Roundup: LucasArts closed: Tributes & Inquiries

lucasarts-logo-grim-fandango_250x250With the official word that Lucasfilm’s video game division, LucasArts, was being effectively shut down this week, there’s been a lot of reminiscing of the great titles that LucasArts had developed and some investigation for why the closing happened, and the search for a silver lining.

With the company’s re-alignment to solely focus on licensing Lucasfilm’s intellectual property to outside game developers, in-house game development has been shut down, finally cancelling Star Wars: 1313 and First Assault games. (See our guest column from Paul Ens suggesting that Dark Horse could turn these game projects into graphic novels.) I’ve rounded up some of the views on the closure, with a look at LucasArts’ recent history, and some tributes to the game company that started in 1982 and the people who worked there, as well as my own nostalgic look at some of the games that were part of my life.

The blame game: While many fans were quick to point the finger at Disney for killing off yet another happy part of the Star Wars family, others took a more critical look at what factors might have led Disney to decide to pull the plug:

Looking back at the Gold Guy’s Golden Age and the amazing people who worked at LucasArts:

xwing video game I, too, grew up with many of the LucasArts graphic adventures and Star Wars titles. I still recall playing Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in awesome four-color CGA on my dad’s PC, and trying to fly WWII planes via keyboard in Their Finest Hour: The Battle of Britain, or the hours of playing X-Wing with friends in the dorms (we’d rotate through, with one person with the joystick, and the next person up as the ‘R2’ unit, doing all the keyboard commands), and of course, finding a special someone who loved Monkey Island and the two of us tracking down and playing some of the other adventure classics like The Dig and Grim Fandango that neither of us had yet played. That special someone is now Mrs. Jawa and the two of us still quote Grim Fandango and Monkey Island from time to time.

I even still have a fond place for Masters of Teras Kasi, as the first game to depict Mara Jade and the first fighting game that I actually mastered. Mrs. Jawa got pulled into the Knights of the Old Republic games while I got my shooter kicks with Battlefront and its sequel. And I still treasure my Dark Forces poster that was a game store display poster that I got from a mall shop – such a spectacular game, and wonder where my copy of the Adventurer went that had a Sam and Max doing the Death Star Trench Run comic. But I will always remember that nacho cheese is a great substitute for pitch when repairing a pirate ship, and that sometimes saying “I’m selling fine leather jackets like the one I’m wearing” will get you past obstacles in life.


3 Replies to “Roundup: LucasArts closed: Tributes & Inquiries”

  1. Quick shout-out to Yoda Stories… a compact, goofy and just plain fun little game that I haven’t seen written up in any of the eulogies. I still play it every now and then.

  2. I think Yoda Stories got a shoutout in the 10 Best on I only had the demo, but i played it a handful of time.

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