LucasArts staff were informed of the shutdown this morning, according to a reliable Kotaku source. About 150 people were laid off, and both of the studio’s current projects—Star Wars: First Assault and Star Wars 1313—were cancelled. Disney will still use the LucasArts name to license games, but the studio has been shut down for good.
Disney is saying their current games could be licensed out to a different publisher or developer, but according to Kotaku’s source, that’s unlikely. The source says Lucas has pursued the option for “one or both games,” but nothing happened. “With the teams now basically being dispersed I think both games are effectively dead forever,” the source said.
A second source also told Kotaku that the chances of Lucas licensing out 1313 are very slim. The odds are “effectively zero,” the source said.
“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,” LucasArts parent company LucasFilm said in a statement. “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.”
This comes after weeks and months of rumors involving the studio, which was acquired by Disney last fall. In September, LucasArts put a freeze on all hiring and product announcements, which many staff saw as the beginning of the end. In February, rumors spread that the studio might be shuttered. Today, it’s official: the iconic development house is gone along with all other projects.