The LucasArts we know is back: Paul Meegan steps down. Layoffs incoming?

02 Aug, 2012, 17:48 | Posted by: Jennifer | Source: Threepwood4life

The presidency at LucasArts has a very short shelf life these days. LucasArts president Paul Meegan has stepped down from his position at LucasArts.

Mich Chau, President and Chief Operating Officer for Lucasfilm had the following to say:

Paul has been a valuable member of the Lucasfilm leadership team and we wish him the best in his future endeavors. We remain committed to our current projects and will be re-evaluating LucasArts’ leadership needs to ensure that we make the right decisions to keep the studio focused.

The decisions of every LucasArts president since Jim Ward has been to make massive layoffs and cancel projects upon their arrival. It remains to be seen if this vicious cycle continues, but history has shown us that it probably will.

Update: The Verge reports that there's two people filling in to co-lead the company, Kevin Parker as interim head of business operations and Gio Corsi as interim head of studio production.

The idea of having two people run the company seems like a sensible one, keeping the business side and the creative side separate. It's unlikely that structure will continue when a permanent president is chosen, however.
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    Comment by: Char Ell | Posted 04 Aug, 2012, 17:15 | Quote
    It's Micheline Chau. I'm not sure where Mich Chau comes from unless she goes by Mich instead of Micheline. In any event, I've got the feeling she has something to do with these short term LucasArts presidents. In 2003 George Lucas promoted her from CFO to president and COO of Lucasfilm and all business units, including LucasArts, reported to her instead of GL. Jim Ward lasted four years of her oversight because he had been at Lucasfilm for a while but when he couldn't get the support to grow LucasArts as he wanted to he cut bait and left. After hiring two outsiders in Darrell Rodriguez and Paul Meegan that only lasted 2 years each all I feel I can do is look at the one constant during this whole time, Micheline Chau, and think that she either doesn't know how to pick 'em or she drives them away after hiring them.
    http://www.lucasfilm.com/inside/bio/michelinechau.html
    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Lucasfilm+Ltd.+Announces+New+Organization+for+Business+Expansion.-a096955246
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    Comment by: Ascovel | Posted 03 Aug, 2012, 19:17 | Quote
    I blame Jim Ward for all this, even if he's been gone for a long while.
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    Comment by: Diduz | Posted 03 Aug, 2012, 03:05 | Quote
    This has stopped being tragic years ago, now it's almost funny.
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Jason | Posted 02 Aug, 2012, 23:17 | Quote

    Gov. Phatt

    I know that Lucas may have less involvement now after turning over things to Kennedy, but still, it surprises me that he would see one of his companies go so far off the rails.



    I'm guessing Lucas doesn't so much as cast a glance in LEC's direction unless it's losing money. Therefore, being able to report back a non-negative numeral on the year's end ledger is the only goal of the Lucasfilm execs who truly run things now. And since they're a level of abstraction from LucasArts itself and really have no vested interest in creating compelling content, they will of course take the path of least resistance toward that end, which is to enforce a strategy for the studio that includes: licensing out Star Wars (hello, Bioware!) and Indiana Jones (hello, Zygna!), publishing a zero risk third party game or two (Kinect Stars Wars) and maybe, just maybe, if they're feeling really sassy, putting a Star Wars game of their own in development. Don't. Tell. Mom.

    We like to bash on the various LEC presidents who are shuffled in and out the door for the state of things, but I think what we've witnessed gradually over the last decade is LEC completely ceasing to be an autonomous entity, one with its own identity and allowed to pursue its own vision (within reason), and instead being completely folded in as a brand of the Lucasfilm empire that is closely monitored by the mothership to quell anything too wacky that might threaten to spring up (like ideas). In my head the company is nothing more than the fiscal responsibility of some dude at a desk deep within Lucasfilm HQ who may or may not know what a video game is but knows his job is secure if nothing strays too far from the directive. LucasArts' purpose in the view of hypothetical Jerry the Cowardly Executive who just needs the numbers to look good is printing money, money that is occasionally used to offset the half-hearted attempts to actually produce games. Yes, on paper LEC has always been a division of Lucasfilm, but I think in the past they had a much longer leash and were basically expected to manage themselves and simply not bankrupt the business. I think that freedom is completely gone now, and the result is this sputtering engine of a company that will never do anything interesting because every two years it's time for Jerry the Cowardly Executive to go scorched earth just in case the bacteria of creativity started to grow somewhere.

