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LucasArts undergoes Major Restructuring 13 Aug, 2004, 23:26 / 16 comments

It's been a long time coming. Post-Episode 1 brain-drain, post-Simon Jeffery-era-crumbling, and post-Sam & Max 2-axing, the topic is always raised: "I bet next, LucasArts is going to shut down all their internal development and just become a Star Wars publisher." Well maybe they haven't done that yet entierly, and maybe that's not really their long term plan, but based on the statement released today, for now, they are pretty damn close.
LucasArts confirmed today a major restructuring of its development studio. It marks the first change within the company since Jim Ward took over as president in May. ?Since joining LucasArts in early May, I?ve taken a hard, critical look at our business. I?ve come to the conclusion that to make LucasArts thrive and to position ourselves for the long-term future, we need to make some fundamental changes.? [...] As a result of the restructuring, 31 people from the development studio were laid off as the company will be concentrating on fewer titles.
The 31 layoffs are almost entirely from internal teams working on unannounced games. The internal Republic Commando is still on schedule. Gamespot has a little more on the story.

We'd like to wish the best of luck to everyone let go by Lucasarts in the past couple days (and months). Hopefully we'll be hearing from (and writing about) you all very soon.
Comments: 16 / Source: WMI

Comments

  • GregD on 07 Sep, 2004, 14:26…
    In other words "lets axe everyone but those on the star wars teams!"
  • csenosiain on 14 Aug, 2004, 22:09…
    Laying off people working on unannounced games? They've learned their mistake, now they're axing adventure games BEFORE they announce them...
  • Jake on 15 Aug, 2004, 22:05…
    Because its guaranteed that those games were adventure games? ?
  • guybrushthedwarf on 14 Aug, 2004, 21:03…
    Is it a bad move ? No, I don't think so : LucasArts hasn't been able to federate inside the company talented people around interesting project for a long time now.
    The main question is : will they use their other licences (MI, DOTT,etc..) the way they sold the starwars licence for the past few years ?
    That would meant a LOT, but if that would allow studios generated by former LucasArts' employees to develop innovative sequels.
  • JBRAA on 14 Aug, 2004, 14:45…
    LOL, this decition is a mockery to the 20th celebration of LucasArts. Then, back in 2002, they wanted to restore their Golden Guy as a mark of excellence and quality. Now, they are saying something along the lines: "to make LucasArts thrive and to position ourselves for the long-term future, we need to make some fundamental changes", which means more or less that, "We're shit, we suck. To survive we must become a tough little cockroach that forces other game companies to create our games for us." Man, what do you say to a person like that? Why don't I see a press release from LucasArts saying, "We have been stupid for about 7 years, and hopefully now will be smarter."

    I'm all hard and critical to LucasArts of course.

    About this change, and upcomming changes, what really is the direction for the company? iNSAMELY good games, sounds like lies to me, cause I don't trust LucasArts that much really. I hope Battlefront and Rep. Commando will be iNSANELY good, and I've gotten used to the thought that "LucasArts" is "Star Wars games publisher", since the April or so.

    It would be really interesting to know what future changes, game wise, LucasArts will make. Like, what sort of games can you expect from them. I'm not sure if that Memmo, informed that much on the the future of the game product line. Any one can help out, fill in on details? Cause I don't know much.
  • csenosiain on 14 Aug, 2004, 22:14…
    What the hell where they supposed to say?"guess what? after 20 years we will now make sucky games, cancel all adventure games in development and become a Star Wars publisher instead of innovative developer"?
  • JBRAA on 14 Aug, 2004, 22:33…
    <> Well, they said what you said, but with better put words. And they don't have to say it, they've already done it, or in progress of doing it. Or Im I misreading you what you meant?
  • csenosiain on 14 Aug, 2004, 23:26…
    Yeah, I'm talking about back with the 20th anniversary, back when Full THrottle Hell On Wheels was in development, before we worried it was gonna suck, and S&M was a hopeful rumor. I know they've already done it, but I'm saying that they wouldn't have announced that back then.
  • JBRAA on 14 Aug, 2004, 16:21…
    I was a bit unclear.. To sum it up I mean why doesn't LucasArts make the company goal to make good games internally, instead of just make games externally? That should be their goal, and that is the mockery to the 20th celebration.
  • Jayel on 14 Aug, 2004, 02:14…
    I more or less see the statement as "internally developed games aren't making as much profit as externally developed games like Jedi Outcast or KOTOR, so we're shutting down all production and restructuring the company as a publisher"
  • Jake on 14 Aug, 2004, 13:37…
    Wrath Unleashed aside, all the most suspect games they've put out in the last year or so were the ones developed internally, so it's not that surprising.
  • jp-30 on 14 Aug, 2004, 18:24…
    And I'd imagine publishing Wraith Unleashed was part of the deal with The Collective for Emperor's Tomb.
  • jp-30 on 14 Aug, 2004, 00:06…
    Damn straight. And as Jake says in the story, if you're a new startup games company chock full of ex-LucasArts employees, it's a good bet mixnmojo will cover your progress. The excitement here when Vampyre's Story was announced, and the buzz regarding Psychonauts publishing deal & PC port were the most up this crowd's been since the, erm, announcement of Sam & Max 2.
  • Jake on 13 Aug, 2004, 23:33…
    In a lot of ways I think LucasArts is at a point where they really just needed to do this. I don't know if the entire thing was a good move, or if they did it in the best way possible, but I can't deny that it's refreshing to see actual change at LucasArts, with an actual goal attached to it.

    That said, I hope it works well enough that a couple years down the line they eventually pay someone smarter than any of us to make them some geniunely original games.
  • Udvarnoky on 14 Aug, 2004, 02:21…
    I dunno. I agree they probably needed to do this due to their current conditions but if their previous internally-developed games didn't completely suck it wouldn't have had to come to this.
  • jp-30 on 14 Aug, 2004, 06:13…
    And the irony being that from all reports, Sam & Max 2 *didn't* suck. :-(