LucasArts President Quits

mtxblau

Mid Boss
http://www.gamespot.com/all/news/news_6076612.html

Simon Jeffery's exit surprises industry. LucasArts vice president Mike Nelson named acting GM.

With little warning, LucasArts president Simon Jeffery resigned today. The company issued a brief statement this afternoon saying that Jeffery "has decided to leave the company and return to his native England with his family." No official reason for the exit was given. Mike Nelson, LucasArts' vice president of finance and administration, will serve as acting general manager until a replacement is found.

The announcement, first reported in the Los Angeles Times, surprised many in the game industry. Others, though, saw the resignation as just the most recent in a wave of recent departures, which have included several prominent decision-makers.

"The company is at a crossroads," said one industry insider reflecting on Jeffrey's departure. Another industry source echoed that sentiment, saying that Jeffrey leaves a publisher struggling to transition away from Star Wars-based products and produce original games that can sell in similar numbers. So far, LucasArts' internally-produced non-SW titles have not been much of a force: Full Throttle: Hell on Wheels was cancelled in August, and RTX Red Rock produced both tepid reviews and poor sales.

Jeffery joined LucasArts in 1998 as director of international business and was promoted to president in 2000. While at LucasArts, he oversaw the release of such titles as Knights of the Old Republic, the highly acclaimed Xbox RPG, and Star Wars Galaxies, the popular massively multiplayer game.

Jeffrey's exit comes at the end of a banner year for LucasArts. Star Wars: Galaxies is among the fastest-growing MMORPGs, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic remains one of the Xbox's best-selling titles. The publisher's recent PC release Jedi Academy has also won praise, and its upcoming Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike is being eagerly awaited by GameCube owners.
 
Originally posted by MTXBlau@Oct 10, 2003 @ 11:27 AM

"The company is at a crossroads," said one industry insider reflecting on Jeffrey's departure. Another industry source echoed that sentiment, saying that Jeffrey leaves a publisher struggling to transition away from Star Wars-based products and produce original games that can sell in similar numbers. So far, LucasArts' internally-produced non-SW titles have not been much of a force: Full Throttle: Hell on Wheels was cancelled in August, and RTX Red Rock produced both tepid reviews and poor sales.

I'm glad I'm not the only one that sees this as a problem. LucasArts has become a one-trick pony. All it churns out these days are Star Wars based games with few exceptions. Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb was pretty good. Better than Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine at any rate.

But the cancellation of Full Throttle: Hell on Wheels is not a good thing. Yet as long as Sam & Max: Freelance Police comes out on schedule and is as good as the first, there's still hope. But seriously, these guys need to get the hell away from Star Wars. :angry:
 

Myname

Established Member
The only half-decent Star Wars games recently have been made externally anyway (KOTOR, Rogue Squadron). IMO Lucasarts hasn't developed a good Star Wars game since TIE-Fighter and X-Wing, which I still play on even now despite not being much of a Star Wars fan.

They even managed to fuck up the last two Monkey Island games. I'm sure some will disagree, but I didn't enjoy them at all..[/bitterness]
 

axelblazeadam

Staff member
Originally posted by Myname@Oct 10, 2003 @ 11:57 PM

They even managed to fuck up the last two Monkey Island games. I'm sure some will disagree, but I didn't enjoy them at all..[/bitterness]

I liked 3, thought it was very good game, although a little short. I didnt like 4, the 3d polygon look didnt suit it at and I felt the humor wasnt up to the standard of the previous 3. If they do make a new one they should give it a cel shaded look which would suit it more.

The last great LucasArts game was Grim Fandango IMO.
 

mtxblau

Mid Boss
Originally posted by Quadriflax@Oct 9, 2003 @ 08:13 PM

But the cancellation of Full Throttle: Hell on Wheels is not a good thing. Yet as long as Sam & Max: Freelance Police comes out on schedule and is as good as the first, there's still hope. But seriously, these guys need to get the hell away from Star Wars. :angry:

Sorry to dredge up an old thread, but...

Steve Purcell comments on Sam & Max 2's cancellation

Steve Purcell, the creator of Sam & Max (as well as artist and co-writer on the original Sam & Max game) has shared some of his thoughts about Sam & Max Freelance Police's cancellation, at Mixnmojo:

LucasArts' sudden decision to stop production on Sam & Max is mystifying. Sam & Max was on schedule and coming together beautifully.

I couldn't have been more pleased with the quality of the writing, gameplay, hilarious animation and the gorgeous 3D world that Mike Stemmle's team has created. The rug has been pulled out from under this brilliant team who've so expertly retooled Sam & Max for the 21st century.

I'm extremely frustrated and disappointed especially for the team who have devoted so much effort and creativity to Sam & Max. It's a shame to think that their accomplishments, as well as the goodwill that has been growing in the gaming press toward this project, will all go to waste due to this shortsighted decision.

Thanks everyone, for continuing to make your feelings known.

—Steve Purcell

Original link here.

A tragedy and a travesty. Very, very sad.
 

Curtis

Established Member
I don't know about anyone else, but I'm getting mighty tired of the Lucas "empire". It seems that anything with The Hair's name on it goes to hell, sooner rather than later. :(
 
Son of a bitch. I don't know if I could be more upset at this decision. I was so looking forward to this game from the moment I heard about it. I have written a letter to LucasArts addressing my disappointment. I urge anyone out there who was also waiting for this game to do the same. This is a sad day indeed. :(
 

antime

Extra Hard Mid Boss
They probably canned the game when they realized there was no way they could rebrand it into "Star Wars Episode 3: Freelance Police".
 
*bump*

I don't know who else is interested, but it looks like some LA designers started their own business when things got shaken up last year. Of particular interest is that Sam & Max: Freelance Police might have found a new home with Bad Brain.

Speculation is high as negotiations proceed. They've signed an NDA, but there's a puzzle on their website that, if solved, will supposedly give us more information. There's a thread about it here, if anyone is interested in trying to help solve it.

At the very least it can be said there are still dedicated game designers out there that listen, care, and interact with their audience.
 
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