So, LucasArts is dead…

3 min read


We’ve already told you that the incredible looking Star Wars 1313 has been canned, but the more important bit of that news is that LucasArts, as a game development studio, no longer exists. We’ve reported on a number development studio closures this generations, but I don’t think any of them have hit me right in the childhood quite like this.


I have fond recollections of booting up games and being greeted with that little golden guy, so ubiquitous in the 90’s. So many of my very favourite games, still so firmly rooted in memory, came courtesy of the teams at Lucasarts; the finest purveyors of point-and-click adventure games to have ever existed. Here are the ones that meant most to me.

It all started, for me at least, with this in 1987, Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick’s hilarious  adventure game tribute to B-grade horror flicks, Maniac Mansion.


The game that really made me fall in love with LucasArts as an adventure game developer though was 1990’s SCUMMY tale of a pirate inept, the delightful Guybrush Threepwood in The Secret of Monkey Island and, of course, its follow-up, LeChuck’s revenge the next year.


Obviously an adventure game factory, LucasArts gave us the licenced title, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis the very next year – which is still a better Indy experience than that shark-jumping, fridge-nuking Crystal Skull nonsense.


Maniac Mansion of course, gave rise to a sequel, Day of the Tentacle, this time under Tim Shafer and Dave Grossman, which in 1993 was one of the very first boxed video game products I’d ever bought – and still stands as one of the funniest, smartest games of its ilk.


That same year also gave us LucasArts take on comic-book anti-hero Dog and psychotic rabbit duo Sam and Max, in Hit the Road. I will never forget that giant ball of twine.


I don’t think much needs to be said about Tim Shafer’s Full Throttle, released in 1995; which I’m sure is a favourite of yours too. Bikers, Hard Rock and Point and click shenanigans? That we never got to see more, despite numerous announced (but ultimately cancelled) sequels is one of gaming’s biggest travesties.   “Help me Ben, You’re my only hope!


This is but a small sample of the company’s many adventure games, with other titles like 1995’s The Dig and the last real adventure game they produced, Grim Fandango as some of the last testaments of a genre that was, until revived by Telltale Games, essentially dead.

“Even though part of me felt this was coming, I’m still, somehow, shocked,” former LucasArts genius Tim Shafer told Kotaku. “I never thought that Lucas would actually shut down. I feel badly for all the talented people there. LucasArts was my first job in the industry. And sad to see all that history go away. And all that concept art. I’m going to be dumpster diving behind their offices for a while to see if I can find any old Full Throttle concept art.”

And of course, there are the many, many Star Wars games; to numerous to even list, but including those old space combat gems like X-Wing and Tie Fighter and more modern ones like the N64’s excellent Rogue Squadron – to shooters like Dark Forces and its Jedi Knight sequels and more multiplayer shooters like Battlefront.

Though it could be reasonably argued that LucasArts hasn’t really produced much of worth in the last decade, it’s still a dark day for gaming, and the gaming industry as a whole. More unfortunate is that the last two games released bearing the LucasArts name were Angry Birds: Star Wars, and the frankly terrible Kinect Stars Wars.

What a way to end a legacy.

Tell us, what’s your favourite LucasArts Memory?

Last Updated: April 4, 2013

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • jedi acadamy 🙁

  • Admiral Chief Erwin

    This HAS to be some sort of sick belated April fools joke, it just has to!

  • My fav ever: Grimm Fandango,Star wars: Rogue squadron and The Battlefront games. Seriously fuck you Mickey mouse.

    • Admiral Chief Erwin

      Grimm was the bloody best!

  • Deon Steyn

    I always hoped against hope for a Tie Fighter/X-wing reboot. But no we got Star Wats Kinect!

    • Tie fighter was great
      im not even sure i knew what a pc was when i was playing that

  • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    This has to be the worst shutdown ever. I grew up during their golden age of games. This is seriously a sad day 🙁

    • Indeed I share your pain

    • Admiral Chief Erwin

      4th april 2013, the day my heart broke
      At least they didnt do it on 4 may….

    • Yeah, I feel ya. Even more sad is that I saw this coming. Disney taking over and the inevitable SWTOR fail, just made me feel that things are heading in a bad direction 🙁

  • rubber chicken with pully in the middle

  • Trebzz

    Its dead like Dawsons Crack o.O

  • Admiral Chief Erwin

    Jedi Knight

    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      Nevermore 🙁

      • Admiral Chief Erwin

        Man, would have killed for JK4!!!! I’d even go so far to say give JK to Activision so that we can get yearly releases!

        • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

          Woah, that is desperate 0_o

          • Admiral Chief Erwin


          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            Well, it’s over. It’s not happening. Sorry man 🙁 I know, I know. It’s a bitter pill to swallow. I am struggling with this myself

        • SIES!

