Disney acquiring Lucasfilm

Mickey Mouse outfit purchasing Star Wars company, focusing gaming business more on social and mobile than console

The Walt Disney Company is adding a few more universes to its empire, as it today announced an agreement to acquire Lucasfilm from its owner, George Lucas. The multimedia giant will purchase Lucasfilm, including the Star Wars franchise, for $4.05 billion in roughly equal amounts of cash and stock.

On top of the acquisition, Disney announced that it is working on Star Wars: Episode 7, targeting a 2015 release for the sci-fi sequel. In a post-announcement conference call, Disney executives said Episode 7 would be the first film in a new trilogy, with Episodes 8 and 9 expected to follow in 2017 and 2019. Lucas will serve as a creative consultant for that project, and future Star Wars films.

"For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next," Lucas said in a statement. "It's now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I've always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime."

Lucasfilm is more than just Star Wars. The company also owns the Indiana Jones franchise, as well as game developer LucasArts. A LucasArts representative commented on the news, telling GamesIndustry International, "For the time being all projects are business as usual. We are excited about all the possibilities that Disney brings."

[UPDATE]: Shortly after LucasArts made that comment, Disney provided a little more insight on the company's plans for its new acquisition's gaming business.

"We're likely to focus more on social and mobile more than we are on console," one Disney executive said on the company's conference call. He went on to say that Star Wars will still be appearing on consoles, but in the future Disney plans to look "opportunistically" at the market, working more through licensing its games to others rather than publishing them itself.

[Photo credit: Todd Andersen]

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Latest comments (26)

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 9 years ago
The "good" stuff: Can you say SW characters and levels in a new Kingdom Hearts game? Probably a SW Mickey game, SW in Disneyworlds all over and more SW than you can shake a stick at, Disney-ized or otherwise.

The bad" stuff: all of the above if you hate either.

Oh, and Episode 7 - 9? Eeek. That's the bigger news for most fans (I do wonder if they'll get into the Journal of the Whills stuff?). The sheer amount of licensing is going to be MASSIVE. Of course, if the films are more The Black Hole and that last Tron over something closer to the original trilogy, to quote Uncle Ben, "There's going to be hell to pay..."
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James Brightman Editor, North America, GamesIndustry.biz9 years ago
Imagine all the geeky crossover potential with Star Wars and Marvel!
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Peter Ohlmann Technical Director 9 years ago
Who cares, Lucasfilm already died with Jar Jar Binks years ago.
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Show all comments (26)
Reed N Studying Computer Science, Dakota State University9 years ago
@ gred > I doubt there will be a new Kingdom Hearts game here soon, they said in the interview that they would focus more in social and mobile gaming so I wouldn't expect the fabled KH3 any time soon but maybe more spin offs.

I just want to imagine the new star wars rides in Disney world.
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Joe Nuyen Mail Carrier & Industry Shareholder 9 years ago
Reading the release info on CHUD and AICN, yes Disney will focus on social and mobile, but they are more likely to license the properties in the interest of console development.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 9 years ago
So there will finally be a Marvel Vs Star Wars Capcom fighting game. Or not. I don't trust Disney's track record with games, especially after they shut down Black Rock after they made the amazing Split Second racing game. And Star Wars 7-9? Which series will hit 10 first, Star Wars or Paranormal Activity?
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 9 years ago
Feh. Star Wars.

What's more interesting? LucasArts and its IP. Monkey Island. Zak McKracken. Maniac Mansion. Grim Fandango. And, y'know, Warren Spector working at a studio owned by Disney.
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Shane Sweeney Academic 9 years ago
Given enough time all valuable franchises (comics, music, film, video games) will be owned by one of the big five media companies. It's not like copyright expires resonably given Happy Birthday is still protected.

We live in an interesting time where the default isn't "big media" already owning most of the video game publishers. That won't last for much longer. The real question is who will pair with who.
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Cale Barnett Animator 9 years ago
Thats not true! Thats impossible!!!

On a more serious note I'm keen to see what Disney can do with Star Wars, though I fear their target audience will become younger and younger.
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I am interested that from the video:

This is predominantly about plans for his (GL) exit towards protecting his investment as he retires to other projects. I wonder how much of this is his unhappiness with the complaints from the core audience on his direction and decisions on previous work (Jar Jar, etc.,)?
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robert troughton Managing Director, Coconut Lizard9 years ago
"licensing its games to others rather than publishing them itself" ... so this could actually be bad news for Lucas Arts then..? It's not clear (at least to me) whether Lucas Arts would continue developing those games - if a publisher licenses Star Wars they would usually arrange a suitable developer themselves..? (though this may of course be negotiated in the license)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by robert troughton on 31st October 2012 6:52am

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Matthew Handrahan European Deputy Editor, GamesIndustry.biz9 years ago
I'd like to see Pixar have a crack at a film based on the Star Wars universe. It really can't be any worse than what has happened under Lucas' supervision.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 9 years ago
Morville I'm with you on LucasArts! :)
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James Prendergast Process Specialist 9 years ago
I think this is a good thing for the IPs with regards to movies, books, amusement parks, toys and cartoons/TV series.

I think this is bad for the games side of things. Disney do not have a good track record with gaming and, IIRC, were talking about getting out of it not too long ago because it wasn't a core strength. Not to mention that, although they sometimes do make more adult/mature orientated material, they tend not to... I can't imagine Sam and Max, proper Star Wars (e.g. Jedi Knight, X-wing/Tie Fighter), Monkey Island or Grim Fandango in this regime.
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Michal Korec Editor/Analyst 9 years ago
Paranormal Activity will die by 6th or 7th part, as we see the slump of the 4th part in series.

Star Wars: Episode 10 might be some cross-over using all Disney assets :) Just wait and see when Force comes to Marvel Universe :)

Focus on social+mobile is seen at Disney these days already, so nothing new. But some quick-buck games for Ep7-9 are sure to come for next-gen consoles.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D9 years ago
I'd like to see a movie version of Heir to the Empire as number 7.
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Tom Keresztes Programmer 9 years ago
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 9 years ago
Does that make princess Leia a Disney Princess? o.O

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 31st October 2012 11:58am

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James Prendergast Process Specialist 9 years ago
@ Rick.

Yes.... and YES..

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Hugo Dubs Interactive Designer 9 years ago
Im going to murder every single mickey Im going to see, just sayin'...
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Sam Brown Lead Audio Programmer, TT Games9 years ago
Are you aware of the alternative meaning of the phrase "Mickey Mouse outfit"? :)
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as my friend mentioned about this - expect singing and dancing, any moment now....
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Quincy Ward Studying Computer Science, University of Arkansas9 years ago
A Disney version of smash brothers should be in the works or Disney vs Smash Brothers
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Owch! Being told you're going to finish up your console / PC games and start working on mobile & social games instead? Sounds like hell...
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To paraphrase Disney's statement " there is a pent up demand..." for social and casual (in Disney's eyes) hehehe
Look at what they did to John Carter
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Patrick Williams Medicine and Research 9 years ago
Rick wins the thread. All this said, the movies can't possibly get worse. Hopefully Lucas' role as "consultant" will minimize the sheer destructiveness of his influence and poor writing. I agree the Tim Zahn books were great.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Patrick Williams on 31st October 2012 9:56pm

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