The impressive-looking action game is looking like a casualty of the Disney/Lucasfilm buyout according to a piece from Kotaku.
Despite assurances from LucasArts to Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo that the action game set in the dark underbelly of the “Star Wars” universe was still under active development, there’s a convincing case here that it’s either being slotted or at least given a slow death by the new overlords at Disney. Totilo noted that sources close to the project have told him that what might be holding the game back at this stage is the J.J. Abrams-led new trilogy, where Disney is currently trying to shift all of its attention right now.
“Star Wars 1313” was originally codenamed “Underworld” and was being developed by LucasArts as a tie-in to a then in development live-action series. The more mature themes and tones of that show would have been reflected in the next-gen looking title which originally started out as an open-world RPG before budget constraints pushed it towards an action platformer, according to the report. Back in October, an insider at LucasArts told Polygon that with the sale to Disney, it was still business as usual for the development of any ongoing LucasArts titles.
Another factor is Disney’s continued shift away from console gaming to more casual titles after a string of failures including “Split/Second” and more recently, “Epic Mickey 2” which saw the closure of Junction Point Studios. Disney might not have a taste for big budget game development anymore,* although you’d have to imagine they would at least be willing to get “1313” across the finish line (unless there was a feeling that somehow it would muddy the waters with the new trilogy). It’s not like Disney’s not going to have “Star Wars” games out around the time of the new movies, it’s just likely that they may farm the work out to non-Disney owned developers to make them.
“Star Warss 1313″ was unveiled last year during E3 2012 with a somewhat grimmer take on the franchise than we were used to among the criminals and killers beneath the glistening surface of Coruscant. The planned 2013 release is looking less certain and if it does, in fact, get released, we may not see it until next year.
*”Infinity” would count as toys, not games.
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