LucasArts layoffs amid studio turbulence

LucasArts layoffs amid studio turbulence

By Rob Crossley

September 2nd 2010 at 9:32AM

Developer confirms reorganisation following walkouts and cancellations

Star Wars developer LucasArts has issued redundancy notices to an unspecified number of staff at its San Francisco studio, the company has confirmed.

The news adds to a wider picture of a group subjected to tumultuous policy change and swift restructuring, with key executives and longstanding designers quitting unexpectedly.

A purported inside source last night told news site Kotaku that as much as thirty per cent of the studio will be affected by the layoffs. LucasArts has not commented on the extent of its redundancies but told trade site Gamasutra it is “reorganizing teams to better address the needs of the internal studio”.

Yet the company appeared to rebuff speculation that it would no longer be seeking external partnerships for its lucrative Star Wars licence. Such suggestions emerged in a Kotaku article last month – where a source claimed the Force Unleashed 3 project has been cancelled, that morale was “at an all-time low”, and that staff cuts were underway.

In May the then-president of Lucasarts, Darrell Rodriguez, resigned from his position at the studio, along with several members of his executive team.

In July, LucasArts’ project lead Haden Blackman brought an end to his thirteen year spell at LucasArts by saying that “now is the best time to explore new creative challenges”.

His distinguished career at the company culminated with project lead roles on both The Forced Unleashed and its upcoming sequel, as well as executive roles on numerous other projects.

In August the studio confirmed its Force Unleashed PSP project had been cancelled.

However, in August, the recently departed creative director at Ubisoft Montreal – Clint Hocking – joined the firm to work on a new, unannounced project.