THE MICKEY MOUSE EMPIRE Walt Disney Company is shutting down Lucasarts, the games company it took over when it bought Lucasfilm for $4bn last year.
Since that deal most speculation has been about the next Star Wars films. However Disney apparently has nixed production of games titles like Star Wars 3013.
We are trying to get confirmation from Disney, but a company spokesperson told the SFGate website that this was a financial decision.
"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," read a statement from Lucasfilm.
This does not mean that the firm's games titles will die, just that they will be sold off to other parties.
We don't know how far advanced with Star Wars 3013 Lucasarts was, but it is possible that another developer could step in and finish it.
Lucasarts has delivered some classic games over the years, from Monkey Island and Grim Fandango to the Lego Star Wars tie-ins. It also developed the Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion, the SCUMM game engine.
Disney said that the shutdown of operations will lead to some layoffs. It is not known how many, but the SFGate report put the figure at around 150.
In January The Walt Disney Company announced record annual revenues of $42.3bn (PDF), and talked about its broad entertainment portfolio.
Then it was welcoming Lucasarts, the Star Wars films, and all the possibilities that their combination offered. "Star Wars offers infinite inspiration and opportunities, and we're already moving forward on a new feature film to continue the epic saga. Star Wars Episode 7 will be in theaters in 2015," Disney said in its financial statement.
"With more feature films planned - along with television programming, games and merchandise, and an expanded Star Wars presence in our parks around the world." µ
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