EA Layoffs, Xbox 720 Attaches, LucasArts Crashes: News the Prodigious Way

The rundown of some of the biggest stories, rumors, and news in recent events, brought to you by Prodigious J

The world of gaming moves just as quickly as any other force in this world, and with such speed and grace, events tend to pass us by without use even noticing certain events.

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So in an effort to keep everyone up to date on the recent stirrings in the gaming universe, I compile these news events worthy of knowing in your every day life.

Behold the wonders of the News the Prodigious Way:

The Force Wasn’t Strong In this One

Many gamers know by name alone that LucasArts just so happens to be a company that was once known for their amazing, groundbreaking titles mainly revolving around the Star Wars universe.

As the public generally knows, as of October 2012, Disney bought the LucasArts name from George Lucas himself and people began to curiously inspect the implications of this buy out. Whether that be the Star Wars movies would be continued (which they are in the works) or if the property licenses would be ripped apart and made more child friendly, better known as Disneyfied.

I was one of many who was at first against it, but warmed up the potential being held in Disney’s big white gloved hands. As of a few days ago, that potential was soon realized as Disney made a major announcement regarding it’s LucasArts game department. With a single swoop, the department was closed down and the developers, 150 in current counting, were laid off. Now while some developers were kept on and the name LucasArts will be kept as a branding tool on future games but will no longer be a development company itself.

Here is a quote from LucasFilm about this decision:

“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,”  “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.”

So essentially to avoid financial risk if more LucasArts games fall short of expectations, they have pulled them as a development team all together. Hey LucasArts had some great games in the past, Grim Fandango, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, The Sam & Max series and Star Wars Kinec-.

The horrible thing about this closure is that one of the more anticipated games, Star Wars 1313 is now officially dead in the water. Yeah that amazing game we got glimpses at not to long ago will not be coming to life. LucasFilms did say that the license for the game would possibly be up for sale but many people are speculating that this will not happen.

I speak for all of us when I say truly we are going to miss LucasArts and all its fantastic projects that never will be now.

Well here’s to you LucasArts, R.I.P

Xbox Wont Spill the Beans, so “Sources” do it for them:

In recent developments, Microsoft is being very coy with their information on their next console. Sadly the sources to most media outlets can’t stop the news worthy notes from slipping out of their mouths.

The latest rumor is that all the “Internet Always Needed” feature is not going to be included in the next console at all. It was all for a new, mini Xbox 360 for those who can’t afford the original as the price would be a lower price. Yep you heard right, what’s even better about the news of this mini Xbox is that it might not even have a disc drive at all, making all content used on the system digital.

So this all sounds as good as a game of Russian Roulette with all bullets loaded. I can’t help but feel this is just something that might go terribly wrong if not done properly. Who knows it might be a major success if the rumor proves true. We will have to wait and see when Microsoft finally drops the console bomb on us.

Side note: The same sources mentioned that the next Xbox may feature a backwards compatible option for the Xbox 360 games, but at a cost. This would be done with a side peripheral. Want to play the older Gears of War games?

Well just pull out your 360 expansion port and slap that sucker in the disk drive. Seamless entertainment. My bet is that this is a rumor that spiraled from some random murmuring in the Microsoft headquarters but we shall see.

Go check out the full article.

Roller Coaster Rides Continue to be an issue for EA:

Now EA has been under much scrutiny lately with it’s recent release of SimCity and the horrific issues with servers and bugs. Well it appears that problems are still arising for the company as they begin layoffs company wide after CEO John Riccitiello stepped down. The company hasn’t been overly open with who the layoffs will effect in the whole scheme of things, but at this point we know EA Montreal’s mobile division was hit.

The company released this statement in regards to the recent layoff decision:

“EA is sharpening its focus to provide games for new platforms and mobile,” reads a statement from the publisher. “In some cases, this involves reducing team sizes as we evolve into a more efficient organization. These are difficult decisions to let go of good people who have made important contributions to EA, and whenever possible we retrain or relocate employees to new roles.”

It’s easy to see they are gearing up for the next console cycle but the question that comes to mind is: “Will they keep enough team members to maintain a quality in their next gen products?”

Sure, I could be just kicking the company after recent games, but EA has a history of working well on many gaming titles but as time has passed, the quality seems to have been lacking. At least in my eyes.

We will just need to see how these new turn of events will impact the company as a whole in the coming months.

Wrapped up with a nice little bow on top

That’s all the news I have for the moment, many other events have hit the pipeline as I have been writing, I’m sure but I’ll need to catch up on those in another edition of News the Prodigious Way.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for the next article, some news stories you’d like investigated, please leave a comment below or shoot me an email at [email protected]. Who knows, they may get mentioned in the next installment.


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Author
Prodigious Jay
An up and coming gaming journalist looking to make his mark on the world and help gamers along the way.