LucasArts decided to axe the Cleverness Division in favour of the Milking-the-Star-Wars-Licence-Until-Its-Udders-Turn-Into-Little-Black-Stalactites-Department.
The game development firm of Lucas Film Licensing LLC (of George Lucas and Star Wars fame) that's in charge of doling out the license for all official Star Wars and Indiana Jones games. In addition to the aforementioned, the studio was also famous for producing adventure games like Full Throttle and Day Of The Tentacle as well as the Monkey Island series (and more recently, the Mercenaries series), as well as a series of World War II and Star Wars-themed flight sims developed by Lawrence Holland's Totally Games! studio, mainly Battlehawks 1942, Secret Weapons Of The Luftwaffe and the X-Wing and TIE Fighter space combat games.Initially called Lucasfilm Games, it was once a powerhouse creative studio, the 1990s mark the Golden Age of the company, a period when it produced many iconic Adventure Games and Space Simulation Games, often ranked among the best games ever. The firm gradually changed its focus towards outsourced Star Wars products after Grim Fandango returned very poor sale figures despite receiving many Game of the Year awards.Subsequent titles published or developed in-house include Fracture, Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction (note that its sequel, Mercenaries 2: World in Flames had its publishing rights given to Electronic Arts by developer Pandemic) and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. However, the sequel, The Force Unleashed II would prove to be the last in-house game developed by LucasArts; soon afterward, in the summer of 2008, the studio was disbanded, with LucasArts announcing that it would become largely a title publisher. Their financial state also led to the cancellation of numerous in-development titles, and indirectly caused Battlefront III developer Free Radical to go under due to withholding payments and cancellation fees. The last several years of the company were marred by poor sales, layoffs, and multiple changes of leadership. Internal development had all but ceased, though they still dedicated resources to keeping existing IPs aflost, such as Updated Rereleases of the first two Monkey Island games, the first digital releases of some of their out-of-print catalog titles, and a collaboration with Telltale Games to created an episodic sequel to the IP.After a $4 billion buyout of its matrix Lucasfilm, the videogame branch and its intellectual properties were acquired by Disney in 2012. Though initially Disney announced the studio's operations and projects would remain undisturbed (such as Star Wars 1313 which was still in active development), they later announced the closure of the studio on April 3, 2013 in favor of becoming a licensing entity, thus ending the thirty-year history of LucasArts.Many LucasArts alumni became major players in the game industry after their tenures at the studio ended. Ron Gilbert and Tim Schafer both started their careers in games at the studio. Sierra was their main Adventure Game rival during both companies heydey. Double Fine & Telltale Games, both founded by LucasArts alumni turned into Spiritual Successors of the types of games made in the 80s and early 90s. Fellow Disney subsidiary Pixar originated as LucasArts' "Graphics Group", before being spun off into a separate corporate entity.
LucasArts' famed graphic adventure games include, in chronological order:
- Labyrinth (1986)
- Maniac Mansion (1987)
- Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders (1988)
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure (1989)
- Loom (1990)
- The Secret Of Monkey Island (1990)
- The Secret Of Monkey Island: Special Edition (2009)
- Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (1992)
- Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge: Special Edition (2010)
- Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (1992)
- Day Of The Tentacle (1993)
- Sam & Max Hit the Road (1993)
- Full Throttle (1995)
- The Dig (1995)
- The Curse of Monkey Island (1997). End of the SCUMM Point-and-Click era.
- Grim Fandango (1998)
- Escape from Monkey Island (2000)
LucasArts' Star Wars titles include (hardly a complete list; see also Star Wars Expanded Universe):
- Rebel Assault (1993), an arcade-style Full Motion Video game with a 1995 sequel.
- The X-Wing Series:
- The Dark Forces Saga:
- Rebellion (1997)
- Star Wars Episode I: Racer (1999)
- Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
- Force Commander (2000)
- Star Wars Episode I: Jedi Power Battles (2000)
- Galactic Battlegrounds (2001) - Producer. Developed by EnsembleStudios.
- Knights of the Old Republic (2002) - Developed by BioWare and published by LucasArts.
- Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (2004) - Developed by Obsidian on BioWare's suggestion, but suffered heavy Executive Meddling from LucasArts and was Christmas Rushed.
- Star Wars: Republic Commando (2005)
- Empire at War (2006)
- The Force Unleashed (2008) - A sequel was released in 2010.
- All three Lego Star Wars games
LucasArts' flight simulators include, in chronological order:
- Battlehawks 1942 (1988)
- Their Finest Hour (1989)
- Secret Weapons Of The Luftwaffe (1991)
- Secret Weapons Over Normandy (2003)
- The X-Wing series (1993-1999) is considered a Spiritual Successor, developed by the same studio, Totally Games! with an evolutioned engine and many inherited features literally Recycled In Space.
Other LucasArts games:
- Mercenaries: Playground Of Destruction (once again, note that its sequel went to Electronic Arts)
- Indiana Jones and His Desktop Adventures
- Indiana Jones And The Infernal Machine
- Big Sky Trooper
- Zombies Ate My Neighbors
Prior to the formation of Lucasarts, Lucasfilm created several titles for the Atari, Commodore 64 and other 8-bit home computers. These were developed under the Lucasarts Games banner and published by various companies:
- Rescue on Fractalus!
- Koronis Rift
- The Eidolon
- PHM Pegasus
- Strike Fleet