LucasArts, one of the most influential and important development studios of gaming’s formative years, is no more, thanks to Disney. The studio was best known for its iconic and visionary games of the 90s and early 2000s, such as Grim Fandango (a personal favorite), the Monkey Island series, and of course, the Star Wars series, including such classics as Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II and Rogue Squadron.
Kotaku reports that the studio has been shut down, 150 people have been laid off, and both Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault have been cancelled—for the time being, at least. Disney claims that these in-progress games may be licensed out to a third-party developer, but all signs indicate that this is a slim possibility, at best. This is a surprising but not entirely unexpected development, as many connected to the studio saw warning signs as early as last September, when Disney froze all hiring and release announcements. The ultimate fate of future Star Wars games rests in the hands of Disney. In the meantime, we send our thoughts and best wishes for a speedy industry return to those affected by the situation.
In other gaming news this week, the gaming industry is hit by even more layoffs, The Last of Us, MGS V, and Thief get spectacular new trailers, and Patrick Rothfuss edges into gaming. Read on!
- Hideo Kojima’s latest offering, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, will be taking full advantage of next-gen power, evident from its jaw-droppingly gorgeous trailer.
- The Last of Us (fittingly) debuted a new TV spot during The Walking Dead finale last week. If you missed it, here’s the extended red band trailer, with all the gory bits included.
- If you want to channel the inner 13-year-old boy in you, keep your eyes peeled for the late-May return of the irreverent and unapologetically immature Leisure Suit Larry franchise.
- Doom 4 is stuck in development hell after being entirely rebooted at least once, and may be dangerously close to travelling the path taken by Duke Nukem Forever. Also, less surprisingly, Rage 2 has been cancelled. id has had a bit of a rough ride of late....
- In yet another rough week in the gaming industry, LucasArts wasn’t the only studio being ravaged by layoffs. Square Enix Los Angeles has been downsized, as has Activision’s High Moon Studios, developers of Deadpool.
- We received our first look at the new Thief game this week via its debut trailer.
- Torment: Tides of Numenera’s Kickstarter has broken $3.5 million, which has enabled its team to enlist the aid of original Planescape: Torment lead designer Chris Avellone for the new game’s writing and design. They’ve also been able to bring author Patrick Rothfuss on board for storylining purposes. A game to keep an eye on, indeed....
- Remember DuckTales on the NES? Remastered, baby!
- Finally, GTA V’s cover art is official. Enjoy!