LucasArts scales down internal dev staff - Report

Star Wars studio said to have trimmed some 85 positions in advance of The Force Unleashed II's October 26 release.

In the past couple of months, Rockstar Games, Sony Online Entertainment, Firaxis, Realtime Worlds, and Ubisoft have all sent staff packing, for reasons ranging from studio bankruptcies to the ever-popular "realignment of resources." Now, it appears as if one more studio can be added to that list, as Kotaku reports today that approximately 60 developers and 25 external production and QA staff have been shown the door at Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II developer-publisher LucasArts.

It isn't a Force choke, but it still smarts.

The layoffs reportedly follow on from the completion of The Force Unleashed II, which is due to arrive for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PSP, Wii, and DS on October 26. In a statement provided to the news site, LucasArts confirmed the layoffs, saying that the reductions do not signal an end for the company's internal development efforts.

"LucasArts is reorganizing its teams to better address the needs of the internal studio. Unfortunately, this means adjusting staffing," LucasArts reportedly said in a statement. "LucasArts continues to be committed to creating a first-class internal studio--and to fostering relationships with trusted external partners--in order to deliver quality games that amaze and inspire fans."

Notably, LucasArts enacted a similar round of layoffs following the completion of the original Force Unleashed, which went on to sell more than 7 million units following its September 2008 launch. The Star Wars house has also taken measures to strengthen its internal development operations, announcing last month that it had signed on former Ubisoft Montreal creative director Clint Hocking to lead development on a new, unannounced project.

LucasArts had not responded to GameSpot's request for comment as of press time. For more on The Force Unleashed II, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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83 comments
Ardain
Ardain

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

tidusjeff
tidusjeff

" Absolutely. The whole notion among conservatives (which was essentially what all Americans were in that time period by todays standards)" @MattyWoah I'm taking a guess you never heard of those key figures in the founding of the US that didn't believe that it was the best thing to form an establishment that relied on people being taxed to death, worship a god, and the government. That was reserved for not only the puritans who stressed on social mores, also federalists who thought it was the best thing in the world to force people to pay them money for the hole they dug because England taxing colonial America to the extreme. Those people, molded the statusquo that shaped the american economy and territory. Theirs a difference between what the liberal democractic-republicans wanted and what the Federalist wanted.

supernaught360
supernaught360

@MattyWoah It isn't so much that private corporations could be more "trusted", but that private corporations (unlike big government) are controlled directly by the people. They rely on our dollars to sustain themselves, and with our dollars, they succeed or fail (unlike big government which can FORCE you to pay for services you may not even benefit from).

nonfanboygamer1
nonfanboygamer1

All the layoffs sucks. Hopefully some of the people could join together and maybe form a new company. In a perfect world

wyzemann
wyzemann

So, LucasArts takes out well placed ads for "upcoming star wars game", hires a horde of talented people, overwork/underpay them during an average development cycle, and subsequently terminates them 2 months b4 the big games are released (twice in a row). All of this " reorganizing its teams " talk, and the damn games still cost $60 at all major retail outlets while receiving average to above average overall reviews. Tell me, when will we gamers get down to the business of ardently demanding better prices/deals for our beloved pastime before the computer gaming industry implodes from excessively self-serving and greedy business practices?

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

wow its amazing to see the anti lucasarts postings going on... Oh well It is always sad to see a publisher cut back on their production staff but in these tough times its not too surprising to see. Current job trends predicted for the future looks to be more aiming for free agent type of contractors that a corporation hires to do projects for them. I can see good sides to this way of thinking and bad. Lets just hope that these experts are wrong huh?

MattyWoah
MattyWoah

@tidusjeff Absolutely. The whole notion among conservatives (which was essentially what all Americans were in that time period by todays standards) was that private corporations could be more trusted in running virtually any business. If the people running our government were the best and the brightest, big business would steal them away, because private business can afford to pay much, much more. We are in much, much more trouble than most people could even wrap their minds around, and it would take a complete restructuring of everything we have ever known to 'fix' it.

tidusjeff
tidusjeff

"The federal reserve is puzzle that nobody seems to be able to solve. " @MattyWoah The more I read about the federal reserve, the more it makes me think that woodrow wilson, TR, Taft, progressives, and neo cons are as mentally disabled as alexander hamilton regardless of how many people bow down to them. After the federalist came to power in the early years of the US that really showed that everyone else is doomed no matter how hard people like jackson or cleveland tried to branch out of that establishment.

