It seems there's more reason than a simple cash grab behind the fact that LucasArts is continuing to license Star Wars to outside casual game developers instead of having Disney Interactive develop them as the early press releases about Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm would suggest.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Disney Interactive has pulled back production in other areas in order to pour its resources into Disney Infinity, Disney's version of Activision's Skylanders (the game where you purchase toys that are then detected by the game, making the character available for play).

Disney is putting so much into this project that Disney Interactive stopped production on the Iron Man game they had in development and passed on the opportunity to make any Star Wars games. Strangely, Angry Birds Star Wars II will feature the debut of Hasbro's Telepods, which seem to be a direct competitor of both Skylanders and Disney Infinity. However, since the Telepods have a simple QR scan rather than saving the data in the toy like Skylanders, Disney must feel there is room for both products.

At the very least, at least this means the LucasArts licensing house still has a use, since it previously seemed kind of redundant after the announcement of the exclusive licensing deal with EA. Now we'll just have to wait to see if they realize that they have other intellectual property besides Star Wars that they can license out.
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More Angry Birds Star Wars On The Way

02 Aug, 2013, 17:41 | Posted by: Jennifer | Source: NBC News | Comments: 8
Remember Angry Birds Star Wars? It was basically Angry Birds Space with force powers, lightsabers, and blasters, but it turned out to actually be pretty fun. Since it was a critical and financial success, it only makes sense that fans would be seeing more. And you will be. You... will... be.

In October, a revamped version of the original Angry Birds Star Wars will be coming out on pretty much every current console, from the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii U, to the handheld 3DS and PSP Vita, and even the original Wii. These versions will feature cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes and 20 new levels.

On top of that, this September, Rovio will be releasing Angry Birds Star Wars II, which will feature new levels and new characters with powers inspired by the Star Wars prequel films. And yes, there will be toys released that tie-in to Angry Birds Star Wars II as well. This is Disney we're talking about after all.
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Well I've got one for ya: The SCUMM Bar has been updated. What a world we live in.

Following a quiet and thankful revert to their old design back in February, they have now made some sizable content updates. This mainly includes a much more corpulent Tales section, a more comprehensive collection of known info about the cancelled animated film, and a revamped MP3 section that now covers Tales.

I don't mind telling you, I needed those MP3s. Go visit The SCUMM Bar! Your children may be the age you are now before its next update, after all.

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Gamasutra recently got in touch with Aric Wilmunder and he regaled them with stories of SCUMM over e-mail. They compiled it all into one long feature which you can read over here.

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Earlier this month, Paypal's TechXploration hosted a panel called The Story of LucasArts moderated by Douglas Crockford. The developers in attendance were Noah Falstein, Randy Farmer, David Fox, Ron Gilbert, Chip Morningstar, Aric Wilmunder, and Gary Winnick. For those of you who couldn't make it, Paypal made the entire thing available on Youtube in eight parts:

Thanks to reader salty-horse for the heads-up!

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Night Dive Studios, the company that managed to untie the legal mess surrounding System Shock 2 to negotiate the digital re-release of that game, is apparently negotiating to digitally re-release more games that are currently unavailable.

In this case, it seems they are trying to free the LucasArts adventure games from the Disney Vault, since they posted a teaser on their Facebook page that they are "Heading to Corley Motors!" (complete with a shot of Ben Throttle on his Corley motorcycle). After posting shout-outs to more LucasArts adventure games, such as Sam & Max Hit the Road on their twitter page, they were asked by twitter user BJ Wanlund to clarify the meaning of their LucasArts teases. Night Dive Studios responded by saying "We're hoping for it as much as everyone else, that's all we can say at the moment!"

So it seems like more classic LucasArts adventure games might come out on digital distribution sites some day after all. Or, they might not. We'll just have to wait and see how this situation develops.
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There's SCUMM in Your Browser

14 Jun, 2013, 01:47 | Posted by: Jennifer | Comments: 4

Jukka Jylänki has ported ScummVM's SCUMM engine to HTML5 using enscripten.

Head over to the website and you can play demos of Maniac Mansion, Loom, The Secret of Monkey Island, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Day of the Tentacle, and Sam & Max Hit the Road directly in your browser!

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At the E3 Gaming Expo, EA Games announced that the Battlefront franchise is getting a new installment. The 3rd Battlefront game has had a stop-start life, with several companies beginning production before they were ultimately cancelled prior to any official announcement of the game's development.

