Kotaku reported a convincing rumor this morning that the new president over at LucasArts, Paul Meegan, has cancelledThe Force Unleashed 3 for all platforms. This is an extremely bold move considering his limited, two-month employment at LucasArts. The game was already in production, and it’s likely that the favorable Force Unleashed 2 team leader, former creative-director Haden Blackman, exited late July because he had a sense of what LucasArts was to become under the new leader. To add further insult to all things Unleashed, Kotaku’s source also claims that once The Force Unleashed 2 ships in October, Meegan will begin widdling away the development team responsible for the game.
It wouldn’t be surprising if these rumors turned out to be true. Meegan already surprised his own staff by cancelling the PSP edition of TFU2 last week. The cancellation isn’t the surprising part. It’s that he didn’t even tell his internal staff about the move. Rather than stand up for his own decisions and show a little respect to his staff, he decided it would be best if they just found out the way any regular gamer would: on the web. If those remaining few at LucasArts aren’t scared after, what is sure to be just the first round of layoffs, is over, they should be.
Meegan also finds it rational to cancel all external development of LucasArts titles once The Old Republic ships next year. While Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones titles may not be everyone’s cup of tea, nixing devs like Traveller’s Tales after a string of relative successes is a funny way of saying thanks. If this is true, it means the institution of a relative closed-door policy at LucasArts, stifling creativity and ruining relationships within the industry.
Maybe Meegan can see all and is making these decisions with the best intentions of the company, his staff, and fans in mind. Maybe he’s going to save LucasArts’ from mediocrity, and usher in a new level of quality. What is likely though, if these rumors turn out to be true, is that he will create a relative fear-state within his studio, adversely affecting the enthusiasm and confidence of his staff. May the force be with you...
[ Kotaku ]