LucasArts president resigns

Jim Ward quits his post at the Star Wars game publisher, citing personal reasons.

When Jim Ward took over the reins at LucasArts as its president in 2004, he inherited a company that had been struggling to shed its dependence on the iconic Star Wars franchise. Seeing that efforts such as Gladius, Armed and Dangerous, RTX: Red Rock, and Wrath Unleashed failed to establish any brand capable of ringing up sales like George Lucas' galaxy far, far away, Ward embraced the profitable side of the Force.

LucasArts' Jim Ward.

However, Ward's tenure at LucasArts is coming to an end. As reported by Kotaku, the executive has resigned from his post with the publisher, citing personal reasons, and is expected to finish up his tenure in a couple of weeks. A LucasArts representative confirmed the news for GameSpot and said that Ward informed his company on Monday.

Ward will be replaced on an interim basis by Howard Roffman, a 25-year veteran of the LucasFilm organization. Roffman has most recently been serving as the company's head of licensing and legal, where he has spent years working with the gaming division. According to the representative, a search for Ward's permanent replacement has already begun.

Under Ward's direction, LucasArts enjoyed some success publishing original games such as the first Mercenaries game and the Thrillville series, but it has thrived by sticking to the old standards. By LucasArts' own assessment, Star Wars: Battlefront II is the most successful game in the franchise's history, and Ward's tenure has also produced hits such as Knights of the Old Republic II, Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, and the PlayStation Portable exclusive Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron.

The coming years could be brighter still for the publisher, with a slate of anticipated projects including Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Indiana Jones games (both standard and Lego-flavored), a possible new franchise in Fracture, and a mystery massively multiplayer online game being developed by original Knights of the Old Republic studio BioWare.

Ward is also stepping down as the executive vice president of LucasFilm, where he oversaw much of the marketing effort for the theatrical and DVD releases of the Star Wars prequel trilogy. In addition, he sits on the Entertainment Software Association's board of directors.

As of press time, an ESA representative had not responded to GameSpot's request for comment on Ward's status with the organization.

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Discussion

180 comments
planetgloom
planetgloom

Whats happened to that new Indiana Jones game. The movies been and pretty much gone and still no new since 2006!! Still at least Force Unleashed is looking very tasty and Lego Indiana Jones does rule!!

flushedorgen
flushedorgen

cover system and exploding earth thats all i care about

H-A-V-O-K
H-A-V-O-K

I've never really heard of this guy. apparently he never did anything that great...

namdead01
namdead01

I don't even know who this guy is.

red_eye
red_eye

MMMOG man i would love that . I think would match up to the FF:XI and WOW . if it went online

nimrod2685
nimrod2685

oh and both the exile and revan should be customizable party members in kotor 3. just a thought.

nimrod2685
nimrod2685

what we really need is gladius 2. seriously, that game had so much untapped potential. and im not being sarcastic.

jedimasterjl
jedimasterjl

I think the public have spoken, and this is nothing compared to the millions of others who need KOTOR 3 like us. MAKE THE DAMN GAME ALREADY!!!

15Ocelot
15Ocelot

Evereone needs KOTOR 3. We need it on PC and Xbox 360!!

JEDI_HUSTLA
JEDI_HUSTLA

I think the Lucas Arts. team should reconsider in making KOTOR 3. I've actually started on my own version of the sequel.

Recondite505
Recondite505

If this guy is the reason the KOTOR 3 development team got let go then I am happy he is leaving.

7121984
7121984

What now will happen to the force unleash?

jaredcrazy3232
jaredcrazy3232

how about making those "promised" adventure game sequels.

jammer06
jammer06

i hope this game is better on the wii system

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

I think Bioware should just go ahead and make Mass Effect 2! :P Haha, I just finished it the other day and it's gonna drive me crazy waiting for the second one!

Ryusennin
Ryusennin

"Ward's tenure at LucasArts is coming to an end." At long last. Not that Lucas is going to be a better company after his step-down, but every tidbit of bad news about Lucas is good to hear!

ChuckNorris82
ChuckNorris82

Yeah, I wonder when Bioware will make KOTOR 3?? But Force Unleashed will be awsome!!!

jedimasterjl
jedimasterjl

Force unleashed will rock, but WHERE is KOTOR 3??? ! ! ! ! ! ! !

zeke2040
zeke2040

i can't wait for star war: The force unleashed... its a most have...

