End of the line. Don’t worry Manny, we enjoyed the trip.
Listen, I’m not the world’s biggest Star Wars fan, but I’ll always respect the hell out of George Lucas for founding LucasArts.
Lucas treated video games as a legitimate art form worthy of respect at a time when absolutely nobody else was, and encouraged his talented team at LucasArts to push the boundaries of what the medium was capable of. In a lot of ways most of the video game industry is still trying to catch up to what LucasArts was doing in the 80s and 90s.
Disney on the other hand has had a mostly lousy history with video games, farming their movie and cartoon games out to whoever could get the job done cheapest and fastest. Occasionally they teamed with someone like Capcom and a few good games resulted, but I’m willing to bet on that being mostly luck.
Most gamers were justifiably worried Disney buying Lucasfilm could only mean bad things for LucasArts, and now those fears have been borne out — Disney has shut down LucasArts…
Star Wars: First Assault and the very promising looking Star Wars 1313 have been cancelled. Over 150 people will be losing their jobs.
LucasArts is of course best known loved for it’s classic PC adventure games like Maniac Mansion, the Monkey Island series and Grim Fandango, and rightfully so — those games not only reinvented the adventure genre, but laid the groundwork for today’s more sophisticated, story-heavy titles.
It wasn’t all adventure games though — LucasArts’ Star Wars and Indiana Jones games were usually much better than they needed to be. Come on, who didn’t have some fun with Episode I: Racer, Rogue Squadron or Battlefront back in the day?
But hey, let’s desperately look for a silver lining, shall we? Now that Disney have brushed LucasArts aside like so much table scraps, maybe they’d be willing to sell the rights to some of the old LucasArts adventure games for cheap? Ron Gilbert has expressed interest in buying back Monkey Island — hopefully it’ll happen!
It’s not going to happen, is it? Sigh. F–k you Disney.