Rumor: LucasArts Sees Massive Layoffs, Outsources Jobs [Updated]S

We've heard from multiple sources today that LucasArts has laid off approximately 50-100 of its employees, including a handful of higher profile names like VP of Product Development Peter Hirschmann. The move comes just a few days after the publisher and developer released LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures on multiple platforms and four months after the departure of LucasArts president Jim Ward.

When Ward resigned, the company cited "personal reasons," but an alleged and anonymous LucasArts employee later suggested in a post on Gamasutra that Ward may have been pressured to leave, pointing to differing philosophies within the company.

That anonymous poster wrote "There are some that believe that more money can be made by licensing the SW and Indiana Jones IP to third party developers than through in-house development," hinting that the change in leadership "could spell trouble for the LucasArts division."

Ward was replaced by interim president Howard Roffman until former EA COO Darrell Rodriguez was named president in April. Whether the rumored layoffs are part of a plan to reorganize LucasArts development is unknown.

We've contacted LucasArts for clarification and comment, but did not hear back as of press time.

Update: While LucasArts public relations did not get back to us today, several former LucasArts staffers did, with one telling us that 75-100 employees were laid off from the company, including the producer of LEGO Indiana Jones and LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga, Shawn Storc.

According to another source, up to 80% of staff has been laid off in departments such as Production Services, which includes QA and Compliance, with jobs planned to be outsourced overseas. Cuts were also said to be made in development, with art and programming staffers being laid off.

Mike Fahey and Leigh Alexander contributed to this story.