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VredeGaming avatar 4:49 PM on 04.04.2013  (server time)
Lament for LucasArts

In an industry still reeling from the spectacular collapse of THQ, another titan has fallen. After three decades at the head of the game, LucasArts, as a developer, is no more. Since its acquisition by Disney in 2012, all game development has ground to a halt, until finally Disney announced that, going forward, LucasArts will exist purely to manage the licensing of games in Star Wars and other LucasArts franchises. This is the end of an era, a death knell for the studio's grand history of Star Wars titles and other great adventure games...

... oh wait, no it isn't. For the longest time the great Star Wars games have been licensed out anyway. Travellers Tales gave us LEGO Star Wars, Bioware and Obsidian gave us KOTOR. We got Empire at War from Petroglyph, and my beloved Battlefront from Pandemic. Of the games LucasArts itself has made, in recent memory there is only the Force Unleashed, which went from mediocre to downright bad in the second game. Before that, the last properly good Star Wars game from LucasArts was Republic Commando. In 2005. I wasn't even in high school! The simple fact is that licensing is how good Star Wars has been done for a long time, so on that front nothing is really changed.

As for other LucasArts classics, like Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle, those stopped before I started playing games. They are literally before the time of most gamers today, so I highly doubt this event has had a negative impact on the prospects of more great LucasArts adventure games. The people who made those are, by and large, gone from LucasArts, nothing along those lines could be expected again.

The only loose end is Star Wars: 1313, the upcoming game about a bounty hunter in Coruscant's underworld, indeed being developed by LucasArts. News on 1313 stopped flowing months ago, and we now know that development has ceased, awaiting the possibility of another studio taking up the mantle. And that's exactly what I hope happens. Even before laying off the majority of development staff, the sad fact is LucasArts seemed to be losing its mojo, and it's entirely possible that another company will be able to make a better product than LucasArts could. Sure, 1313 LOOKED good, but how much did we really know about it? They barely showed us anything. I wouldn't be crushed if 1313 vanished into oblivion, but more than likely this is actually a good thing, and I hope it encourages Disney to greenlight more licensed Star Wars games. Like Battlefront 3.

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