, Etc: Disney Closing LucasArts

Oh dear. Disney have told Game Informer that LucasArts studios are shutting down, although the name will remain to hold the licenses. They explained: “we’ve decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model.” This means Star Wars 1313 is a goner.

There’s clearly quite the story to be told here, but for such a once-mighty studio to have fallen unto complete abandonment must be one of the most catastrophic failures of management in gaming history. That or some kind of Lovecraftian curse. Yeah, maybe that’s it. Our thoughts are with those developers who are now out of work.

[Alternative headline: “LucasAren’ts”? Yeah? Big bucks, right here.]


  1. vecordae says:

    The number of expletives I have just uttered is pretty amazing.

    • woodsey says:

      Out of amazement, or disappointment? I’m guessing the former.

      • vecordae says:

        Either disappointment or a sudden ’bout of Tourette’s. As Naufrago points out, Disney doesn’t have the best track record with game development.

        • woodsey says:

          But… Lucas Arts hasn’t released anything worth talking about in a decade.

          Existing purely for licensing stuff out is what it’s pretty much been doing since Republic Commando anyway.

          • UmmonTL says:

            Yeah, I’d say it’s better if they don’t mess with games. Might see some old LucasArts IP’s revived as well which might be nice.

          • vecordae says:

            I think that, perhaps, we are addressing two different points. I am not sad that Lucasarts has been dissolved. I am sad that Disney is in charge of making new games using their IPs.

          • HothMonster says:

            The first force unleashed was pretty good, though the sequel was shit. So only 5 years since a game worth mentioning.

          • Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

            Decade and a half.

        • Shuck says:

          Yeah, given Disney’s approach to game development (i.e. closing down their studios, except for mobile/web development and licensing everything else), this is exactly what I was expecting when I heard Lucas sold to Disney.

    • naufrago says:

      On the possibly positive side, they might be more willing to license out some of their IPs. Some people seem to be fond of their old adventure games, maybe they might be more willing to work out a deal with the folks at Telltale? Of course, they could turn out to be even more protective of their IPs. Time will tell. Too early for me to pass judgement.

      I mean, Disney doesn’t have the greatest track record with making great games. Outsourcing the game development to other studios could be for the best. But if they try to make ANOTHER game studio after firing everyone AGAIN, then Disney are stupid and deserve all the criticism.

      • mouton says:

        Yeah, Games Workshop licensing its IP brought us some glorious games, no reason why it shouldn’t work similarly for Lucasarts. Well, ok, there is one reason and it is called “Disney”, but you never know.

      • Banana_Republic says:

        Yes, but — it’s Disney. I fully expect the licensing fees to be astronomical. That means only mega-publishers will have the capital to scrape together to acquire them. Mega-pubs like, oh I dunno … EA? And just look out how well that turned out last time.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Start with Good Old Games.

        They have Sierra On-Line’s back catalogue. The other half of the golden age of adventures is still missing.

      • Shuck says:

        Problem is, most licensed games are terrible, and there are reasons for that. Whatever is getting paid in licensing fees is money not being spent on development. And i imagine that the licensing fees will be substantial. There’s also the increased chance that whatever games do get made are also likely to not take any creative risks, either, so you end up with a lot of bland, uninspired games.

        • tyren says:

          Licensed Star Wars games are generally much less terrible. The KOTOR games? The Battlefront games? The Rogue Squadron games? Lucasarts didn’t actually develop any of those.

          • MrMud says:

            You mean unlike the terrible first party games such as Jedi Knight, Dark Forces, X-Wing, Tie-Fighter, Grim Fandango, Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle…

          • Syphus says:

            X-wing and TIE Fighter were not first party games.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Didn’t even get that far before the kind of numb “welp” set in.

  2. ZIGS says:

    Disney is pretty late with the April Fools’ joke this year

  3. Brun says:

    we’ve decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model

    This may actually be a positive thing for Star Wars games in general. The IPs aren’t going to die, they will just be licensed out rather than developed by LucasArts.

    This means Star Wars 1313 is a goner.

    This is probably good too. 1313 looked like a bland as hell Gears of Star Wars game.

