Disney is shutting down LucasArts. Kind of interesting after all their bad aquisitions in this area they shutdown the one that has done well in the past. But maybe they are finally get the idea to stay out of this business.http://kotaku.com/disney-shuts-down-lucasarts-468473749
“After evaluating our position in the games market, we’ve decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimizing the company’s risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games," LucasArts parent company LucasFilm said in a statement. I was wrong one more time! I was hopeful that there was a management team at Lucas that could rescue the Disney game business. I guess Disney looks at games like it looks at toys. Licensing is an easy profit. It makes sense. Will movies be the net thing outsourced? Marvel movies by Lions Gate? LOLIn-house control of games was a priority when Mr. Iger announced the Playdom acquisition. Playdom was a roll-up of a few social game studios and Disney paid dearly for that business. Now, what is the company strategy for gaming? If Lucas is going to have a write-off, why not put the knife to the whole game mess?W.D.
W.D., I think you are correct. This brings up a whole host of questions. I've always said that Disney should license its video games and not make them itself, but, I have to admit, I was puzzled by the Lucasarts announcement. One would have figured that, since the company paid $4 billion for the acquisition and since George Lucas presumably sold his business with the intent of keeping the Star Wars franchise alive,Disney would have utilized Lucasarts to not only produce more Star Wars games but perhaps take over Disney's video-game production, scaled-down though it is. I don't have a problem with gettig rid of Lucasarts, but I never thought the company would. However, as you imply W.D., Disney is almost obligated at this point to get rid of Playdom if Lucasarts, which obviously must have made up some of the value of the $4 billion purchase price, is closed. Furthermore, those app companies Disney bought should also be sold; can't think of them right now, but weren't there two of them, something to do with Tapping and something else to do with the Water game? (I have to repeat that one would think Disney would keep Lucasarts to do all that stuff for it.)So, here's what Disney should do. Sell off Playdom. Sell off those app companies. And, although this may not seem like a fit, sell off Club Penguin before the kids get sick of it; Club Penguin is really nothing more than game-software development in my opinion. Instead, focus resources on the Star Wars website and market to kids that way; let the Star Wars web presence take care of what the Penguins were purchased to do. (And, not that I care and not that this is a big deal, Disney can do this if it wants, but I would rather not see the Penguins turn into Star Wars characters.) License everything else, and just concentrate on Disney Infinity. I do hope that Lucasarts ends up bringing back its old point/click adventure games like Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken. License that out, Mouse, please. The idea of licensing movies isn't actually a bad one. I know you were making a point, but I actually do believe Disney should be different and sometimes license out its film properties. As an example, let's say Disney wanted to make a little extra money: why not license remake rights to one of its old Touchstone pictures, something like "Pretty Woman" with Brad Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence? What about sequel rights? As for Marvel, sure, we probably don't want to make everything from the library...find some characters to license to Fox or Time Warner or Comcast. Disney doesn't want to make another season of a hit tv program that is on its seventh year? Sell the license to another broadcaster. Disney maybe thinks it might be too expensive to make Pirates 8, and besides, execs are getting bored with it...license it out. An odd-sounding strategy, sure, but I can't see why that kind of thing can't be explored. Besides, I'm sure many people thought Lucasarts would be making games forever (maybe even George Lucas). If Lucasarts can be closed even after a big investment in Lucasfilm, then other ideas should be considered even if they seem radical. As a side note, it's interesting to me how the video-game industry has changed over the years to allow such an event to happen. When you think about it, consumers just don't want to pay a proper price for video games. Games do need to be priced at high levels like $60, even $70 sometimes, if consumers want to get a quality product. Even if it's a simple movie license, games take a lot of resources to program. Since consumers have told the music industry they would rather not pay for music, it is only logical that the video-game industry will need to have a tough talk with itself and do something game-changing (my big suggestion has always been to make cheaper games based on older software engines considering the trend for older, classic products will probably always be with us).
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