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It's funny.  Laugh. Star Wars Prequels Games

LucasArts Employees Hold Wake & Eulogy; Vader Still Roams 170

Posted by timothy
from the highly-qualified-applicants dept.
Dawn Kawamoto writes "LucasArts employees held a wake Friday night, days after Darth Vader Disney slayed their studio. Taking the high road, two LucasArts employees put together a eulogy that offers a retrospective on the culture, memories and accomplishments of the team. Most of us who've witnessed a blood bath at the workplace aren't as charitable. Darth Vader Disney is expected to strike again in the next two weeks at its studio and consumer product divisions."
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LucasArts Employees Hold Wake & Eulogy; Vader Still Roams

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 07, 2013 @07:36PM (#43386961)

    "We have altered the deal. Pray we do not alter it further."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 07, 2013 @07:40PM (#43386987)

    Make sure you've got some protection for the Epcot Center's thermal exhaust ports.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      In our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances!

    • by aurizon (122550)

      Stay away, nothing can resist superheated high velocity bullshit

  • Am I the only one who is getting a login page on the last link?

  • by dottrap (1897528) on Sunday April 07, 2013 @07:41PM (#43386997)

    LucasArts shutting down is a significant and sad event, but adventure gamers should remember their history. Never forget Sierra Online's Chainsaw Monday.

    • by jonwil (467024) on Sunday April 07, 2013 @08:05PM (#43387125)

      What happened to Sierra is a BIG reason I will NEVER give a single cent of my money to Activision Blizzard (and no I wont pirate their content either, I will play games made by companies that dont pull that kind of crap)

      • by rtb61 (674572) on Monday April 08, 2013 @02:51AM (#43388823) Homepage

        It is all a result of those major movie studios never really understanding computer gaming and trying to buy up all those independent gaming studios to create the illusion of growing income within the expanding conglomerate (to inflate executive salaries and bonuses) only to find there is very little value in the old game titles that came with those independent gaming studios. The whole game publisher market with it's access to brick and mortar outlets is also coming under pressure with direct on-line sales in boxed format and digital sales.

        Also foreign gaming is now coming in and unlike movie or TV content, if the gaming is good the language translation is fairly cheap and this is creating a new flood of content.

        That old model of incompetent nepotism just buying up other companies and pretending that's revenue growth and management skill is falling apart. Why would Disney buy Lucas arts, only to shut it down, git rid of the competition? Those gaming licences just like media content licences have proven to be pretty much shit value because they just add enormous cost to new game development which often destroys the game before it gets out of the door for lack of playability. Cheaper to come up with a new 'theme' and a thin storey and focus on game play, which has proven to be far more profitable.

  • by Osgeld (1900440) on Sunday April 07, 2013 @08:10PM (#43387141)

    We all love lucas arts, but there has not too much coming out of that for a while now, and its a smart decision to trim the fat, no matter how great they once were.

    • by stenvar (2789879)

      We all love lucas arts

      Speak for yourself. I never liked any of their titles.

      • by SharpFang (651121)

        Oh, come on! I understand you might not like Sam&Max or Monkey Island, but you've got to admit Rescue on Fractalus a.k.a. Behind Jaggi Lines for 8-bit Atari was a work of genius! It was the first game that literally made me jump out of my chair when the alien started knocking on the window.

    • I see it also like that. There was nothing coming out of Lucasarts except mediocre Star Wars tie ins for decades.
      The Lucasarts of the old with great games died a long time ago.

    • by Xest (935314)

      Yes, but the question is why. If nothing good has come out of there for a while then was it simply because management were doing an EA/Activision and only interested in churning out the same old rehashed boring FPS type games or whatever with no innovation? The point is, did the whole studio need to be axed? or did management just need replacing with people with a little more vision.

      Maybe they did the right thing, maybe they did evaluate thoroughly what talent there was left and felt there was indeed nothin

  • The Dice Angle (Score:5, Interesting)

    by guttentag (313541) on Sunday April 07, 2013 @08:26PM (#43387231) Journal
    For anyone who was wondering what Dice's real interest in Slashdot was, this seems to be it.

    The first link goes to a "Dice News" story.
    The second link goes to a Slashdot "Business Intelligence" story (remember, Business Intelligence is code for "someone paid us to put this up") that is a "Dice News" story by the same author as the first link.

