LucasArts Closing Dooms Star Wars Battlefront Rebirth
Add yet another unhappy chapter in the storied tale of Star Wars: Battlefront. Disney has officially shut down LucasArts and in doing so has cancelled both Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault, the latter a game that might’ve served as a launch platform for a rebirth of the Star Wars: Battlefront franchise. Here’s the official statement from LucasArts via Game Informer.
“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. 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.”
There had been a renewed interest by the public in LucasArts since the announcement of Star Wars: First Assault, a Call of Duty-esque shooter covered in a Star Wars aesthetic, but most of the news that accompanied the leaked information presented a grim situation. Since acquiring the studio, Disney had done basically nothing with it, and there had been rumors that the situation was absolutely in turmoil. All that said, this outcome is not surprising. It’s disappointing and our hearts go out to those laid off in this situation, but LucaArts had not produced a veritable hit since the Monkey Island series, despite having access to both the Indiana Jones and Star Wars franchises.
Those still looking to get their fix in a galaxy far, far away can enjoy other Star Wars based games such Star Wars: The Old Republic and, well, there’s actually not much else at this point in time. Despite the eternal popularity of the Star Wars franchise, it’s becoming increasingly clear that it’s either not lucrative to make games based on the universe, or companies are just not making the games well enough for them to sell. Even Star Wars: The Old Republic, despite massive initial hype, was forced to conform to the seemingly standard free-to-play setup that is becoming an increasingly common fixture in the MMORPG industry.
What’s on the horizon for the Star Wars universe? It’s tough to say, as video games go. While there’s a whole new set of movies slated for release in the future, the video game situation is more akin to the end of Empire Strikes Back. Luke’s had his hand cut off, Han is frozen in carbonite and this deal is getting worse all the time.