One Year Ago Today, Disney Shut Down LucasArts

Illustration for article titled 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.

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I liked LucasArts games of the past a lot.

Thing is: Most of the guys who made those were not at LucasArts anymore for quite a while.

The second issue is: They then tried to make other types of games but from the sounds of it, always the most ambitious/interesting ones were cancelled by the leads.

So yeah, when it is like that, doesn't make sense to keep it going then, even if that's very sad.

I think a lot of it comes from political decisions of wanting to cash in more by letting others make licensed properties rather than making ambitious, maybe even risky things inhouse.