    • chewbaccasdad says:

      I can’t help but think the same. There are some shining examples of brilliant games made using the Star Wars license. Admittedly, there are more than a few stinkers, but I don’t think this is the terrible thing it is being made out to be.

    • Chmilz says:

      Based on all the killer non-Lucasarts Star Wars installments of late? /s

      • Brun says:

        My whole point was that there have been (to my knowledge) no non-Lucasarts Star Wars games EVER (or at least since Lucasarts was created). Lucasarts’ purpose was to develop games for the Star Wars IP and while most of those games were co-developed with other studios I’m fairly certain Lucasarts has had a hand in every Star Wars game made since their inception. Think of this as a chance to unshackle the Star Wars IP from Lucasarts.

        • HamsterExAstris says:

          Jedi Knight II and Jedi Academy were by Raven Software.

          The Rogue Squadron games (and Battle For Naboo) were by Factor 5.

          X-Wing Alliance was by Totally Games.

          LucasArts has been more than happy to farm out dev work to other developers before, and it’s resulted in some of their best games.

          • Brun says:

            They still bore the Lucasarts logo, granted I don’t know the extent to which they were active in those games’ development, it very well could have been one step shy of a straight up license deal. That’s why I mentioned that they “co-developed” with other studios often (i.e. BioWare with KOTOR and SWTOR).

            That said, you’re kind of proving my point. The games that had external studios doing a lot of development were often the best of the lot.

          • stahlwerk says:

            Huh, I didn’t know the X-Wings were not developed “in-house”, it seems Lawrence Holland was working as a subsidiary for Lucasfilm Games since Battlehawks and incorporated Totally Games (nee Peregrine Software) in ’93:

            link to

    • woodsey says:

      How anyone was excited by what they showed of 1313 I’ll never know.

      Hopefully the licensing stuff means they’ll still listen to Obsidian’s pitches for a new Star Wars RPG. (And, y’know, greenlight it.)

      • coldvvvave says:

        1313 was a SW games without Jedi which is good.

        • woodsey says:

          Yes, cover-based shooting is a much more interesting prospect.

        • Brun says:

          Make a sequel to Republic Commando if you want a SW game without Jedi. Yes it’s a shooter, but it’s squad based and was a pretty fun game overall.

          Or even better, make a similar “Imperial Commando” game set in the Original Trilogy timeframe – the SW community is starting to suffer from Prequel Trilogy fatigue so some good old Stormtrooper action might be fun.

    • Phendron says:

      Any game that doesn’t have a focus on Jedi is probably going to have more character and way less melodrama, that’s what grabbed me.

      I will admit that the gameplay wasn’t striking.

  4. rado_viden says:

    And Leno announced that he’s leaving Tonight show next year.

  5. Alexander says:

    So is this an April 1st? If it’;s not… oh, my.

  6. LarsBR says:

    FFS, you fire people BEFORE GDC.

  7. BTAxis says:

    LucasArts haven’t put out anything worthwhile for a long time now, so I suppose it shouldn’t come as a surprise.

  8. megazver says:


    LucasArts wasn’t killed by Disney. They just buried a dead body.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Well said. I can’t think of the last time a Lucas Arts game was any good.

      Actually, that’s not true. Republic Commando was a hoot.

      • Brun says:

        This. Republic Commando was great, I can’t believe there were no sequels or additional games, especially given the popularity of shooters – it would seem like a sure thing.

        Still, would prefer a proper Jedi Knight 3 (you know, one that stars Kyle Katarn) more than anything.

        • lokimotive says:

          Man, that’s another series that’s just baffled the numbering. So you’re saying you want a sequel to Jedi Outcast, right? Staring Kyle Katarn? Because Jedi Knight was Dark Forces 2, which, to me would mean that Jedi Outcast was really Dark Forces 3, but I suppose at that point it was just a new series.

          • Brun says:

            Yes, a sequel to Jedi Knight 2. JK2 did not have a Dark Forces subtitle so whatever number it occupies in that series is irrelevant. I don’t consider Jedi Academy to be a part of the series proper, I consider it to be a spinoff of JK2.