    Obviously Dice pushed the Slashdot editors to post this as a news item. So much for editorial independence [techcrunch.com] from the parent company. The disappearance of LucasArts may be Slashdot-worthy news, but when Slashdot's parent company, Dice, is writing the story it looks like they just want lots of techies to think "techies are losing their jobs, it could happen to me, I should look and see what's out there."
    • by newcastlejon (1483695) on Sunday April 07, 2013 @08:47PM (#43387317)
      Hah! People were always telling me to RTFA!
      I sure showed them!
    • by jklovanc (1603149)

      A test for editorial independence is "would this article be published if submitted by someone else?". In this case I would say yes and see no problem. Gee they wrote a couple of article expanding on the issue. That is not a bad thing. By the way you ignored the fact that the third link was to a MSN Money article or is Slashdot controlled by them too?

      The disappearance of LucasArts may be Slashdot-worthy news, but when Slashdot's parent company, Dice, is writing the story it looks like they just want lots of techies to think "techies are losing their jobs, it could happen to me, I should look and see what's out there."

      I would define that as reaching. Do you think it strange that a company that deals in tech jobs would not be one of the first ones to knows about job cuts? Why

      • by guttentag (313541)

        Why can't they pass that information on without people assuming ulterior motives? What is wrong with "We heard something related to our business; you might want to know too".

        It's called full disclosure. If a reporter or columnist at The New York Times or The Washington Post owns stock in a company they mention, the article will make a point of noting that connection. If The Post runs a story about Kaplan Test Prep, or The Times runs a story about The Boston Globe, they make a point of noting that they are owned by the same parent. Likewise, if Slashdot is going to promote its parent company's content as news, the connection should be noted in the summary. Slashdot used to note

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by jklovanc (1603149)

          It's called full disclosure. If a reporter or columnist at The New York Times or The Washington Post owns stock in a company they mention

          That is not what is happening here. Does Dice have controlling interest in Disney? This is not a conflict of interest between a source and a subject. There is a huge difference between linking and article about a parent company and an article by a parent company.

          if Slashdot is going to promote its parent company's content as news, the connection should be noted in the summary.

          It is news content; The fact that a writer is from a parent company is irrelevant.

          Also, this is Kawamoto's second accepted submission. Her first was two days ago

          Which was also an employment related article. Wow that's strange for an employment related writer. It must be a plot. /sarcasm

          The Reuters story had all the key facts that the Dice story did, but Dice owns Slashdot so its two stories went on top. See the pattern yet?

          The writer puts her articles first; it mu

          • I'll reply to you because your sarcasm indicates you might want to ponder the journalism conflicts emerging here.

            It's not about Disney this time - it's about overall news slant. Slashdot built a culture for 15 years of users submitting stories which would be sifted (haphazardly, as the running joke goes.) Then they go live, followed by users making comments. However funny the erratic editing was, there was no direct flow of gain to the slashdot ownership structure except when noted.

            This time it absolutely

            • by jklovanc (1603149)

              That's bad news for a news site because yes, they are getting more and more aggressive putting their own spin on the news mix slant.

              What spin is there in this news story?

              So far you have accused them of conflict of interest and slanting news. I do not see them as doing either. All I see is a factual report of a closure and a eulogy.

              but submarine shills for the owner company is yet another new trick

              I think where the argument is lost in that the byline of the fist two articles is Dawn Kawamoto and the links have dice.com in them. If they were trying to "submarine shill" something they were pretty bad at it. It is hard to "go incognito as pseudo-user" when one's name is on the submission and the article. H

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              It's not about Disney this time - it's about overall news slant. Slashdot built a culture for 15 years of users submitting stories which would be sifted (haphazardly, as the running joke goes.) Then they go live, followed by users making comments. However funny the erratic editing was, there was no direct flow of gain to the slashdot ownership structure except when noted.

              The editors would occasionally post their own story. Later, when they became more savvy, they went looking for someone else's submission of the same or a related story more often. It has never been true that all submissions came from the user. What is true however is that formerly there was no trickery in the form of disguising an employee as just a member of the pool of users.

        • It's called full disclosure..... Likewise, if Slashdot is going to promote its parent company's content as news, the connection should be noted in the summary.

          Full disclosure? Like being able to read that the URL is news.dice.com before you click on it? Magic isn't it.

