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LucasArts Shutdown Triggers Layoffs at ILM

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LucasArts Shutdown Triggers Layoffs at ILM

Postby SNAKEBITE » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:34 pm

http://variety.com/2013/digital/news/lu ... 200332765/

Today’s announcement of the shuttering of LucasArts Games and the layoffs that followed has had a ripple effect within Lucasfilm: Layoffs at Industrial Light & Magic.

Lucasfilm has long had a strategy of sharing technical resources and staff among visual effects, animation and games. But with production finished on the “Clone Wars” animated series and the next Star Wars animated series not yet in production, and the closing of LucasArts, a portion of its staff was left working only for ILM’s vfx business.

“It’s impossible for ILM to absorb all of those resources,” said a Lucasfilm spokesperson, “so with this change came the necessity for ILM to align itself and take responsibility for its own resources.” The company would not disclose the number of staffers who are being let go, but the group includes IT staffers and support staff.

The move comes as Lucasfilm prepares for its next era, as it ramps up for what will be the busiest era of film and television production in its history. There will be at least one Star Wars movie a year and a new animated TV series is in the works. But that ramp-up won’t arrive in time to save those jobs.
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Re: LucasArts Shutdown Triggers Layoffs at ILM

Postby SNAKEBITE » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:37 pm

First off Variety needs better writers. that article sucked.

Second, how does one division closing and them having too many "resources" ie PEOPLE, wtf?, PEOPLE, make another division close as well??

Well, I know. Two words. Overseas production.

These people think we're stupid. Seriously. They are vamping up for their busiest production line up of all times and they are letting everyone go??? hahahaha

Crowdfunding people. Stop relying on these ass clowns. they dont care about you.
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Re: LucasArts Shutdown Triggers Layoffs at ILM

Postby Greg B » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:02 am

That sucks. Never worked for ILM. May the Force be with them.
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Re: LucasArts Shutdown Triggers Layoffs at ILM

Postby Charles » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:29 am

Here's a better article from GameInformer.com ...

...........

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/arch ... sarts.aspx

Game Informer has learned that Disney is closing its LucasArts game publishing subsidiary. We received an email from a LucasArts representative confirming the news.

The official statement from Disney (which recently acquired LucasFilm and LucasArts) reads as follows:

"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. As a result of this change, we've had layoffs across the organization. We are incredibly appreciative and proud of the talented teams who have been developing our new titles."

In some ways, the news is not a surprise. LucasArts had seemed directionless in recent years. The company's core business of games based on the Star Wars license have been largely disappointing in both quality and sales. While the company had some success with games like Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and the Battlefront series, both of those franchises seemed to have died on the vine. The cancellation of Star Wars Battlefront III was particularly ugly, which led to nasty public fingerpointing between LucasArts and developer Free Radical. The BioWare developed MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic (which was co-published with EA) won strong reviews but failed to maintain subscribers, and was eventually forced into instituting a free-to-play business model.

LucasArt's other big franchise, Indiana Jones, has failed to make much of a dent in games in recent years, with the exception of Traveller's Tales LEGO Indiana Jones series that, once again, was not developed by LucasArts. Meanwhile, series like Uncharted and Tomb Raider, which are both heavily influenced by the Indiana Jones films, have thrived.

More recently, LucasArts caused a stir at E3 2012 with an impressive looking demo for a new Star Wars project entitled Star Wars 1313. However, in the months that followed, the project seemed to lose steam, and rumors circulated that the game had ceased production. [Update: Today, a LucasArts representative spoke to us about the future of Star Wars 1313]

The company seemed to have a revolving door of management. In 2004, LucasArts president Jim Ward led a massive restructuring of the company, laying off many development staffers in the process. Ward left in 2008, to be replaced by EA's Darrell Rodriguez, who lasted only two years at the head of the company. Rodriguez's position was ultimately filled by Epic Games' Paul Meegan, who then stepped down in 2012. The company was co-led by Kevin Parker and Gio Corsi until it was acquired by Disney.

During that time, LucasArts attempted to inject new life into its in-house development by bringing in respected industry vet Clint Hocking (who helped lead the Far Cry and Splinter Cell franchises at Ubisoft) in as its new creative director. Sadly, Hocking lasted only two years in the position and left without completing the game he had been working on.

The last game published by LucasArts as a company is the sub-par Kinect Star Wars.

Ironically, many of the games for which LucasArts is best remembered for are not Star Wars games. Its genre-defining '90s adventure games created by Ron Gilbert and DoubleFine's Tim Schafer like The Secret of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, and Grim Fandango are all still celebrated by fans to this day. That said, there were good Star Wars games over the years, including the X-Wing series, Jedi Knight/Dark Forces series, Knights of the Old Republic, Rogue Squadron, Battlefront, and others. The future of these franchises is obviously now probably dim.

Our sympathies go out to those who have lost their jobs today.
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Re: LucasArts Shutdown Triggers Layoffs at ILM

Postby Greg B » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:20 pm

Well, when it comes to Star Wars stuff that universe is so convoluted with who knows who created what and how to manage thousands of characters, worlds, stories, weapons, etc..

No one person can be an expert at it anymore. With Star Trek you can manage it but with Star Wars or the Marvel and DC universes forget it.

Sounds like at LucasArts they bit off more than they could Chewbacca and things went to a point that continuity integrity fell by the wayside.

Star Wars fans are big time loyal. I'm one of the originals. Whena game doesn't fit we know it and walk. Listen to the fans, deliver the quality product and rake in the dough.
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Re: LucasArts Shutdown Triggers Layoffs at ILM

Postby Charles » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:30 pm

There's also news of a layoff in animation at Disney. Reason given is to cut costs...

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/d ... ort-433155

Boy, let's see...

Digital Domain, DreamWorks cuts 40% of its animation staff, Rhythm and Hues, LucasArts, Disney, etc...

The studio side of things continues to downsize and streamline and cut back or fail...

Independence and crowdfunding and doing it on your own with smaller teams and directly connecting to your fan base and being in business for yourself and owning your own content continues to grow...

Sure am glad I started my own business in animation when I did. It hasn't been easy but at least I make a living having others knock on my door instead of knocking on someone else's.

Work for hire is not the only way to go. As time goes on alternative career paths will become not only more appealing but a necessity for survival in the biz.

So much is going our way in terms of artists doing it on their own.

This is the future. Not big huge work for hire mega studios run by corporate executives but artists in control and ownership of their content and their means of production and their marketing and their funding sources and their destinies.
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