      • Bobsy says:

        Republic Commando was great, but it was ten years ago now. Same with the KOTORs. While this is sad from a historic point of view, and obviously with regards to the people losing their jobs, I shan’t weep for a company that – in their last decade – continually ignored their founding tenets of creativity and good storytelling that had gained them such a reputation.

        Odds are low, but perhaps Disney will think about reactivating the good franchises? Republic Commando, X-Wing/TIE Fighter, Jedi Knight. And as Grundus suggests, the merest possibility of allowing GOG to rerelease the classics is interesting enough.

        • Brun says:

          A lot of the “classics” are on Steam actually – the entire Dark Forces / Jedi Knight saga is there, as well as the Battlefronts, KOTORs, and Republic Commando. About the only thing that’s missing is X-Wing/TIE Fighter.

          • Bobsy says:

            Which is basically what I want to play the most. I tried installing my TIE Fighter Collector’s Edition disc the other day, and it didn’t play. Very frustrating.

          • MadTinkerer says:

            Yeah, and grab them while you can. While most games don’t just disappear from the Steam store for no reason (and everything you buy is available to install in perpetuity), when IPs change hands games do sometimes disappear.

            My wishlist keeps “glitching” whenever that happens to something I’ve wishlisted but didn’t get yet. Sometimes the title is sitting right there with no “go to store page” button, and sometimes it’s a super “helpful” error message which says the game “doesn’t exist” and doesn’t even explain which one was in the slot before it was removed.


            EDIT: If we get the remaining back catalog on, I sure won’t mind.

    • Prime says:

      Very true. They long since stopped being of any importance to gaming. I don’t even need to mourn – I think I went through that in 2004.

    • MentatYP says:

      Or like putting a zombie out of its misery–LucasArts have been the walking dead for a while now. While I’m sad to see them gone for good, they’re not a patch on the studio that put out classics like Grim Fandango et al.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Pretty much this.

  9. mrmalodor says:

    Tell me that this is a late April fool’s.

    I assume Star Wars 1313 is now cancelled as well :(

  10. Monchberter says:

    Dreams of a return to the X-Wing series and a half decent Dark Forces / Jedi Knight reboot…



    • Monchberter says:

      In other news. THERE’S STILL OUTSOURCING.


      • Cinek says:

        To the random companies (I’m sure EA and Ubisoft are VERY happy)!

        • Aiming Dave says:

          X-Wing Alliance was outsourced to Totally Games. And it was a totally awesome game.


          • LeeTheAgent says:

            On the other hand… implementing an email system in a galaxy far far away and a long time ago, with email adresses using “” or whatever… and spam… that almost ruined the atmosphere for me. Odd that it was developed by the same people.

            DREAMS UNSURE!

  11. sinbad269 says:

    And I was so looking forward to 1313. :'(

  12. MOKKA says:

    Better LucasArts dies then to continue existing as an empty husk.

    A part of me hopes this would make it somewhat easier for Ron Gilber to getr the rights to Monkey Island, but I somehow doubt that.

    • grundus says:

      And GOG the distribution rights to all the old LA games… What does this mean for the likelihood of that? Is it still possible?

      • kalirion says:

        This is Disney we’re talking about here. I doubt there’s any chance for them to release any of their titles “DRM Free”, even if that means not releasing them at all. They’ll just hoard the IPs.

        • The Random One says:

          Why? Are there any Disney games that have been released with draconian DRM? This is an honest question, I can’t even name one game they released on PC other than Epic Mickey 2.

          • Sic says:

            Well, The Lion King and Aladdin is not on GOG, are they? I guess that’s something to go by.

            In any case, the chances of the IP’s being used to much of anything was basically nothing before. It’s not less than nothing now. I’m not saying I think we got a good deal going here. I’m just saying that there is hope, however minuscule it might be.

        • MacTheGeek says:

          Every seven years, they’ll add a fresh layer of DRM and release them from “the vault” for a few months. Then they’ll stop selling the games, kill any unactivated keys, and wait another seven years. Because that’s how you drive sales, according to The Official 1966 Disney Sales Manual.

