Wow. There was nothing that clued me in to George Lucas being willing to relinquish control of Star Wars. I guess I missed the 4 billion plus reasons to do so.
My take on today's momentous announcement:
- Be prepared for lots of Star Wars movies. At least 4 more for sure. Disney needs to make back its $4 billion dollars and then some.
- Expect plenty of retcons and general disregard for Star Wars continuity especially where the EU is concerned. This may not be all bad though. As with most things the relative merits of continuity breaks depend greatly on one's point of view.
- Star Wars games and LucasArts don't gain any immediate benefit from this deal. Disney Interactive has performed miserably for quite some time so it's not like Disney has the chops to show LucasArts how game development is done.
The big emphasis during Disney’s conference call discussing its acquisition of Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion was, not surprisingly, the enormous earnings potential of the Star Wars franchise. And that includes gaming — so one of the analysts asked for more details about Disney’s interactive strategy.
CEO Bob Iger responded that the company is “likely to focus more on social and mobile than we are on console.” However, he added that Disney will look at console games “opportunistically,” using licensing deals to allow other companies to create Star Wars games for cosnoles.
I know my first reaction to this news was that Star Wars: The Old Republic is toast. I'm sure many of you are fine with that but I need another 6 months or so . So yeah, it doesn't look like the future of LucasArts and serious Star Wars gaming is substantially improved. I feel confident this deal is the reason why a new LucasArts president was not selected after the last president, Paul Meegan, left and was quite possibly the reason he did leave. And I interpret Bob Iger's response to the gaming factor of this acquisition to mean that Star Wars gaming wasn't much of a consideration. Disney is all about the moviemaking and merchandising potential. Alas, I fear Star Wars games will continue to languish for some time after Disney closes this deal. The only saving grace is the possibility of an independent developer pitching Disney a SW game that Disney likes and is willing to fund development of.