Ever since Disney bought LucasArts Entertainment Company, we all knew things were going to go downhill for LucasArts. As much as I love the idea of seeing another Star Wars movie, I can’t help wondering how much Disney might ruin the franchise by “disneyfying” it, like they do to everything else. Still, the biggest knife to the heart came yesterday, when I read about Disney shutting down the game development department of LucasArts. This is such a shame, because they made most of my favorite games before they stopped doing anything else but Star Wars games, like the first four Monkey Island games, The Dig, Full Throttle, Sam & Max: Hit the Road and Grim Fandango. With such an amazing past as being one of the most famous and respected game companies in the world, I still can’t help asking what happened.
During the 80’s and early 90’s, LucasArts made the best games I’ve ever played in my life. After that, all I saw was Star Wars game after Star Wars game, a fun park simulator, more Star Wars, a little Indiana Jones and more Star Wars. Fans had to beg for a sequel of Monkey Island and got The Escape of Monkey Island for their efforts and later on the second editions of The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island: LeChuck’s Revenge. Don’t get me wrong, I love Star Wars and wouldn’t mind watching the movies and testing the games for this blog one day, but when a company puts too much focus on one franchise, there is no doubt that some consumers will spot the sell-out stamp on the company’s forehead and grunt in disappointment. Still, this didn’t stop the company from being regarded as a highly respected game development company and never will. It surprises me that Disney didn’t choose to develop the company further and bring the old game franchises back instead of just shutting it down or – even better – sell the game development part of the company to some other company, like Telltale Games or – don’t hate me for typing this – Electronic Arts. The company name and its history alone is worth twice than was Disney paid for and, as a big fan of LucasArts’ old work, I can honestly say that I’d love to get my hands on a sequel to Monkey Island and every other oldie they’ve made before the Star Wars game craze. Too bad that won’t happen, unless someone coughs up some money to buy the rights to keep making the game from Disney…
Well, most good things always come to an end eventually. All you can do is remember the good times and hope the future brings something equally awesome at a later time. I found this YouTube-clip in a news-entry by The International House of Mojo, which serves as a reminder of some of the good stuff LucasArts used to make:
I’m definetly going to miss LucasArts. I owe them for all the fun, adventures and laughs I got to enjoy in my childhood and remember today. I still enjoy playing their old adventure games today and can’t wait to see who gets to take the torch after them (my guess is Telltale Games, which has done a good job so far). I’m very disappointed that Disney didn’t choose to milk this further.
Thanks for your existence, LucasArts! May you rest in peace.