      • by islisis (589694)

        Agreed, the issue here is transparency however. Whatever happened to the SourceForge style "link goes to site owned by our corporate overlords" disclaimer? At the very least, acknowledge your potential conflict of interests, Slashdot.

    • Re:The Dice Angle (Score:5, Informative)

      by guttentag (313541) on Sunday April 07, 2013 @09:02PM (#43387389) Journal
      The author of the Dice "news story" and the "business intelligence story" is also the submitter. Dawn Kawamoto is a Dice employee [slashdot.org] who has had two story "submissions" accepted in the last three days. Her other one was the H-1B visa cap story [slashdot.org], which notes her as "First time accepted submitter Dawn Kawamoto." She's not an accepted submitter, she's a shill [wikipedia.org] for your corporate overlords, Timothy. Again, a story about people looking for jobs and how tough the market is.

      Bottom line: if you see Kawamoto's name listed as the submitter, you know it's a Dice ad right away.

      Dice: You bought slashdot. Fine. But if you're going to try to pass your content off as news, instead of sponsored content, people will leave and you will have wasted your money. If you want to post an ad, call it what it is. Deception will get you nowhere on this site. You said you weren't going to interfere with Slashdot's editorial independence. Honor your commitment.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        You make some interesting points.

        Not sure about the "people will leave" though.
        Every time a summary is inaccurate or a headline is misleading, for instance, there are people stating they're (or will be) leaving.
        But do they really?
        I think by now frequent visitors are used to what's happening and we go straight to the comments to see what the story is really about and if anything in the summary is accurate.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          I don't think people will leave in any real numbers, but it does mean that I'm less likely to link to a slashdot story (which I have done occasionally in the past when I found the commentary insightful) and more likely to link to whatever it links to, even when the submitter is not a known shill.

          The responsible thing to do would be to make this shill an editor, and just be above board about it. That, however, would permit us to ignore the shillstories.

      • by jklovanc (1603149)

        Bottom line: if you see Kawamoto's name listed as the submitter, you know it's a Dice ad right away.

        How is reporting on one's area of interest which is also one's job an ad? Were similar stories submitted by others and the ones from the "corporate overlords" chosen instead? Look at the articles themselves. They are newsworthy and completely factual.

        which notes her as "First time accepted submitter Dawn Kawamoto."

        So what if the first two submissions from someone are chosen. The important part is that they are good factual news articles. The second submission got a yellow Firehose rating. Someone must have voted for it.

        But if you're going to try to pass your content off as news, instead of sponsored content,

        How are the facts that the H-1B limit has been reach

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Hurr durr. Defend them oh white knight!!!!1

      • by steelfood (895457)

        To be honest, based on the quality of Slashdot's editors and the rigidity of their article vetting process, I wouldn't be surprised if these were legitimate editorial-independent accepted submissions.

        tl:dr: "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

    • Thankyou for the information.

      But I fail to see how an article for /. about LucasArts studios closing is a bad thing. Does it matter who submitted it?
      1. Star Wars
      2. Computer games
      3. Software design & coding
      4. Software people becoming unemployed

      It's seriously difficult to question the value of the info to the target audience.

      Now .. if this post gets modded +5, you know you're actually in trouble.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    What kind of a name is "Darth Vader Disney"? Obviously, it should be "Darth Disney".

    I wonder if they wrote an article about TNG years ago talking about "Captain Kirk Picard".

  • by Macfox (50100) * on Sunday April 07, 2013 @08:32PM (#43387257) Homepage

    They failed to produce anything of value in the last few years, with the exception of Force Unleashed, but even the sequel was lack lustre.

    One one side it can be hard to produce a radical new game/concept, when boxed into the SW franchise. That said they had exclusive access to a big market of SW fans. I really wished they'd release a new version of Tie Fighter/Xwing MMO.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      That said they had exclusive access to a big market of SW fans. I really wished they'd release a new version of Tie Fighter/Xwing MMO.

      They had the opportunity to just print money. They could have literally released Tie Fighter (the whole series really) through GOG at five to ten bucks per title and sold it massively with basically no cost to themselves. Then they could sell a DirectX version again. Then they could reboot the franchise and give us some massive single player space battles and print money again, and they could do it with someone else's engine for all it would matter.

