One Year Ago Today, Disney Shut Down LucasArts

One Year Ago Today, Disney Shut Down LucasArts

On April 3, 2013, the executives of Lucasfilm gathered the staff of LucasArts in a big room and dropped a bomb: Disney had decided to shut down the iconic video game studio.

The news came six months after Disney purchased Lucasfilm and enacted a hiring freeze at LucasArts, leading to a strange period of stasis for the studio as employees wondered what would happen next. When the executives decided to shut down LucasArts, they also cancelled the studio's two big games -- the highly anticipated Star Wars 1313 and the still-unannounced Star Wars: First Assault, which had been leaked on Kotaku a few weeks earlier.

LucasArts will always be remembered not just for beloved Star Wars games like Jedi Knight and Rebel Assault, but for their pioneer work in the adventure game genre. Talented designers like Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer, and Dave Grossman all got their start at LucasArts -- once called Lucasfilm Games -- making point-and-click games like Maniac Mansion, Grim Fandango, and Monkey Island, today considered some of the funniest adventure games ever created.

For an in-depth look at how LucasArts fell apart, check out our story.


Comments

    And on adventure game dev @sughly's birthday too. Thanks for reminding him, Kotaku! :'(

      Monsters!

      Also Disney.

      Actually, make that 'especially Disney'...

      HAHAHA! I was like, ohhh thats right, it was the before my birthday last year.... :'(

      Not only that, but they put one of my good mates, and one of the most talented artists I know out of work! Ass hats!

    Way to not mention the Dig, you monsters.

      Or Full Throttle

        So much these. Two amazing games, probably among some of the first games i truely loved.

        Yep and yep. Only two of the greatest adventure games ever but you know whatever.

        or every indiana jones game!

      I thought that was @shane's job?

        He hasn't even finished the game and refuses to do so! He's not just a monster, he's practically the devil.

    Missing games like Full Throttle and Dark Forces 2 since 2013. We live in sad times.

    I was really pumped for 1313 but it seems Disney is looking to make Star Wars more cuddly.

    RIP...adventure games and story telling will never be the same without them

      I think Telltale has already taken over the reigns on how to handle them.

        They have an interpretation of the genre, but I'm a lot more hopeful that Double Fine will make a few more after Broken Age. They'd be crazy not to after building up their tech.

    Thanks, Jason. You trying to ruin our Friday?

    Seriously, there is a VR revolution and they shutdown the one studio with the potential 'killer app'.

    How many people would buy a VR headset just to play a VR Xwing vs Tie Fighter?
    It would go batshit.

      Lucas hadn't made anything for a while, and the Star Wars licence has now gone to EA. We have just as much chance of a VR Xwing game as we ever did :-)

      Yeah! I don't think it would ever have happened anyway... but if it did, I would've bought at least ten copies.

        and ten Oculus HMDs and got ten mates around and played until we starved to death.

        Been busy with Big Medical stuff lately, missed that EA picked up the franchise. I live in a tiny amount of hope that there will be an XWING reboot.

        I am still baffled why it hasn't been done already, it has a massive following and there is so much buzz about EVE Valkyrie.

    I just wish Disney would get around to putting LucasArts' back catalogue onto Steam and/or GOG. Seriously, apart from say Sam and Max Hit the Road since they don't have access to the characters anymore, they could put basically the entire library up with next to no effort. All the adventure titles, the X-Wing series, the Rebel Assault games, etc. etc.

    I'll pay you money Disney so that I can have these games digitally. Why won't you let me give you money??

    I really think this article missed a good chance to use the "millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced." line.

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