"In 2004, the original Star Wars Battlefront came onto the scene and took gamers – and Star Wars fans – by surprise. It was an ambitious action shooter that gave players the opportunity to step into the shoes of their favorite Star Wars characters, pilot quintessential Star Wars vehicles, and relive classic Star Wars battles.
Fast forward nearly 10 years and gamers still have many of those same Star Wars gaming fantasies – but now they wish to experience those larger-than-life battles in magnificent high definition, with all of the amazing special effects, vehicle physics and gameplay intensity that the next-generation has to offer.
Star Wars Battlefront, developed by DICE on Frostbite 3, will surprise and delight fans yet again with a new experience inside this beloved universe made with our signature DICE craftsmanship and commitment to excellence."

So there we go, new Battlefront is coming. Let's hope for more Star Wars story-driven games too, along the lines of Dark Forces / Jedi Knight or the X-Wing series.

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Adventure Gamers has published a new interview with Bill as his A Vampyre Story: Year One Kickstarter hobbles past $32k. It's a satisfyingly massive article covering, if I'm not mistaken, every single moment of Bill's life, including the explanation for why over twelve months separated his initial tweet about the Kickstarter and its launch last weekend. There's some art in there, too.

Go read it. Then check out the latest updates for the Kickstarter to discover that there are some new tiers available at $20 and $40. A $20 dollar pledge gets you a free copy of A Vampyre Story and its splendid soundtrack. You'd be a fool to not be all over that. And you can tell you I said so.

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KOTOR released on iPad

31 May, 2013, 23:49 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: iTunes | Be the first to comment!
LucasArts / Bioware classic RPG 'Knights of the Old Republic' is now available for the iPad. It sells for US$9.99. The game was ported by Aspyr Media, who are responsible for a number of PC-to-Mac conversions, including KOTOR.

Joystiq have reviewed the iPad version here, if you want to know what's been updated to make it work on a touchscreen.

Perhaps this bodes well for further LucasArts classics that Aspyr ported to Mac previously, such as Jedi Outcast, making their way to the iPad in due course.
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ScummVM 1.6.0 is Available Now

31 May, 2013, 23:03 | Posted by: Jennifer | Comments: 3
ScummVM, the program that lets you play classic adventure games on modern computers, consoles, phones, and tablets, has been updated with support for four new engines, bringing support for six new games: 3 Skulls of the Toltecs, Eye of the Beholder, Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon, Hopkins FBI, Tony Tough and the Night of Roasted Moths, and The Journeyman Project: Pegasus Prime.

In addition to the new games, there's support for the Macintosh version of Discworld 1. And, of most relevance to Mojo readers, music is now improved in the Macintosh version of many LucasArts adventures. If you're not interested in Macintosh versions of adventure games, this version comes with major bugfixes to the bike fight sequences on Old Mine Road in Full Throttle.

There are also other changes included as well, such as an update to the latest Roland MT-32 emulation code, a new grid chooser for save games, an extended FluidSynth configuration dialog, and Belarusian, Finnish and Galician translations for the GUI dialogs.

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Why has Disney filed Maniac Mansion trademarks?

29 May, 2013, 11:46 | Posted by: Jason | Source: NeoGAF | Comments: 12
Some guy started a thread on NeoGAF, observing that Lucasfilm, now a Disney subsidiary, filed four trademarks for Maniac Mansion on May 22nd. You can find the USPTO links within; check out the goods and services that Disney is reserving the rights for under the Maniac Mansion name:

Goods and Services IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of sound or images; audio books; audio recordings; audio and visual recordings; video game software; computer programs and software; consumer electronics and accessories therefor; eyeglasses and sunglasses and accessories therefor; binoculars; decorative magnets; graduated rulers

Goods and Services IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: Clothing, footwear and headwear

Goods and Services IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Education and entertainment services

Goods and Services IC 016. US 002 005 022 023 029 037 038 050. G & S: Paper and paper articles; cardboard and cardboard articles; printed matter; publications; books; photographs; portraits; paintings; stationery; office and school supplies

While this shouldn't be necessarily interpreted as evidence that Disney is about to start pumping out Green Tentacle footwear, there does seem to be an education theme, doesn't there?

A few publications have picked up on the story, and there is some speculation that Disney is giving the classic game the HD remake treatment. While we advise against that kind of optimism, the NeoGAF guy makes a decent case for why Disney must be fixing to do something with the property and that this isn't just standard trademark renewal.

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Geek Exchange has lovingly complied a list of many of LucasArts' best loved older games and linked to the best places to purchase them. Some of the games are probably easier to find in the UK, Australia and New Zealand due to the relatively recent Activision re-releases under the LucasArts Classics banner.

It's the sort of thing we should probably do here at Mojo someday. Until that day though, enjoy Geek Exchange's hard work.

Feel free to add to the list in the Comments section if you know of more places to legally obtain these, and any other classic LucasArts games.
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Video Mashup Tribute

10 May, 2013, 23:45 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: YouTube | Comments: 1
LucasArts Fan Felipe Machado has put together a loving tribute to the SCUMM era by mashing up several classic characters and locations.

