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Disney closes LucasArts, Star Wars video games in jeopardy

Titles like Star Wars: 1313 face uncertain future; 150 employees reportedly out of work.

Disney closes lucasarts 04 2013Enlarge
BioWave co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka, left, and LucasArts president Darrell Rodriguez join characters wearing robes and wielding lightsabers on stage to promote their joint effort, Star Wars: The Old Republic, on June 1, 2009 in Los Angeles, California during the E3 Expo. (David McNew/AFP/Getty Images)

Four months after an ambitious $4-billion deal to acquire the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises from the George Lucas empire, Disney has shuttered video-game maker LucasArts.

Rather than creating video games with its own resources, Disney will develop games by licensing to third parties, USA Today reported.

“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,” a statement from Disney said.

Along with the decision, 150 employees are out of work, Kotaku.com said.

Also of note for gamers, Disney has thrown the future of Star Wars: First Assault and Star Wars: 1313 in doubt.

Kotaku said both games—highly anticipated—will not reach market; however, Game Informer suggests there still life ahead for the projects.

“We still believe in the video game industry,” a LucasFilm source told Game Informer. “We still will provide Star Wars games, we’re just looking at different models rather than internal production. ... There’s always a possibility that [Star Wars 1313] can still come out via licensing.”

In October, Disney purchased LucasArts, LucasFilm and Industrial Light and Magic from Lucas for more than $4 billion.

More from GlobalPost: Disney buys Star Wars, Indiana Jones as George Lucas steps back

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/130403/disney-closes-lucasarts-star-wars-1313-video-games