Employees at LucasArts were notified today that Disney will be discontinuing gaming production and will go forward in a “licensing model” in the future.
The announcement will see over 150 employees lose their jobs. This news coming after the announcement recently that the animation department,creator of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, would also be coming to and end.
“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” the statement from LucasArts went on to say,“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”.
Maybe this shouldn’t have come as a surprise. At the sale of Lucasfilm Ltd to Disney, Disney CEO Robert Iger commented on the sale and the gaming division;
“We’re likely to focus more on social and mobile than we are on console. We’ll look opportunistically at console, most likely in licensing rather than publishing, but we think that given the nature of these characters and how well known they are, and the storytelling, that they lend themselves quite nicely, as they’ve already demonstrated on other platforms.”
Still to early to tell what effect this will bring to the future of gaming with the acquisition of Lucas’ franchise but I am optimistic with the realization that the future lies with licensing rather than delving into an industry that Disney would fall short in.
Follow Steve “Rifflo” Fitch on TWITTER: @HobbitSteve