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

the only locus art game i liked was zombies ate my nieghbors and sw

kennythomas26
kennythomas26

hey thats to bad about the news, and for everyone that is looking for sequel to some games like SW:battlefront3 that might be a little hard cause last time I checked lukusarts was just the publisher and pandemic was the developer and guess what pandemic has gone for about 3 or 4 years now. Ig you guys want a new SW:Battlefront they will have to talk to another like Dice or someone like them. For a KOTOR3 apparently thats is all included in SW:the old republic cause it not just a mmo it has single player for those people may not have internet or a good connection, that is what I heard but yeah it is basically an mmo, and I was one of those guys that is waiting fo KOTOR3 but I heard that it is all in SW: the old republic. I am hoping for all the delays that they've been having means that it might make its way to the consoles, oh yeah I hope most of you guys that have played the KOTOR series realize that the first one was developed Bioware and the second was by Obsidian, and if don't beleave me I have both games and still play them once in a while on my 360. So peace.

Reilly86
Reilly86

Maybe now they will stop making countless star wars games and get back to making classics like as 'Fate of Atlantis' and 'Day of the Tenticle'.

penpusher
penpusher

ahh i see laying off staff because they cant afford them ... normally i dont go for this kind of "anti-corporation" stuff but maybe if each of the highly paid exec's gave up 20,000 of their big bonuses that'd be used to keep a few more people in the job,,,, I dont get todays society, i know we're all in dire financial straits but when theres money to be saved its always the lowest earners that are axed or have their pay cut but the richer people at the top dont make any sacrifice, they dont take a pay cut, they dont lay any of themselves off, no, if anything their earnings go UP ... sorry to rant but if the average person has to make sacrifices why should the richer of us not make sacrifices to?

Ardain
Ardain

Hey LucusArts you have a few Adventure games that would be great for the Nintendo DS and Wii. Like Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle and other great games. The way your going is burning out a series which is at it's prime but, it wouldn't be a first time you did it.

Lohesh
Lohesh

I want another jedi knight and sw battlefront.

hvypetals
hvypetals

i wish lucas arts would make an pure flight sim title again instead of releasing all the old crap nobody wants anymore.

cynicalundead
cynicalundead

Clearly the powers that be at Lucas Arts have given into the dark side. :(

Zoomer30
Zoomer30

Pretty much a given in the game dev world anymore. "Teams" are only teams until their games come out, then they are done. They work here a few years, over there a few years. About the only people who stay on are the idea people.

MarcJL31
MarcJL31

Sad to see staff go especially after they complete sure to great game based off of early impressions and the success of the first. Oh and Battlefronts 3 neeeds to come out please.

barkman87
barkman87

New Rogue Squadron and Battlefront 3!!! (neither of which has a version on the next-gen systems)

maxx1458
maxx1458

Lucasarts knows its can shovel out a huge turd, put the star wars name on it and make bank. No need to keep a well staffed development team when thats been your policy for years.

Freakboy15
Freakboy15

Battlefront 3, Yes Please!!. come on LucasArts

Agent_StarFire
Agent_StarFire

Edit * We Want Battlefront 3!!!(Battlefield 3 would be nice to but its already coming)!!

yearof3000
yearof3000

I want Battlefront 3 not battlefront for PSP!!!