    • ecbremner says:

      If this were any other company i would say sure there is a good chance of that. But this is Disney. they would rather sit on good IPs till they die than sell them off to anyone.

  13. MrEvilGuy says:

    It’s like putting down an already dead dog.

  14. Abendlaender says:

    Can you then at least give Monkey Island etc. back to it’s creators? No? Well, F you Disney

  15. Hoaxfish says:

    I know Double Fine was talking about reclaiming some of it’s IPs like Monkey Island from them (assuming that Disney’s purchase would open doors which Lucas’ ownership did not)… I hope this goes forward now.

    I’d hate to see them just locked in some Disney vault.

    In related news, Warren Spector got a job after Disney shut him down: link to

  16. Monchberter says:

    Sadly we’ll see no more acting of this ‘calibre’…

    link to

    Oh hi JJ Abrams!

  17. wisnoskij says:

    it has been many years since they have been anything other than the company that creates truckloads of mediocre to good Star Wars Games.

    They have been some pretty good Star Wars games. But personally I think we might get some even better ones if we have loads of other companies licensing the licence.

    LucasArts today is not the LucasArts that produced: The Secret of Monkey Island, The Dig, and Full Throttle. They are the LucanArts the churn out “Angry Birds: Star Wars” games.

  18. ChrisMidget says:

    It is seems disney are only interested in mobile apps where they can put a ton of micro transactions. I was still hoping for a star wars battle front 3

  19. Rinu says:

    If they shift to a licensing model, does it also mean they will be more open to selling their games through GOG? I mean, with this step it’s obvious they are no interested in game branch anyway and this would be just about money rolling in. … Or too soon?

    Their last interesting game was released in 2004, so I don’t really mourn that the studio is gone. However I wish good luck to developers finding new, interesting jobs.

  20. Lemming says:

    The chances of another X-wing game just got higher, folks.

    Wasn’t the original reason for not going back to the series because they’d decided to develop in-house more and the X-wing games were developed by Totally Games?

    Nothing has been lost here, the only thing good left at Lucasarts was the Star Wars license.

    • Nasarius says:

      They’ll no doubt charge ludicrous rates for a license as big as Star Wars, guaranteeing that only mass-market multi-platform titles can be profitable.

      New Jedi Knight, yes. New X-Wing / TIE Fighter? I can’t really see it, not in any form that resembles the old games. As a console-style action game, maybe.

    • Prime says:

      My old professor of English used to tell us that the works of William Shakespeare were very much a product of their times, the exact years of language flux and chaos between Middle English and Early Modern English; that without that flux, that adaptability, that freedom from rules, they could not have been written as they were.

      I see X-Wing and Tie Fighter as very similar products. Masterpieces doomed to reside in that perfect combination of hardware platform, software capability and the relative youth of the games industry. Will we ever see their like again? It’s hard to see how.

      • Nasarius says:

        Well put. To be explicit, joysticks were common and PC games were a small market dominated by nerds. It’s the only environment where a challenging, sim-like Star Wars game could have been made. The same era produced the whole Wing Commander series.

        Even if you forget Star Wars, it’d be nearly impossible for anyone to make a quality game that requires a joystick these days. Any such game *must* be controllable with a mouse or a gamepad as well, which seriously restricts the kind of gameplay you can create.

        • buzzmong says:

          That’s not really true. The only reason why joysticks were near essential back in the 90’s and early 2000’s was because nothing else offered the gradual analogue input and fine control that comes with it; it’s only that type of control which is needed for flight games, not joysticks per se.

          Considering analogue sticks are now the default for gamepads, they actually work acceptably well as flight controls in the place of joysticks.

          Granted due to their smaller nature you don’t quite get the same precision, but from a development standpoint, a joystick and a gamepad with analogue sticks are functionally the same, you’d only be programming to handle the analogue input once, with the rest of the buttons being remappable.

          So there’s no real barrier on the tech side.

        • Lemming says:

          That’s not strictly true. There is no reason on earth the X-wing games couldn’t be controlled with a mouse/keyboard set up. It was LA’s decision to rigidly stick to the joystick input and lock the game to all else.

