When I think of the games that I loved the most growing up, LucasArts is the company that gives me the most warm and fuzzies.
To me, computer gaming hit its peak in about 1999, and at that point LucasArts was the undisputed master. Shortly after, consoles would become the dominant player in the industry, and while PC gaming has never truly gone away, the glory days have come and gone.
Lucas had so many different games, entire genres, not to mention some of the best licenses in Star Wars and Indiana Jones.
There were adventure games like Full Throttle, Sam and Max Hit The Road, and of course Grim Fandango, all of which blew me away with their depth and state of the arts graphics.
There were awesome Star Wars games like X-Wing, TIE Fighter, Rebel Assault (the killer app for CD Rom drives), Dark Forces and its sequels, and of course X-Wing vs TIE Fighter. Hell, I even enjoyed Rebellion.
In the console era, they created Obi Wan, Republic Commando, Armed and Dangerous, Mercenaries (and Mercenaries II), The Force Unleashed, and the Lego Star Wars games.
The company in recent years had produced fewer super cool games, but things were looking up with Star Wars 1313…a game that will likely never see the light of day.
Reading the recently posted Eulogy for Lucasarts, I’m struck by how many people gave up significant parts of their lives for the company. Reading that some had postponed pregnancies or had missed funerals, it reminds me of something a mentor of mine told me long ago.
Be loyal to people, not to places.
LucasArts was a place. A super cool place, it had a cafe called “Java the Hutt”, they gave out cool Christmas gifts, and you were given the keys to the kingdom that the eleven year old me would have killed for…but at the end of the day, it was just a job. A job at a company that was eventually sold and closed down, regardless of the history of the place, or the number of hits they’ve had in the past.
I’m not worried about the people at LucasArts getting jobs again. They were largely the best of the best, in a city where there are not enough talented workers to meet the demand. Those people will get jobs again in the future, not because of something the place will do for them, but because of something their individual networks will create for them.