CHAMPION6171994
CHAMPION6171994

i don't understand why Lucas Arts won't work on sequels to games like Battlefront, Republic Commando, Jedi Knight, Rouge Leader. Those games were the best! If they want to impress fans they should make these sequels for current generation consoles! Hell since i don't have my xbox anymore i just play jedi outcast and its still awesome!

korko3
korko3

well its not like the need too much creative input, just put a new lightsaber color in and throw a few more lasers and you have a new star wars game!

simon1812
simon1812

"i mean, that pilot lady with the buttons down on her imperial uniform...really?" - jazilla -no I dont have a problem with that since Im not gay

jazilla
jazilla

they should have included that it means pillaging the star wars story as well. just because george lucas is senile now, it doesn't mean you have to take advantage of that fact and give us more asinine story content from star wars. i mean, that pilot lady with the buttons down on her imperial uniform...really?

lindallison
lindallison

@seriousplayer_d Well, If you were playing and not liking LA titles in the Dos era I have to respect your opinion. If you weren't playing them in the Dos era, refer to my previous comment.

seriousplayer_d
seriousplayer_d

@lindallison: i never liked their games actually. Sorry but that's my opinion about Lucas arts.

Wolfie600
Wolfie600

Hopefully Rebellion gets up from their ass and decide to make a Battlefront for Consoles/PC instead of just heading for the portable route... Elite squadron was good but i hate playing those kind of games on my PSP.. The scale is so small.

lindallison
lindallison

@seriousplayer_d Then you missed them in their prime. There was a time when LucasArts was synonymous with quality and innovation.

JangoF-76
JangoF-76

All you going on about SW Battlefront 3 - let it go! It's been 5 years since the last one, it's clearly not gonna happen. Time to move on people! Also, not sure how big LucasArts is, but 85 people doesn't sound like a lot. I got made redundant last year along with about 2000 others. If 85 people getting the boot is news worthy then LucasArts must be a pretty small company in terms of employee numbers...

aermeus
aermeus

Turn over developement rights of battlefront 3 to Blizzard please! lets face it...they are able to churn out the polished and successful games as a result of the money they can put behind the developement and can really take their time to do it right

exarkuniv
exarkuniv

@bluefire1360 i could not say it any better i would just add star wars knights of the old republic 3 then the list would be complete

2point5RSman
2point5RSman

Lucas Arts, just the adventure games, had a huge impact on my gaming life. Then there was TIE-FIGHTER. WOW. IMO they passed their prime. They still make great games but seem to abandon them prematurely. Everyone is still waiting for (insert sequel to fav Lucas Arts game)

blackfray
blackfray

nice picture up there completely related, how sad...

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

Never a nice thing to hear of people losing their jobs :(

Flinet91
Flinet91

WE WANT star wars knights of the old republic 3! No MMO

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

New battlefront please. Force Unleashed is a great series, but I want a HD Star Wars Battlefront game.....

bluefire1360
bluefire1360

Lucas Arts should just stop making crappy IPs, force unleashed is great but we don't care about that other crap... I think I can speak for everyone when we say we want more mature Starwars games, things like battlefront 3, republic commando 2, Jedi Knight 4, a new rogue squadron... Not this animated clone wars lego bull crap. If they want to make tons of money then they should pump out the games everyone is waiting for.

seriousplayer_d
seriousplayer_d

Lucasarts' games were never really games you can call good. (Sorry, my opinion) But it really sucks for those who lost their job.

LqdSnk
LqdSnk

Sucks that people are losing their jobs just after finishing the game.

MattyWoah
MattyWoah

@tidusjeff The federal reserve is puzzle that nobody seems to be able to solve. They are in no way associated with the federal government; They're structured and run as a private corporation. Also, all money carries debt: fact. Which literally means that there is not enough money in the world to pay off all of the worlds debt. Thats why politicians, no matter how much hope they may exude on their campaign trails will fail as soon as they hit the white house. All it takes is an explanation of how the financial system works to show a man that we are completely hopeless. It takes more than changing abortion laws or gun rights.

ShinwaOkami
ShinwaOkami

Force Unleashed....Battlefront 3.....darn kids.... They need to be working on a new space flight sim obviously! X-Wing vs Tie Fighter just doesn't cut it anymore....and the old Tie & X-Wing have been grinded to dust!

NColdhardt
NColdhardt

Hrm... Biased article headline to scare consumers during a recession ftw! Do you know how large LucasArts is? How many people were hired prior to the loss of jobs? Add that information in next time.