Articles

LucasArts firing everyone? 12 Aug, 2004, 17:37 / 34 comments

"There is currently no plan to reduce staff."

Ron Gilbert's updated his blog today with a very short update titled "Major Layoffs at LucasArts?" We have no clue, but honestly would anyone be surprised? After the previous big layoff, the "No bonuses!! >:(" announcement, and other rumors that have been flying around, we're left wondering if there's anyone left in the building.

More on this if it develops.

Update: Ron Gilbert has come up with more info, which he may be making up off the top of his head, but probably isn't. "All internal projects canceled except one ( don't remember the name, probably something to do with Star Wars ). 50 people let go. Or, maybe I'm just making all this up because I'm bored..."

Update: Gamespot now has the story as well.

Comments

  • JBRAA on 13 Aug, 2004, 21:33…
    http://wwhs.fangames.co.uk/pictures2.php

    Fun to watch now when they are almost retro. I need a new wave of LEC fan art pictures to watch.
  • Udvarnoky on 14 Aug, 2004, 02:19…
    I totally second that. The submissions just stopped. Where's all the hate, guys?
  • csenosiain on 13 Aug, 2004, 21:32…
    I started worrying about LEC becoming a publishing house the moment I heard JKII wasn't being developed by them. Anyone else here remember when we got excited about ANY new LEC game, even Star Wars ones?

    When we waited for the next X-Wing game, the next MI, the next Dark Forces, etc. Those games were actually made by LEC.

    Now most of their good ones aren't even made by them just published, like JO, A+D, SWON, and others.

    This worries me because it may mean no more of the old classic serieses.
  • jp-30 on 14 Aug, 2004, 06:12…
    Wasn't X-Wing Alliance sort of out-of-house with Totally Games (who went on to revive the old-school "secret weapons" flight combat games and make SWON)?
  • csenosiain on 14 Aug, 2004, 22:03…
    Oh yeah, now that I checked the X-Wing games WERE made by Totally games.... But still, the Dark Forces games were made by LEC and were awesome, again, now most, if not all, recent LEC games were made by other companies, like JKII by Raven, etc.
  • calculon on 13 Aug, 2004, 17:54…
    On Gamespot: http://www.gamespot.com/news/2004/08/13/news_6104775.html

    They have one thing wrong though. Battlefront is and never was internal. It's always been developed by Pandemic.
  • jp-30 on 13 Aug, 2004, 19:13…
    So, is LucasArts now strictly a publishing house as we all suspect, or does Jim Ward plan to rebuild the (creative aspect of the) company from the ground up?
  • Remi O on 13 Aug, 2004, 21:02…
    Well, they're scaling in-house development "way back" according to GameSpot. How can it be scaled back more than it already is without virtually stopping in-house development bar an occasional third-rate Star Wars title? ?

    It might not be all horrible if they oursource some of their other franchises (be it Maniac Mansion or Monkey Island or whatever), but it certainly look like the time truly is up now for LEC's own, original products.
  • Jake on 13 Aug, 2004, 21:14…
    There were one or two other in-house titles in early development that were axed apparently ??? But surely Monkey Island 5 Grim Fandango 2 is the next internal project after Rep. Commando.
  • calculon on 13 Aug, 2004, 20:58…
    They will rebuild the internal studio after RC is out the door. They are going to do it very deliberately, starting with probably one title at a time.

    Until then, there will be more layoffs.
    Stay tuned. :)
  • Remi O on 13 Aug, 2004, 21:03…
    So much for good news. :~
  • jp-30 on 13 Aug, 2004, 22:55…
    Well, I guess I'm ever-so-slightly slightly optimistic. INSANE games and all that. Quality over Quantity.

    We've been moaning about (in-house) LucasArts output for a number of years, and now they're looking to actually do something about it.

    And I've got Psychonauts & Vampyre's Story (plus Ron's game & Telltale Games) to hold up the legacy of LucasArts in the interim.

