Disney wants to license games like Star Wars: The Old Republic, not make them.
The heyday of LucasArts is long past. It's been a long time since the George Lucas startup began making extremely well-designed games in the 1990s like X-Wing and Day of the Tentacle, but many were cautiously optimistic about the upcoming Star Wars 1313. But since the blockbuster purchase in fall 2012 in which Disney gobbled up all of Lucas' holdings for $4 billion, the question has always loomed of what would happen to LucasArts. A spokesperson revealed today that all operations would close effective immediately and that LucasArts would concentrate on licensing Star Wars or other properties out to other developers. It's unclear what will come of presently operating online games that already hold the license, such as Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is the only massively-multiplayer online game with a Free-to-Play option that puts you at the center of your own story-driven Star Wars saga. Play as a Jedi, a Sith, a Bounty Hunter or as one of many other Star Wars iconic roles and explore an age over three-thousand years before the classic films. Become the hero of your own Star Wars adventure as you choose your path down the Light or Dark side of the Force.
"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," the statement said. "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."
We've reached out to representatives from EA and LucasArts to confirm whether this news will affect Star Wars: The Old Republic in any way. Based on how Electronic Arts has hundreds of million invested in developing the game based on the license already, I'm sure there was a deal in place for such a contingency. Either that, or SWTOR will go the way of Alderaan.
"It's as if a million voices cried out at once and then were suddenly silent."
Source: Game Informer