  21. Jimbo says:

    I guess movie tie-ins make more sense for them now, and anybody can make those because they don’t even need to be good or work or anything.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      With Episode 7 looming in the next couple of years, and Hollywood already projecting it to rival Avatar in combined sales, I’m absolutely positive they’re simply positioning the brand for movie spin-offs.

  22. Drake Sigar says:

    Whenever I smell asphalt, I think of Lucasarts.

  23. DrollRemark says:

    This is not cool. Not Cool.

  24. MrLebanon says:

    Battlefront 3! Battlefront 3! On PC! On PC! (chant with me you hooligans)

  25. Lord_Xia says:

    I would like someone to make a new Gladius game…but I might be the only one.

    • Jimbo says:

      You aren’t. Gladius was amazing.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      That makes three of us, at least. It’s too bad they spiked the rumored sequel.

    • MrLebanon says:

      Is there room in this party for one more?

      Ah… Putting a ranged unit (Preferably javelin) on high ground.. So deliciously overpowered.

  26. DavidJerk says:

    I thought 1313 looked really cool. It reminded me of Bounty Hunter on Gamecube.

  27. sejm says:

    Disappointed to see this means 1313 is cancelled.

    Only upside is if they outsource their IP to quality studios.

  28. PsychoWedge says:

    How curious…

  29. sinister agent says:

    You could have also gone with “Disney Death: Lucasarts dropped”, but that might be a bit esoteric.

  30. Jason Moyer says:

    What was the last good Lucasarts developed game? Serious question here. Even Star Wars-wise, I’m trying to think of something and coming up blank. Battlefront 1/2 were done by Pandemic, the last 2 Jedi Knight games by Ravensoft. Empire at War was Petroglyph. KotOR 1/2 were Bioware/Obsidian. Lego Star Wars games were Traveller’s Tales. I guess Republic Commando was in-house, has there been anything else in like 10 years?

    • Lanfranc says:

      They made a pretty obscure game (at least I never hard of it before) called Lucidity back in 2009, but apparently it wasn’t very good. Republic Commando was probably the last good one, and even that one was a bit of an exception by 2005. I’d say they had mostly stopped producing in-house by 2002/03.

  31. Whelp says:

    Well bollocks. I had high hopes for 1313.

  32. TechnicalBen says:

    “They explained: “we’ve decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model.” ”
    License the existing studio…. oh who am I kidding. Anyone looking to get off this rock? I’ve got a transport that can do the Kessel run in less parsecs than the braincells I’m hoping you have, I’m looking to charge a good price…

  33. Random Gorilla says:

    LISTEN UP, DISNEY: I will give you my firstborn if you green-light a decent sequel to TIE Fighter.

  34. RedViv says:

    Never a better time for that pitch, Obsidian. Go! DoubleFine folks: Get your early babies back!

  35. Hungry Like the Wholphin says:

    Bound to happen

    Doubt 1313 is dead.

  36. Zak T Duck says:

    A workforce of hundreds cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

  37. Harzel174 says:

    This doesn’t mean Star Wars games are done. They just won’t be made internally. Instead, they’ll just rent the Star Wars license out to other studios/publishers so they can make the games. It’s not like LucasArts has done anything amazing in a long time anyways.

    Honestly, it’s a smart move on their part. Selling licenses puts none of the risk of game development on you, and a name as big as Star Wars is going to get tons of bidders.

  38. Laurentius says:

    Oh come one, all of you modern cynical hipsters shitting on LucasArts, you’ve got no soul ! Yes, they haven’t realeased good game in very long time, no matter i won’t join “Good Riddance” and etc, for me this name “LucasArts” brings some magic, i close my eyes and see this logo and hear this sound when Tie Fighter starts or Curse of Monkey Island or.. Loom. I kind sad to see them go like that.

    • Yglorba says:

      Yeah, sure, but I think that part of the problem with videogames (much more than anything else) is that we lose sight of who’s really responsible for something great. The fact is that the people who made those games what they were left LucasArts a long, long, long time ago; the culture that was capable of producing those games was gone long ago, too.

