The Walt Disney Company made a surprise announcement Wednesday (April 3), saying they are closing the legendary LucasArts video game developer and publisher, USA Today reports. Disney intends to license out work on future games to other companies, rather than having LucasArts create them in house.
A statement from the video game developer says the closing will require layoffs. "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," it reads.
Disney Interactive, the company's video game publisher, released a statement of their own, saying it "looks forward to working with Lucasfilm on new games opportunities that leverage their incredible IP (intellectual property) and brings it to life across gaming platforms."
With the closing, LucasArts says all current game development has been "halted." That includes projects like the highly-anticipated "Star Wars 1313," which was introduced at the 2012 E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) conference.
Disney purchased Lucasfilm last October, and immediately announced they planned to release more "Star Wars" films, with J.J. Abrams on-board to direct "Episode VII." LucasArts was founded in 1982 and in addition to "Star Wars" games, is known for iconic titles like "The Secret of Monkey Island" and "Maniac Mansion."
Photo/Video credit: LucasArts