  • by mark_reh (2015546) on Sunday April 07, 2013 @08:38PM (#43387281) Journal

    about 30 years ago. It was the most degrading job I have ever had. Management treated employees like crap. Day one job training consisted of the boss showing you your locker and uniform, telling you to keep it clean and never take it out of the park, and do things the "Disney way" or get the hell out because there are 10 people lined up outside to take your job.

    • by dadelbunts (1727498) on Sunday April 07, 2013 @09:01PM (#43387381)
      Well if working at Disney i would expect you to do things the "Disney way" or be canned. If i had employees i certainly would want them to do things the way i wanted and not however suited their fancy.
    • by viperidaenz (2515578) on Sunday April 07, 2013 @09:15PM (#43387441)

      Oh no! you have to do what you're told when you're getting paid for it?
      They don't let you steal uniforms either? No noes!

      • by mark_reh (2015546) on Sunday April 07, 2013 @09:56PM (#43387585) Journal

        Holy crap, how do people manage to miss my point? I wasn't complaining that they expected employees to follow specific rules, I was pointing out the tone of the "training" which was extremely disrespectful, and the fact that it took less than 10 minutes on day one to be treated like crap by the management.

        • Its a minimum wage job that requires the following skills:
          Do what you're told.
          Don't steal shit.

          What do you expect? A kiss and a hug?

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by BitZtream (692029)

      I used to work at Disney too.

      You're a whining bitch, to put it bluntly.

      There is a REASON there are 10 people lined up outside to take your job, it is perhaps the best job you can find at a young age in central florida.

      You should be doing it the Disney Way, the Disney Way makes their customers happy? Have you ever BEEN on a Disney vacation as an adult? You will not find a better service regardless of your tastes.

      Yes, it was a shit job, as are all jobs for untrained/uneducated workers, like you know ... the

      • by mark_reh (2015546)

        From your tone I am guessing you were Disney management in the park, or would have been an excellent management candidate.

      • by JBMcB (73720)

        +1 parent. The "Disney Way" is to make customers happy. It's *everyones* job. So if you're a miserable SOB working at a Disney park isn't a great idea.

        Working there sounds awful to me, I'm not a people person at all. But I personally know a few people who worked there for a few years and *loved* it. More power to them.

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      you worked a minimum wage job 30 years ago, thats totally the same as a software development house

  • What a shame to shutdown the source of so much fun! I see that they released a couple of the classic games open source, so perhaps some sort of good can come from that.

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      yea, I thought "what a shame their games were fun" but that was over a decade ago

      lucas what? oh generic starwars hack-n-slash with outdated engines, yawn

  • News at 11 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Eskarel (565631) on Sunday April 07, 2013 @08:46PM (#43387315)

    Company which hasn't made anything of note in years shut down.

    Seriously folks, LucasArts has made some of the greatest games I've ever played, but how long does that keep the lights on? It's not like the brand even has that much value anymore.

  • I apply at the place last week to be a programmer/designer. Next week, its shut down.
    All they really needed was to make an Xwing vs TieFighter MMO, where you built up a fleet of ships by running missions, and your guild was your wingmen. It could have had staying power if done right.
  • That eulogy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OhANameWhatName (2688401) on Sunday April 07, 2013 @09:15PM (#43387439)
    Is self serving justification. "We sacrificied everything! We were so dedicated [sniff] it's not [sniff] [cry] FAAAIIIIRRR [sniff]"

    The studio had the greatest franchise in the history of science fiction and failed. If the employees don't hold themselves responsible, I can see why it's been closed. Considering the epic failure of Kinect Starwars and the near complete disappointment of TOR .. it's pretty clear that LucasArts Studios has been on pump and dump for some years now. Thinking back, it's hard to recall a Star Wars game since X-Wing which has even come close to meeting expectations of the fans.

    And I don't think you can blame the fans for having too high expectations. If TOR was even remotely like a an open ended MMO, people would have been glued to it like flies on shit. But despite the that being the only requirement .. well, the bar was too high. If the staff aren't the people responsible, who are?

    I'd be the last person wanting to publicise my failure on a eulogy page, that's just flat out embarassing.
    • shortcomings, TOR, KotOR1/2, JK2/JKA, and dozens of others WERE NOT LUCASARTS. They'd already gotten dumped from the lucrative games by the time that came around, and as someone else mentioned in a prior article's replies, they were handicapped by mismanagement with enough hubris to state that innovation and such wasn't important in the *PROSPECTIVE JOB INTERVIEWS*. IE they were losing their best and brightest from inside, and not regaining any from outside due to MANAGEMENT, not due to the staff themselves

    • Re:That eulogy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday April 07, 2013 @10:03PM (#43387617)

      You cannot milk a franchise forever, no matter how great it is.

