Category Archives: Disney
Electronic Arts and The Walt Disney company today announced a new multi-year exclusive agreement to develop and publish new games based on Star Wars characters and stories.
As part of the agreement, EA will create new Star Wars titles for a “core gaming audience.” These games will span “all interactive platforms” and “the most popular game genres.” Disney, meanwhile, will retain rights to create new Star Wars games for mobile, social, tablet, and online markets.
“Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe,” EA Labels president Frank Gibeau said in a statement. “Three of our top studios will fulfill that dream, crafting epic adventures for Star Wars fans.”
Battlefield studio DICE and Dead Space outfit Visceral Games are currently making new Star Wars games, joining BioWare, which will continue to support Star Wars: The Old Republic. The new games from DICE and Visceral will run on the Frostbite 3 engine.
“The new experiences we create may borrow from films, but the games will be entirely original with all new stories and gameplay,” Gibeau said.
Financial terms of the EA-Disney deal were not disclosed. EA will report earnings tomorrow after market close, where more information about the deal is expected to be divulged.
Looks to me like two big game studios that are in trouble are trying to save each other. But will consumers and fans buy the product? That remains to be seen.
Credit to GameSpot for breaking this story.
“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,” the statement reads.
“As a result of this change, we’ve had layoffs across the organization. We are incredibly appreciative and proud of the talented teams who have been developing our new titles.”
There may be hope for Star Wars 1313, as the representative told the site that it is looking for external partners to help bring the game to market, though nothing has yet been confirmed.
“It is worth noting that we are looking for proven external partners who can help us provide video games to our fans. We still believe in the video game industry, we still will provide Star Wars games, we’re just looking at different models rather than internal production… They’re evaluating everything. There’s always a possibility that it [Star Wars 1313] can still come out via licensing.”
Separately, a Disney representative told GameSpot, “Disney Interactive looks forward to working with Lucasfilm on new games opportunities that leverage their incredible IP and brings it to life across gaming platforms.”
The original story follows below.
LucasArts is no more. That’s according to a Kotaku source, who said Disney has laid off the company’s entire staff and canceled all current projects.
The closure took place this morning, the source said, with layoffs estimated to number about 150 people. Star Wars: First Assault and Star Wars 1313 were reportedly both canceled.
This news comes after months of speculation about the future of LucasArts, which Disney acquired, alongside LucasFilm, last October for $4.05 billion. When this deal was announced, LucasArts reportedly froze all hiring and announcements.
LucasArts was most recently known for its Star Wars games, but the studio was also responsible for praised adventure games like The Secret of Monkey Island, Grim Fandango, and Day of the Tentacle, among others.
Coming from Mobile Development and the support side of the Wireless Industry, I can remember when this same question was posed about Wireless Technicians. I remember people saying, “Those people make 50,000 to 100,000 a year they shouldn’t need a union.
Well 2013 is here and All four of the major carriers in the United States have unions, Not just for their tower workers, but support, technicians, And even some in sales.
How does this compare to the Game industry? I’m getting there.
As the editor here at The Gaming Post, I have written more stories about BIG companies, i.e. Disney, Activision, etc, buying these smaller studios, producing whatever the title is and then closing down the studio.
Now I am no genius but I do know business, And it’s just is not good business. I have looked and am appalled that companies will do a massive hiring, have good people working for a year maybe two, then produce the product and LAYOFF aka Fire everyone there.
In business I have learned if you want the best people in a trade, No matter what it is…. You pay the best wages and keep them in place.
As the wireless business has become unionized in key aspects of the business, Guess what….. We have seen wireless costs go down, Year after year.
Look at AT&T and Verizon, Unlimited Talk and Text was $99.99 at the start of the Union’s 3.5 years later, They are down to $59.99 and $69.99.
Why? Because they have good people in place, “That are not going anywhere”. That make a decent wage and provide that same support that allows carriers to lower costs.
Now back to the game business.
People will say to me here that it simply doesn’t apply? I look at hollywood as a prime example, That place is an unorganized nightmare, But Unions work, Actors, Grips, all the way down the line have made hollywood the mess that it is, MORE EFFICIENT, and have produced better product.
I know I’ll have some EA executive or other blast me as “The business simply isn’t this way” But lets use EA as an example, Massive “Crunch” times, bad work environments, the lack of women in key position’s, I could keep going here.
With quality people, knowing their jobs could be on the line, do you think the SIM CITY debacle would have happened?
Another question, If you are not for Unions in the game industry, why? Tell me in the comments.
People will say it’s not for me, Until it’s you getting called into the office and being told, “We have to let you go because there isn’t enough for us to keep you on”
Or my favorite the slease email that goes out to a whole studio and says they are closing you down.
Here is a comment from a analyst Michael Patcher from Team Bondi
“I think unions are there to protect people who can’t protect themselves. I think once you get up to a certain wage level you’re charged with being able to take care of yourself and if you can’t handle it, don’t work there.
We’re talking about a games industry where the average compensation is well above $60,000 and often above $100,000 a year. I just don’t think people who make a hundred thousand bucks a year need a whole lot of protection because they might have to work overtime.”
If its going to happen it has to start somewhere. And just like in Wireless when everyone though it was bad and would drive up costs, It has had the exact opposite effect.
Would it be so terrible, To have the BEST programmers, the BEST designers, the BEST community people? Because right now the Game Industry loses those folks to government simulation companies, Software Companies and more.
Imagine the growth and expansion the Game Industry could see with people knowing they are secure in where they are. Building a company, building a life.
Ask people in Austin how they are feeling right now as studio after studio closes.
Unions will not solve ALL the problems in the game industry, But could be a big start. The facts are that most companies are mismanaged, and most have little or no business experience. Unions and the costs that come with them would make companies like EA, and even smaller companies make SMART business decisions and not the ones we see everyday that bleed cash from companies, Zynga is a prime example.
So today my TWO CENTS editorial is simple, Is the game industry ready for a union?
Should there be one? And what are your thoughts pros and cons?