Nerds worldwide had a collective aneurism when it was announced that Disney was buying Lucasfilm. Some fans are bummed, some are looking forward to Episode 7, one cynical writer called it a Deathblow. That’s a bit melodramatic, as recently LucasArts games haven’t been steadily good. With games like The Force Unleashed and it’s sequel, and the Lego Star Wars games (Seriously, they are pretty damn good) they haven’t had a terrific run as of late. That Kinect game was horrific, and thanks to Origin The Old Republic is going free to play to try and bring in more users.
Sorry, but I’m a golden era gamer: Zombies ate my Neighbors, Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, Monkey Island… you know, the original IP’s from back in the day. Sadly however, when I company has a famous IP they tend to milk it till it dies. Much like the Star Wars games have started to dry up due to complete lack of originality. With Gems like Knights of the Old Republic offering new settings and characters, one would wonder why we keep seeing Vader and Yoda making cameos in Soul Calibur… The answer: Sole reliance on the hardcore fan base.
A good strategy… if they hadn’t have already released over 100 titles. Well over half of them are Star Wars games.
Tim Schafer stated it best: “New ideas are being created every day. The best entertainment news we could ever hear would be some rich person just bought every IP, forbidding anyone from using them.”
Now on the Disney front: I’m not a fan. I’ll be honest and admit that they are a great run business and they have great business sense. They make great games based on Pixars works and the original animated films (Like Aladdin and Beauty and the beast) are a challenge and are designed great. That being said they also release complete drek, like Hannah Montana and unfortunately released the hounds of Brittany Spears, Shia Labeouf, thankfully to even it out we got Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling.
So as fans, and I am using this term quite loosely, what does this mean for LucasArts? Disney, thankfully, will say NO. Disney understood the importance of having creative control and legal ownership of his work, and they continue that to this day. Disney as a company is quite business savvy and for example, let Marvel who has for the most part always delivered high quality work, to continue to operate unhindered and without interference. Now with LucasArts recent… you know what, I hope Disney takes the reigns.
LucasArts needs to be reigned in a bit with the Star Wars games. So instead of whining about Star Wars movies, worry if Disney is going to bring LucasArts back to the quality they used to have. The fans deserve good games to play. However I swear to GOD if Buzz and Woody show up in Episode 7, I will burn down FLORIDA.
Also way to leave Indiana Jones, Labyrinth, Willow and Howard the Duck out of that worry, you jackasses.
Josh Flaherty is an independent game designer from Minneapolis, MN and owner of Queuethulu Games LLC. He has worked on independent video games since 2003 and is passionate about the art of games, unique stories, and long walks down dark alleys. Visit Josh at his personal blog, http://vonshmoot.blogspot.com/ and also at Queuethulu Games Blog (personal game design blog) http://queuethulu.blogspot.com/. You can follow him on Twitter as well @SWTZMBEJESUS. To contact Josh, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.