So, if you’ve already liked the 1K Crew Facebook Page, then you’ve probably already seen my link to Kotaku’s article about Disney letting LucasArts go. Basically, this article states that Disney has laid off nearly 150 people off and that their two current projects(Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault) are cancelled. They do technically reserve the right to license these titles out to other developers but that is very unlikely to happen. Apparently, Disney has “decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model.” Much like Obi-Wan, when I read this article I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I feared that something terrible had happened.
Now, I personally LOVED so many of the games with the LucasArts “Gold Guy” opening and I could probably say that if it wasn’t for LucasArts games, I wouldn’t nearly have been the gamer I am now. While everyone else was wasting hours away on their N64 in Hyrule, I was saving the galaxy from the Galactic Empire one Tie Fighter at a time. At this time, I was still a casual gamer so I was hard pressed to find a game that held my attention enough to play all the way through to completion. I think Star Wars: Rogue Squadron was actually the first game that I ever beat(I was a late bloomer, so sue me). I won’t even mention the hours I spent trying to beat Boba Fett in Shadows of the Empire or Sebulba in Episode I: Racer.
I can easily remember the moment I realised that I had become a ‘hardcore’ gamer circa 2003. It was summer, nearly my birthday. I had been so impatiently waiting for the release of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. You can ask VaderFan. We cycled through countless KotOR backgrounds for our computers in the Cybercorps class we shared. I still have a terrible drawing of HK-47 that I did based off of a screenshot in an old GameInformer. As much as I had anticipated KotOR’s release, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had only just recently started playing D&D 3.0 so I was very new to roleplaying. KotOR was the first game that I played and replayed numerous times, back to back, for the story alone. That ‘moment of infamy’ was when I first *SPOILER* realised that I(the character) WAS Darth Revan the whole time *END SPOILER*. Ever since, I have searched for other games to pull such emotional ties as KotOR did and as small as that list is, KotOR still sits very high(just behind the first Mass Effect). With that, I can easily say that I owe a lot of my gaming life to LucasArts and they will be missed, but that’s not all I have to say. There is still a future.
As I mentioned before Disney has shifted their focus of LucasArts from internal development to a licensing model. My first thought is that I hope the Star Wars RPG that Obsidian had pitched LucasArts a while ago can get developed. This might also allow for more amazing third-party-developed Star Wars games. Both KotOR and Battlefront were not developed by LucasArts themselves. They were developed by BioWare and Pandemic, respectively, who oddly enough merged sometime after these games had released. LucasArts being forced to close their doors also sparked Raven to release their source code for Star Wars: Jedi Knight II and Jedi Academy finally allowing for modders to be able to more easily make mods for these games. My speculation is that this could possibly spark enough interest for Disney to consider another Jedi Knight game. (How amazing would that be!) These are my hopes despite Disney having said that they were more likely to focus on social/mobile as opposed to console releases.
With that, here’s to hoping for the best. May the force be with you!