Yesterday, Walt Disney confirmed that they’re shutting down the 30-year-old LucasArts studio (once known for humour-tinged adventure games like Secret of Monkey Island) that they inherited with the acquisition of George Lucas’ film company. The move to shut down LucasArts was due to the fact that they want to focus on licensing its Star Wars brand externally.
To that effect, there’s word that they will be laying off all employees in the studio’s San Francisco and Singapore offices. In fact, Miss Rasa Buckley (communications manager for Lucasfilm in Singapore) has confirmed that LucasArts staff in Singapore would be laid off. At time of writing, she was still unable to say how many were affected although the company was doing all it could for those who would be laid off. This includes transferring them to other positions in Lucasfilm if they were available.
In addition to that, Miss Rasa Buckley also said that the move is part of a strategy to shift away from developing the game titles externally and that in-house development of titles had been stopped. The company is now looking to transfer rights for the games to external parties for development, citing the “tremendous potential” of some of the titles, including the highly-anticipated Star Wars 1313.