      Partially I think the release of the prequel trilogy killed LucasArts — it just completely steamrollered everything else. Partially it was changes to the industry itself — adventure games died off, games in general required higher and higher production values which meant more risk and less willingness to experiment; more focus on milking existing IPs, less focus on new things. And quicker turnaround, more games focused on grabbing a quick buck using their IPs rather than doing something interesting with them.

  39. Guiscard says:

    Somewhat sad but not at all surprising. LEC has been dead for years. Their last actually interesting game was Republic Commando; that was in 2005. 8 years since and they’ve never done anything creatively interesting since. They had that brief resurgence around 2009/10, what with that new president who tried to get the company to re-engage with its glorious past, resulting in the Monkey Island special editions, but presidents changed so ridiculously often that there hasn’t been any management stability to even attempt to produce something worthwhile for at least the last five years. The analogy someone on here has already stated of Disney merely burying a corpse is apt.

    Its still a shame though, the Golden Guy was a part of my childhood, X-Wing and Sam & Max Hit the Road being probably the first games I ever played. Let us reflect on the greatness that was once LucasArts, and let us hope that outsourcing allows the proper people to get their hands once more on what made LucasArts great:

  40. Yglorba says:

    Does this mean we won’t get a sequel to Loom?

  41. Sic says:

    It’s a pretty sad way for a legend to go.

    They have arguably made the best games in the history of games (up until this point). That they’re currently irrelevant doesn’t make this any less sad.

  42. Ted D. Bear says:

    Not surprised. They didn’t actually develop anything worthwhile in so long, they might as well be dead for years already. And sadly enough, I have more faith in Disney than in Lucas. This is how far they’ve run their business into the ground. Sucks for the competent people who worked there, though I feel like they jumped the ship a long time ago.

  43. pilouuuu says:

    Who cares? Lucasarts last good game was Grim Fandango. After that it was all console Star Wars crap.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      But… Pod Racer on the N64 was (incredibly) actually a good game. :(

      You might say it was “the X Wing vs. Tie Fighter of the Star Wars racing games”.

      • Sidewinder says:

        Hey, XvT was a darn good game- for what it was. It wasn’t another TIE Fighter, but if you took it for the multiplayer slugfest it was, it was great.

  44. Acorino says:

    LucasArts’ legacy lives on elsewhere now, like at Telltale and DoubleFine. I’m over it for a long time now. LucasArts was once a name that stood for creativity and quality, but it lost its shine over the years. The wrong people had the last word at the end of the day. Oh well.

  45. MadTinkerer says:

    On the positive side: no sequel to Star Wars Kinect! :D

  46. MadTinkerer says:


    I just realized: slim hope…

    “Outsourcing” + sales of Broken Age could potentially lead to Double Fine getting a license to resurrect old point & clicker franchises as new point & clickers. (and yes: Telltale, but we need Ron and Tim to have a chance at the classic franchises. Telltale’s Monkey Island is good (IMHO) but it really ain’t the same as Tim and Ron’s Monkey Island.)

    Praying…. so…. hard….

  47. VarlusMD says:

    We have to accept it. This is the Dark Age of Videogames.

  48. ChrisMidget says:

    Lucasarts were the masters of making point and click games, why on Earth are disney getting rid of them when point and click poke games are making a comeback on mobile devices. The walking dead is an example of this. Lucasarts could of released anther Grim Fandango and it could make a fortune. It seems disney are more interested with the free games filled with micro transactions. DIsney could at least let them finnish their current projects, Star wars 1313 was looking good. They could even just make HD remakes of some of their old games which is a popular thing right now. Lucasarts may not of been in the best states but it most certainly had the chance to succeed.

  49. Robbert says:

    Am I the only one who wasn’t hyped about Star Wars 1313 at all? It looked like a generic cover based shooter to me… maybe I should have watched more than one 2 minute video? Was there more to it?

  50. vodka and cookies says:

    End of an era though some would argue Lucasarts lost it’s mojo post 2000, they found it very difficult to recapture the form they once had.

    In the 80/90’s They were a trailblazer and far ahead of anyone else in the games industry in all areas, gameplay, sound, character design, storyline, world building.

    I really wish they has kept a small Lucasarts intact, just putting out small but original games nothing big.