    (still bitter about Sam & Max though)
  • cappuchok on 13 Aug, 2004, 03:30…
    Too bad. I sort of hoped the "only internal title" would be Sam & Max Freelance Police. Oh well... :(
  • Udvarnoky on 13 Aug, 2004, 17:57…
    What?
  • calculon on 13 Aug, 2004, 00:29…
    - Mike Nelson quit about two weeks ago.
    - Randy Breen (VP of Dev), RJ Berg (EP), Daron Stinnett (EP) and Mike Lampell (Dir of Tech) were laid off Monday.
    - Michael Stemmle, Jon Knoles and Kevin Boyle (all Directors) were laid off yesterday.
    - Two teams have been effectively laid off today, leaving only Republic Commando as the only internal title in development.
    - Peter Hirschman (Producer on SWON) is new VP of Development.

  • Dalixam on 13 Aug, 2004, 05:14…
    How do you know this?
  • jp-30 on 13 Aug, 2004, 00:36…
    Wow.

    So that Episode 3 game that they're promo-ing on the SW DVDs is toast?
  • calculon on 13 Aug, 2004, 01:18…
    No, it's still going. It's very much an external title now, developed by The Collective.

    Only a handful of people continue to be involved on LucasArts' end.
  • jp-30 on 12 Aug, 2004, 21:46…
    Well, if they've all but stopped internal development (as Ron says, and as the names in the Gamespot piece tend to suggest), maybe they'll flog off the Sam & Max code as there's absolutetly zero use for it in-house now.
  • Udvarnoky on 12 Aug, 2004, 22:47…
    As I've said before, they're going to horde the resources so that they can make a variation of the Freelance Police engine for other games.
  • jp-30 on 13 Aug, 2004, 05:45…
    But... they appear to be becoming soley a publisher, with no 'other games' to speak of.

    A poster on Ron's blog reveals (though obviously unsubstantiated);

    "I'm talking to my super secret inside source right now. Exactly thirty-one people were laid off. Only two projects survived, both Star Wars games: Republic Commando and Galaxies. The finishing touches are still being done on KOTOR 2, as well. KOTOR 3 has been axed for the time being, apparently it was being done internally. And at the meeting today, Jim Ward expressed a desire to revive the Indiana Jones franchise. "Indiana Jones has not been exploited at all!" he said, according to my contact. "Men want to be him, and the women want him!" Whatever you say, Jim. The meeting also revealed that they'll be down to forty people by October..."

    :-/
  • calculon on 13 Aug, 2004, 17:47…
    More than just two games survived. Republic Commando is the only internal title left though.

    Here's the official announcement http://www.lucasarts.com/press/releases/92.html
  • Udvarnoky on 13 Aug, 2004, 16:38…
    They're still not going to sell those resources.
  • JBRAA on 12 Aug, 2004, 18:10…
    In April 2004, there were 418 employees according to GameSpot (Not 430 that is written on the LucasArts website). Then LucasArts layed off 29 people. 418-29= 389

    Now, August 2004 50 more people being layed off (a guessed number) makes it 389-50= 339
    A total of 79 people from April till now. Though, this math is not including iSANE Jim Ward and probably more others going into the company.

    The "Vice President of Finance & Administration", Mike Nelson, is still there it seems, cause there are no openings at in the
    Finance section at LucasArts jobpage.
  • Oystein on 12 Aug, 2004, 17:41…
    When did Ron create that website actually? I can't seem to remember reading about it being opened. I probably missed it...
  • jp-30 on 12 Aug, 2004, 16:22…
    Just like in the old days!

    http://www.mixnmojo.com/php/news/showfile.php?id=1612&category=lucasartsnews
  • Udvarnoky on 12 Aug, 2004, 17:09…
    Except back then they made good games, too.
  • jp-30 on 12 Aug, 2004, 16:32…
    Uhh. This was supposed to be a reply to Udvarnoky. :-\
  • Udvarnoky on 12 Aug, 2004, 15:58…
    LucasArts is going to end up solely publishing Star Wars games by 3rd party developers.
  • Bobo Donkey? on 13 Aug, 2004, 14:09…
    Yes. True. How very true thats gonna be. Erm... DRINK.