April 5, 2013
Disney Fires Lucasarts’ Game Sector
I hate you, Disney.
When Walt Disney founded his empire in the early 40s on the elements of open source movies and animation, he broke the moment. Like the god of our imaginations that he is, Disney made it clear that his goal to conquer the world with sunshine and farts was sound. Disney died a busy man with decades of plans and ambitions to achieve, stories and innovations for animation that were never elaborated upon.
Be that as it may, Disney’s legacy works like a power train in popular media even today. That power train roars “Beyond, and ABOVE,” as it steamrolls down the tracks of success. The fundamentals of 2D animation were abandoned in the 90s, and now Disney concentrates on 3D animation, which is still considered flawed when held in comparison to technological feats that we still haven’t overcome, such as prolonged video rendering times.
This is Disney in the 21st century.
Now on to Lucasarts.
George Lucas garnered his popularity from his then-one hit wonder science fiction odyssey, Star Wars. Star Wars is still considered one of the greatest cultural achievements in American cinema, spanning a handful of successful independent sequels and storylines in games, books, and finally fan fiction. George Lucas is a shining example of what modern filmmakers can achieve when they set their minds to ultimate goals. Lucas treaded across Hollywood for months before his original script was picked up by Fox for production.
He founded Lucasarts around this same time. Apart from his pay, which was considerable, Lucas demanded only one thing; that he own all of the merchandising rights to Star Wars. Fox naively accepted these terms, and the next thirty years would be Lucas’ doing.
Sadly, Lucas never utilized the series the way that I would have preferred. He waited decades before releasing the second trilogy of Star Wars, which would be a prequel series, explaining the origins of Darth Vader.
I don’t have much respect for George Lucas because of this. But who am I, other than a petty blogger?
Two worlds collide
In recent events, Disney has bought out the merchandising rights to Star Wars for a hefty sum from George Lucas. My initial reaction to this was anger; I felt that this was his legacy, and ultimately should never have been given away for any reason.
The argument was made that Disney would be able to reboot the franchise and offer an improved trilogy for future generations to enjoy. With respect to that goal, they have yet to screw up. However, I hold the videogame sector of Lucasarts near and dear to my heart.
Because great games have come from Lucasarts (Jedi Knight, The Force Unleashed, etc.), that’s why. Disney has recently ‘let go’ of their videogame sector of Lucasarts, effectively laying off over 150 employees that were developing Star Wars 1313 and the arcade game Assault Horizon. I have only a blank expression and “I told you so” to offer to any and all nay-sayers.
I had high hopes for Disney’s management, and now, I’ve lost a bit of faith for the future of Star Wars.
Most of my experience from the lore of the series came from the games. Jedi Academy allowed me to see the future for Luke Skywalker leading the new Jedi Order to a brighter future. KOTOR allowed me to see Jedi and Sith before the likes of Yoda and Darth Maul settled in.
This doesn’t mean that Star Wars won’t exist, since Disney still plans to hold merchandising rights from developers to create games in the series, but a serious blow has been done to a large part of the franchise.
My condolences go out to the developers of Star Wars 1313, who showed a very promising game for next generation consoles last year, as well as to the developers of the Assault Horizon.
We were so close.
Image Credit: Photos.com