  • Good bye old friend and thank you for the great memories you have given me growing up … your point and click adventures opened up a new world to me, where games were more than just a Hi-Score …. R.I.P

    • Jonah Cash

      This game is one of my all time favourite games ever….. Will have to play it over the weekend as a tribute to Ben!!!

  • Deon Steyn

    I can’t recall all the memories now, still to painfull. I’m just glad we got to grow up with all these games. Kids will never know.

    • Man I can’t express how happy I am that I grew up with these games man ….. Kids today will never know these type of games and it’s just so sad 🙁 My wife told me to keep my ps2 forever, when we have our kids one day they need to grow up on those games, not the games we have now 🙁 🙁 🙁

      • In 20 years I will be saying the same thing to my kids about the games of today, just like your grandparents went on about throwing rocks in the lake or climbing trees.

      • Yateen Dayaram

        your wife is wise

  • We’re ready to set sail, ’though the cannons need a priming.
    We’re thievin’ balladeers,A gang of cut-throat mugs,To fight us off, you won’t need guns,Just jolly good earplugs!A pirate I was meant to be,Trim the sail and roam the sea…

  • Grim Fandango!

    • That Tall Twit


  • Trevor Davies

    Dark Forces was a good shooter back in the day – still have the original disk nestled under a whole bunch of newer titles

    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      Dark Forces 2 multiplayer was the best!

      The Bespin map was epic!

    • @google-b3ba07f0835438e0c954c94031814a2f:disqus Please pop me a mail about that Dark Forces disk. Or look me up on Twitter. [email protected] @AndrewJacksonZA

  • Dewald Duvenhage

    I want to send Disney a big F-U! Now the new Star Wars movie will be a fairy tale also.

  • Indiana Jones.

  • Bobbothegreat

    Along with Sierra, LucasArts Games defined my childhood. Day of the Tentacle still remains one of my favourite games ever.
    It seems only fit to end with a quote. “You fight like a dairy farmer.” “How appropriate. You fight like a cow.”
    RIP LucasArts Games.

  • *sniff*sniff* damn onions, can’t they see these tears are blocking my view *sobs*

  • Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis…what a game!…and Monkey Island…and Day of the Tentacle…and Sam & Max…what a sad day 🙁

  • But what abouts the Manny guy guy?

    • Manny Calavera

      • Funniest mexican grim reaper to have ever been pixilised

        • And then you meet Glottis and his pimped out Hearse.

        • We’re going to soar fellas. Like eagles. Eagles on pogo sticks.

          Dialouge like this just isn’t written any more 🙁

  • silverscorpio

    Grim Fandango. I heard that there is maybe going to be an IOS version for the IPAD but that is also probably dead. Now we must all love the Emperor Mickey Mouse. I feel sick.

  • Kromas

    KOTOR and KOTOR2 … and maybe sorta SWTOR (for about 3 months)

  • Yateen Dayaram

    …….Anakin….you’re breaking my heart!….jokes aside….this is the saddest gaming news iv ever heard…theres been a few but this really hit me….damn…big damn….Grim Fandango was a fond memory I never really got to play it but I still remember going to my friends house after primary school and gawking at the game on his pc (friend was showing off he always had the latest powerful pc at the time lol) man that game stuck with me it was magical…oh and KOTOR though developed by Bioware is still one of the greatest games iv ever played!…Battlefront was great…and…and Star Wars 1313 looked sooooooooo amazeballs…….forgive me im going to a corner to sob now…

  • Skyblue

    All I ever wanted was a new Tie Fighter game, sob

  • Lucasarts was the company that got me into gaming. I remember the hours spent using *my entire inventory* with *red-masked cannibal.*

    I will really miss this company.

  • Also, just because I didn’t see it here, let’s not forget “The Dig.” Epic game with a brilliant voice cast.

  • Aussious

    Its no suprise this happened I mean its so typical, but you would think a Dev like LucasArts would be somewhat immune to this, since they have been around for so long. The fact that they where part of Disney kinda explains it though, is George to blame because he sold them to a huge multinational? Maybe… this generation has been the worst in terms of company closures and I have a feeling its just the beginning.

  • GeoffChisnall

    The Dig deserves a picture up there! That game had me up for NIGHTS on end!

    As a tribute, they should release them all as a bundle. I would SO buy it without thinking.

  • Circuitflow

    Jedi Knight, Force unleashed.. now who is going to come up
    with the new jedi Game..??? can u imagine Playing a Jedi knight game with a
    sort of Skyrim feel.. what a game it would make., running around..all powerfull and stuff and
    leaving up your jedi power ect… man oh man .all those nice dream down the pipe!!! ..All we going to get now is a
    Jedi knight entertaining kids at diney world.. YEAH!

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