R-Force
R-Force

Hmm... the force it's strong with this one. :?

irishartist
irishartist

Does this mean the Force Unleashed is coming to PC. well at least I can hope.

bildo2020
bildo2020

Could this mean the triumphant return of Adventure games!? Lets hope so, Monkey Island FTW baby.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

If he also quits the ESA, then there must be some sort of health issue or other family issue that is holding him back. Or maybe he sees a downward slope for the industry? Either way he's helped to bring us some great games so... THANKS!

sellardwellar
sellardwellar

they need a little mix up at that comapany... i mean whats the deal they have the best franchise to make games off of and they keep messing it up... hopefully unleasehed will be everything im jhoping it to be...

BringTheBlood
BringTheBlood

this could be bad for the company, i mean he did a lot for them. and now that hes gone im thinking they are going back to their old ways. which isnt something i think they wanna do. but we'll see.

mrkame16
mrkame16

Oh well! so..what else is new? no wonder mercenaries 2 is delayed.

thibbledorfP
thibbledorfP

This guy oversaw some great games like Wrath Unleashed, and Armed and Dangerous. They weren't that successful because strange games can sometimes turn away customers before they try it. It's a shame. It is very unlikely IMO that a new president is going to produce more adventure games. LucasArts did produce great adventures back in the day, but they did not stop because they decided it was unprofitable. It was because the genre became less popular and less profitable with fans. That has not changed.

GoldenRamoth
GoldenRamoth

the need a new battlefront for the wii/360/BS3. Then they need to bring x-wing/tie fighter games back. (like some people said) A new mercenaries would be awesome, and then like the article said, they need to bring out some different games than starwars. Of course, it is lucas arts, George lucas made starwars. so Duh there.

FTB_Screamer
FTB_Screamer

One of the things he definitely failed at was bringing back Lucas Arts adventure games. They where maters at it and created some of the best. Grim Fandango, Mokey Island and the list goes on. I hope the one who takes over releases this.

Nicolas00-0g
Nicolas00-0g

I just hope that he fix these personal problems.

des_kong
des_kong

YES! I totally agreed with LancerVI "They need to bring back X-Wing series and the Tie Fighter Series" Hope some one in Luasarts will really look at this and consider...

jazziey
jazziey

StarWar's game's pwn

alberto2045
alberto2045

is this going to be bad for the company?

bennie12
bennie12

1 more thing. Kotor 3 must happen. The best case scenario is that Obsidian and Bioware TEAM up to take it on. It also would be good to have the MAIN FRIGGEN CHARACTER ACTUALLY TALK. Also they should take all the 1 charcters and join them with all the 2 characters like Bastila meeting the Exile at the end of 2. GO REVAN!!!

bennie12
bennie12

Kotor 2 was quite good, not as good as the original but very excellent nonetheless. The story line is phenomanal, along with the characters. Anyway, maybe it was just his time to go.

lando321
lando321

Too bad our own pres didn't resign a couple years ago...................

Iemander
Iemander

What's wrong with you people, this game did nothing right. Games like KOTOR 2 fell too much under the radar, feeling second rate all the way through. Not to mention that LA designed **** LA merely gave the license for Star Wars with Obsidian doing all the work on these games. This is crap, some nobody with a desk full of useless administrative papers gets fired and it gets a note on the front page, while the hard working developers that create the quality rarely see any sunshine.

sonictank
sonictank

very sad news indeed but i agree with boobush or it could mean doom for lucasarts

boobush
boobush

Honestly you can put any monkey in a suit and call it president, don't we have one until November? Anyway, it doesn't mean LucasArts doesn't exist anymore, it means a new better era could begin.

gamer-clemm
gamer-clemm

Sad to here that Ward's resigning. Anyway I just hope that LucasArts makes Knights of the Old Republic III.

AceCometh
AceCometh

As long as George Lucas doesn't take the reigns and screw it up like he's done to everything else he's messed with lately. I wonder what Kenny Baker's doing.....

RebelMac
RebelMac

Well. Yep. SW Galaxies became a crap. It was a wonderful game a long time ago... As a fan I am still worried about The Force Unleashed... And new Clone Wars animated (CG) series. Expanded Universe is stretching...

DFTricks
DFTricks

To much starwars for him :P

tony2077ca
tony2077ca

hurry up and release a game i would want to play