I honestly thought it was an April Fools joke.
But no, it’s real. Disney has shut down Lucas Arts as a game publisher, and canceled high profile projects like Star Wars: First Assault, and the heavily anticipated Star Wars: 1313.
My initial reaction is to torch them – which I’ll do briefly by saying WHAT THE HELL, 1313 was looking amazing, and if they were going to “right the ship,” I thought that would involve, you know, actually righting the ship, rather than just cancelling projects on what seems like (but almost certainly isn’t) a gut reaction.
But then I thought about it, and I realized…Kinect Star Wars. *shudders*
Seriously though, what has Lucas Arts done lately? Their games have been totally lackluster, whenever they get around to actually release them. Their development woes, internal struggle, and failure to produce work have been well documented as of late. Is it disappointing that gamers probably will never see these titles or catch these unique glimpses into the Star Wars universe? Definitely. More sad is the fact that the developer of some of my most beloved titles is dead. But they’re not what they used to be – which I think is clear to most fans now – and a decision was made based on the present and the future, not the past. It’s sort of hard to fault Disney for that.
This won’t stop fans from lambasting Disney and calling it the new EA (aka one of the most hated companies on the planet), but let’s stop for a second and consider how well Disney has handled its other properties, including Marvel. Before we get out the pitchforks, let’s see how their plan plays out. Recent cancellations of The Clone Wars, and now the dissolving of Lucas Arts, don’t initially bode well, but I’m willing to see what happens down the road. Allegedly, there’s a Clone Wars follow up in the works, including arches not yet explored in the series, and development that director David Filoni is very enthusiastic about.
Time will tell, but let’s hold off on the anger, at least before we know more.