Disney abruptly shut down its LucasArts' "Star Wars" video game franchise just five months after the entertainment giant bought Lucasfilm and its video game subsidiary for $4.06 billion.
LucasArts had been updating its "Star Wars" video game titles with "Star Wars: First Assault" and "Star Wars 1313."
"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," Disney said in a statement to the Game Informer blog. "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."
In December, Disney announced that it acquired Lucasfilm, special effects giant Industrial Light & Magic, LucasArts and sound studio Skywalker Sound for $4.06 billion in cash and stock from its sole owner, George Lucas. Disney said at the time that it issued 37.1 million shares and made a cash payment of $2.21 billion to buy the maker of "Star Wars" from Lucas.
The video game blog Kotaku, citing an anonymous source, reported Wednesday that Disney's pullout of LucasArts meant that 150 people were laid off and that "Star Wars: First Assault" and "Stars Wars 1313" were canceled.
Disney has said it plans to revive the "Star Wars" movie franchise beginning with "Episode 7" in 2015.