Game Informer has received a statement from a LucasArts representative explaining that Disney has decided to shut down the video game publishing side of the company, and outsource development of all its IP.
“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 the statement, in part, “As a result of this change, we’ve had layoffs across the organization. We are incredibly appreciative and proud of the talented teams who have been developing our new titles.”
Kotaku has reported that around 150 staffers were laid off, with a “reliable source” claiming that Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault have been cancelled as a result. The company’s new position as a license provider could mean that the projects may still see the light of day, as the LucasFilm representative told GameInformer: “It is worth noting that we are looking for proven external partners who can help us provide video games to our fans…1313 was looking fantastic, the reception has been great It just got to a point where from a business standpoint we couldn’t continue developing those internally and keep up with the direction that the company was going.”
The representative concluded, “We still believe in the video game industry, we still will provide Star Wars games, we’re just looking at different models rather than internal production… They’re evaluating everything. There’s always a possibility that it [Star Wars 1313] can still come out via licensing.”
Coupled with the news earlier in the week of 40 staffers being fired at Deadpool developer High Moon Studios, and similar reports of up to 10 members of Square Enix’s American PR branch also let go, the post-GDC week has been a harsh one for many low-to-mid level developers.