    I question the power that anyone within LucasArts itself has over the company's direction, the brass included. I don't think anything will improve until it is allowed to be its own studio again. But then, once the connection between the decision makers and the game makers has gone from tenuous to non-existent, and the company's performing adequately from a strictly financial standpoint, there's nothing that needs improving!
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Melancholick | Posted 02 Aug, 2012, 22:55 | Quote
    ... I totally blame Mojo's last two news updates for this SHOCKING DEVELOPMENT.
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Shmargin | Posted 02 Aug, 2012, 22:30 | Quote
    Hey you guys remember when Lucas Arts made all those games that are the reason that any of us come to this site? It would be cool if Lucas did.
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Gov. Phatt | Posted 02 Aug, 2012, 22:29 | Quote
    I know that Lucas may have less involvement now after turning over things to Kennedy, but still, it surprises me that he would see one of his companies go so far off the rails.
  • Avatar
    Comment by: jp-30 | Posted 02 Aug, 2012, 21:17 | Quote
    LEC Pres quits... Hey, it must be Thursday!
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Jennifer | Posted 02 Aug, 2012, 20:59 | Quote

    Udvarnoky

    Jennifer, Indiana Jones Adventure World shouldn't count since LucasArts had squadoosh to do with it. It was 100% a licensing deal between Lucasfilm and Zynga, as I understand it.


    Yeah, you're right. I also actually forgot two other externally developed Star Wars games that came out when Paul Meegan was president, Lego Star Wars III and The Old Republic.

    So LucasArts developed 2 games in 2010 (MI2SE and TFU2), and published 2 games in 2011 (The Old Republic and Lego Star Wars III), and published 1 so far in 2012 (Kinect Star Wars). And one of those games (Monkey Island 2: SE) was created with no involvement from Paul Meegan since it was released less than a month after he got the job.

    Five games in three years from a major developer/publisher (especially when more than half of them were simply published by LucasArts since there were no internally developed games since 2010) is a pretty sad track record (even moreso in that TFU2 and.Kinect Star Wars turned out to be mediocre).
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Udvarnoky | Posted 02 Aug, 2012, 20:12 | Quote
    Jennifer, Indiana Jones Adventure World shouldn't count since LucasArts had squadoosh to do with it. It was 100% a licensing deal between Lucasfilm and Zynga, as I understand it.
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    Comment by: Rum Rogers | Posted 02 Aug, 2012, 20:05 | Quote
    LucasArts should just close down to at least preserve the memory of the brilliant, bright shining star it was once.
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Jennifer | Posted 02 Aug, 2012, 19:45 | Quote

    Udvarnoky

    Did he even manage to get an internal title out the door during his term?


    Yes. The Force Unleashed II came out when he was president (Monkey Island 2: Special Edition also came out when he was president, although it was released less than a month after he got the position). He had very few games coming out during his term, even for licensing though. The only externally developed games that came out during his tenure were Indiana Jones Adventure World and Kinect Star Wars. I don't recall there being anything other than that. Rogue Leaders describes the first half of the 2000's as being one of the darkest periods in LucasArts' history, but I think the first half of the 2010's has it beat so far.
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Udvarnoky | Posted 02 Aug, 2012, 19:08 | Quote
    Did he even manage to get an internal title out the door during his term?
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Bloody_Eugene | Posted 02 Aug, 2012, 18:59 | Quote
    LOL
  • Avatar
    Comment by: valkian | Posted 02 Aug, 2012, 18:09 | Quote
    We should make a Mojo game out of this. Guess How Long Will The Next LEC President Last!
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Fearless Flying Monkey | Posted 02 Aug, 2012, 18:03 | Quote
    Is this really news any more?
  • Avatar
    Comment by: MrManager | Posted 02 Aug, 2012, 17:52 | Quote
    Good grief.

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