      What made the franchise great is that the way it started was new. And no, I'm not even talking about the FX. Yes, they were great. I'm old enough to remember what it was like to sit there in the cinema with people screaming (yes, screaming) at the opening of Episode IV. You know the scene? The Corvette flying overhead and everyone was "whoa, that's detailed, that's so real", and then that Star Destroyer coming in in pursuit... the audience did go wild.

      The story was new, too. Before that, SciFi and magic didn't really mix. This was one of the first that catered to both audiences. You also had way more developed characters than was normal in SciFi back then. Sure, it was just a generic Percival theme, mixed with the old war hero that had some personal reasons to disappear into obscurity, the pirate-turned-hero and the young hero eventually saving the day, but the mix was right and novel at its time.

      You also had characters that were more than one dimensional stereotypes. The heroes were not without flaws and the Evil (tm) had actually a reason to be evil. Not the usual "we want to destroy the earth just because, well, it's there" crap that was SciFi at the time.

      From the 2013 point of view, nothing to write home about. In 1979, it sure was breathing new life into a stale genre. It can be said that it was the beginning of SciFi being more than flashy, gimmicky movies with little plot and storyline.

      Sadly, with the new trilogy, they pretty much turned time back pre-1979. In the new trilogy, you have shallow, unbelievable characters who sometimes do things for no logical reason (not even any "human" reason) and plot holes big enough to send an armada of death stars through without them even coming close to their edges. Not to mention alienating the fanbase by tampering with the movies we grew up with and were fond of.

      Seriously, movies 1-3 were nothing spectacular. Yes, they were quite watchable. They were decent, but nothing groundbreaking like the first trilogy. Based on those, there is simply no franchise to build. They don't come close to the status the first trilogy had. Not to mention that they really sometimes feel a lot like thinly veiled overlong ads for the merchandise. Seriously, am I the only one who thought Episode One was a too long ad for the podracer game?

      What felled Lucasarts eventually was simply that they created an expectation they could not fulfill. The bar was put quite way up there with their original movies and games.

      • You cannot milk a franchise forever, no matter how great it is.

        Oh, you can. You shouldn't, but you can.

        • No, you cannot. To milk it, someone has to fork over money for something with it attached. A franchise is not worth anything by itself, it's not something you can carry to the bank, you can't eat it and you can't live in it. You have to find someone willing to give you money to see your movie, play your game or enjoy your merchandise.

          And that someone can only be found if he connects something good with your franchise. People usually don't hand over money for nothing unless you can force them. Even charity g

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Seriously, movies 1-3 were nothing spectacular. Yes, they were quite watchable. They were decent, but nothing groundbreaking like the first trilogy. Based on those, there is simply no franchise to build.

        They have another chance with episodes 7-9. They could hardly be worse than episodes 1-3 (jinx!) and they will probably sell toys and games so long as they are at least slightly better.

        Not to mention that they really sometimes feel a lot like thinly veiled overlong ads for the merchandise. Seriously, am I the only one who thought Episode One was a too long ad for the podracer game?

        No, but I don't agree. It was also an ad for various plastic toys.

    • by Pecisk (688001)

      "The studio had the greatest franchise in the history of science fiction and failed. If the employees don't hold themselves responsible, I can see why it's been closed. Considering the epic failure of Kinect Starwars and the near complete disappointment of TOR .. it's pretty clear that LucasArts Studios has been on pump and dump for some years now. Thinking back, it's hard to recall a Star Wars game since X-Wing which has even come close to meeting expectations of the fans."

      You know that Kinect Star Wars is

  • Instead of all the pictures... I'd have shown the first game - Rescue On Fractalus, and had the Jaggi smash the cockpit window.

    That would have been more fitting.

    If they wanted to have some fun with it, change the jaggi into mickey mouse.

    http://youtu.be/FbZ-chrOgGg [youtu.be]

  • Slay -> slew -> slain.
  • So they don't do like when Commodore shut down, where the last employees burnded an effigy of the CEO Mehdi Ali on their farewell party.

    Documented by Dave Haynie in The Deathbead Vigil [frogpondmedia.com].

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?

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