NEWS - Friday, August 13, 2004

LucasArts Confirms Layoffs Of Staff

After reports of layoffs hit the web yesterday, LucasArts today announced "a major restructuring of its development studio." 31 members of the company’s internal development effort have indeed lost their jobs, and in the future LucasArts "will be concentrating on fewer titles." "Since joining LucasArts in early May, I’ve taken a hard, critical look at our business," said new president Jim Ward. "I’ve come to the conclusion that to make LucasArts thrive and to position ourselves for the long-term future, we need to make some fundamental changes." Among those fundamental changes will be a greater reliance on external developers, to go along with the slimming-down of the company’s internal development studios. Over the past year, LucasArts’ internal projects have met some less-than-ideal fates. Planned revivals of the adventure classics Sam & Max and Full Throttle were cancelled partway through development, and the strategy title Gladius met with a diffident commercial reception. Currently, Star Wars Republic Commando is the only announced LucasArts title in the hands of an internal team. Pandemic is working on Star Wars Battlefront and Mercenaries, Knights of the Old Republic II is finishing up at Obsidian Entertainment, and The Collective is handling the upcoming Episode III adaptation. Ward also announced the promotion of producer Peter Hirschmann into the position of Vice President of Product Development, where he will oversee all of LucasArts internal and external projects. Hirschmann produced Secret Weapons Over Normandy after moving to LucasArts from Electronic Arts, where he produced the Medal of Honor series.


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