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And not just one sequel... potentially three more Gungan Frontier games!

Fusible has found a few new domain names that Lucasfilm has registered. There's a few interesting ones in here besides Gungan Frontier:

Now Lucasfilm, which was acquired by Disney last year, has registered a slew of new domain names that include titles like: Star Wars Alliance, Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars Wolf Pack, Wolf Pack Adventures, Order 67, Bothan Spies, Gungan Frontier 2, Gungan Frontier 3, Gungan Frontier 4, and Wookie Hunters.

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We're probably all about EA

06 May, 2013, 17:31 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: Star Wars Official Site | Comments: 19
Yeah, so this happened.

Lucasfilm Ltd. and Disney Interactive are entering into a multi-year, multi-title exclusive licensing agreement with Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) for the creation of new high quality Star Wars games spanning multiple genres for console, PC, mobile, and tablets.

"Exclusive"!? Holy sith.

Today it was announced that Lucasfilm Ltd. and Disney Interactive are entering into a multi-year, multi-title exclusive licensing agreement with Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) for the creation of new high quality Star Wars games spanning multiple genres for console, PC, mobile, and tablets.

Industry leaders and creators of best-in-class blockbuster games, the development and publishing teams at EA will collaborate with the creative teams at Lucasfilm to provide audiences with all-new gaming experiences set in the ever-expanding Star Wars galaxy. As part of the agreement, EA studio teams DICE (Battlefield series) and Visceral (Dead Space series) will join BioWare (Mass Effect series, Star Wars: The Old Republic) in the development of new Star Wars games.

"Our number one objective was to find a developer who could consistently deliver our fans great Star Wars games for years to come," said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. "When we looked at the talent of the teams that EA was committing to our games and the quality of their vision for Star Wars, the choice was clear."

While EA studios will develop for the core Star Wars gaming audience, Disney Interactive will focus on delivering new Star Wars games for casual audiences on mobile, social, tablet, and online gaming platforms.

"This agreement demonstrates our commitment to creating quality game experiences that drive the popularity of the Star Wars franchise for years to come," said John Pleasants, co-president of Disney Interactive. "Collaborating with one of the world's premier game developers will allow us to bring an amazing portfolio of new Star Wars titles to fans around the world."

"Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe," said EA Labels President Frank Gibeau. "Three of our top studios will fulfill that dream, crafting epic adventures for Star Wars fans. The new experiences we create may borrow from films, but the games will be entirely original with all new stories and gameplay."

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ScummVM release testing season is upon us again, as version 1.6.0 of the program that lets you play classic adventure games on modern platforms nears release. The ScummVM team needs your help testing the new games which will added to ScummVM this release: 3 Skulls of the Toltecs, Eye of the Beholder, Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon, Tony Tough and the Night of Roasted Moths, and The Journeyman Project: Pegasus Prime.

Additionally, they need your help testing Hopkins FBI, which will be added to ScummVM 1.6.0 only if they get testing results on several platforms for several versions of the game (which includes BeOS, OS/2, Linux and Windows). Also, in what is of the most interest to Mojo readers, they are looking for people to test Full Throttle.

So, if you have any of the games listed, help the team out by testing the game out using a daily build of ScummVM, posting any bugs you might find to their bug tracker, and reporting your findings on their forums, so they can update their 1.6.0 Release Testing page. Remember, stick to their release testing guidelines, and as always, happy adventuring!

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About a week or so ago some saintly nobody unleashed his collection of rare, vintage videos of LEC press coverage by a Los Angeles morning news station onto Youtube. Dave Grossman looks about seven. Prepare to freak out.

Update by Mr Manager: Fast forward 36 seconds into the first video to witness a "never" before seen scene from The Secret of Monkey Island. We assume the view is of the cannibal village. When confronted about the scene being cut, Ronzo had this to say: "We cut stuff all the time due to flow reasons. It's not always space. I don't remember the exact reason it went away."

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I don't know, felt like a good headline. Here are Chuck Jordan's feelings on the closure of LucasArts from his blog. It's a pointed and honest reflection on LEC's legacy from an ex-employee's perspective that somewhat takes to task the gushing sentiments around the web. What do you think?
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More LucasArts Memories

10 Apr, 2013, 08:07 | Posted by: Gabez | Comments: 3

There's been lots of reports about LucasArt's demise, but here are a few you may have missed:

I'm sure there's many more out there -- so if you know of any more good ones please post them in the comments.

Also, we're planning to make a LucasArts Memorial podcast. Please e-mail comments, thoughts, memories etc. to podcast [at] either as a sound file or a text message! If it's a sound file we will include it directly in the podcast. Thanks.

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