Star Wars 1313 – Death of a Franchise

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By Uzor Chinukwue

Seems those boys at Disney are determined to bury what might have been a promising franchise. In an era of gaming that focused on rehashing well-worn stories and gaming mechanics Star Wars 1313 looked to be a potential gem that may just have revived sci-fi shooters.

But alas any dreams of having a post Mass Affect 3 resurgence of action-adventure gaming were blown out the water when the Walt Disney Company, after having acquired Lucasfilm in a deal said to be worth over $4 billion, went on to close down LucasArts, the studio behind the Star Wars 1313 game.

What this means is Star Wars games like the 1313 title are no longer in development, though there may be a slight glimmer of hope with Lucas Arts retaining licensing powers.

Conceivably, they could sell the rights to a third party to develop, but Disney has announced it will be concentrating on Star Wars movies. And while this may be welcome news for JJ Abrams it should be treated with a generous degree of cynicism by everyone else.

Why you may ask? Well for years while the Lucas team have been mostly known for all things Star Wars they’ve also been involved in some of the most technologically impressive breakthroughs in recent film history. Why Pixar was one such success. And remember the liquid metal Terminator from Terminator 2, which still manages to catch the eye even after all these years? Well that groundbreaking marvel was down to them as well.

And while stopping production of a video game is not the same as closing down the special effects arm of the Lucas companies, namely Industrial Light and Magic the point was for Star Wars 1313 all 3 companies were involved: ILM, Lucasfilm Animation and Skywalker Sound.

This move would undoubtedly have created advancements in video gaming, which history tells us would probably translate well into technology used in film. In short Disney’s shortsightedness may earn the big bucks at the box office but may stunt the progress of both the video gaming and film industry.

Don’t agree with me? OK. I hope I’m wrong, but it seems they are going the way of Microsoft: rather than admitting to themselves they are anti innovation they’ll instead shell out ridiculous sums of money to buy competitors and true innovators only to go right ahead and strip anything that looks like innovation from acquired companies until they’re just clones of the Parent company, which will only lead observers to ask, what was the point in buying said companies anyway? Was it to inject much needed creativity in a  stagnant bureaucracy or  was it just to kill Moses before he grows muscles enough to challenge Pharaoh? I guess only time will tell on this one guys.


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