Star Wars 1313 Canned As Disney Closes LucasArts
Can you believe LucasArts has been around for 31 years? That’s right, 31 years, just try and acknowledge how long that is for a video game development house. The studio created some gems in the 1900’s, with The Secret of Monkey Island being one of the studio’s most recognised titles, and still one of the best adventure titles to date.
The late 1900’s also saw the release of a wave of Star Wars themed title, most of which were really good. These included Dark Forces, X-Wing and Rebel Assault as well as other titles such as Afterlife, Sam and Max and Time Schafer’s Full Throttle.
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These are just some of the games LucasArts has brought us, with recent offerings not exactly reaching the bar set by previous endeavours. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and it’s subsequent sequel were fun but ultimately average titles, and there’s not question that the studio’s last title, Star Wars Kinect, fell well sort of the quality expected from them. So should it be surprising that Disney has closed LucasArts and fired all its employees.
Yes, it does come as a surprise. There have been rumours circulating about problems at LucasArts for sometime now, ever since Disney decided to halt the hiring of any new employees and put the brakes on current projects the development studio was working on. These included two Star Wars titles, namely Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault. A statement was released by LucasArts parent company, LucasFilm, regarding the closure of the studio.
“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. 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.”
Publically, Disney has said that the now cancelled titles could still be picked up by a different publisher and developer, as LucusArts will now act as a licensing name and nothing else. This has already been done in the past, most notably with Knights of the Old Republic, which was developed by BioWare. However, various LucasArts sources close to Kotaku expressed their pessimism about the projects ever seeing the light of day.
“With the teams now basically being dispersed I think both games are effectively dead forever.”
A second source supported this view, saying that the chances of Disney licensing out the 1313 title are extremely slim, adding that the odds are “effectively zero” about gamers ever getting the title.
So, in a nutshell, that’s that for one of the most promising looking Star Wars titles in recent memory. Also, anyone looking to First Assault as a rebirth of Battlefront can forget about that dream too it seems. Will we see any Star Wars titles in the future? I don’t think Disney will let that cash cow sail away anytime soon, but with some of the absurd decisions they’ve made with Star Wars lately, it’s anyone’s guess at this point.