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Disney Hiring More Lucasfilm Games Staff - Why? [UPDATE]

Disney Revives Lucasfilm Games

UPDATE: A representative of Lucasfilm Games and Disney has since reached out to confirm that the former remains committed to third-party licensees, including its relationship with EA. The representative also stated that the job listings are a sign of the studio, which has existed in its current form for several years, growing larger, but not that it would stop serving third-party licensees.

Original story, in its entirety, follows.

Disney appears to have resurrected the long dormant Lucasfilm Games. Job listings posted on the Disney Careers website suggest that the studio has been revived and will work on new games, likely supporting titles like Star Wars that were existing Lucasfilm IPs and using those properties to produce new content.

Many are wondering why Disney would bother reviving Lucasfilm Games over the much more famous LucasArts - the latter is responsible for some of the most famous Star Wars IPs, including Knights of the Old Republic and Star Wars Galaxies. Lucasfilm has actually managed the Star Wars franchise quite well, though. The Lucasfilm Story Group, founded in 2013, has remained dedicated to Star Wars canon in a way that has shored up many of the property's weaker elements while clarifying even the most minute details. It's a precedent that could lend itself well to game design.

While many believed that Lucasfilm Games was being resurrected as a support studio, that might not be the case. While the Disney Careers website only lists jobs like producers, brand art directors, and marketing coordinators, a LinkedIn post shared by Team17 community manager Ashley Day indicated that Disney is also looking for community managers, game designers, and technical artists. The sum of all those positions? A game studio that actively appears to be pursuing the creation of new titles rather than supplementing other developers.

There's an important distinction to make here before fans get too excited: it seems unlikely that Disney is going to try to take the Star Wars license away from EA, even though the latter has made an abysmal go of it and only produced two Star Wars games in six years. It's much more likely that Disney wants to apply some of Lucasfilm's trademark attention to detail to on-going projects while also supplementing EA's output with some of its own. Given the reception to fan remakes like the Unreal Engine version of Star Wars Episode I: Racer and Dark Forces, there's obviously a market for remasters, so Disney might be interested in giving those a shot as well.

Right now it's hard to figure out exactly what fans should expect from the sudden resurrection of Lucasfilm Games. The Star Wars license has been brutally squandered by EA for so many years at this point, though, that anything would be better than what fans are dealing with at the moment. Disney obviously knows this, and although it won't throw EA under the bus, it's quietly making moves to improve Star Wars' image in one of the most lucrative markets in the world today. Does that mean a return to form for Star Wars video games, though? We'll have to wait and see.

Source: Disney Careers/@jellyscare

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