LucasArts Shutdown Triggers Layoffs at ILM

LucasArts shutdown triggers layoffs at Industrial

End of Games and "Clone Wars" Left VFX Division Overstaffed

Today’s announcement of the shuttering of LucasArts Games and the layoffs that followed has had a ripple effect within Lucasfilm: Layoffs at Industrial Light & Magic.

Lucasfilm has long had a strategy of sharing technical resources and staff among visual effects, animation and games. But with production finished on the “Clone Wars” animated series and the next Star Wars animated series not yet in production, and the closing of LucasArts, a portion of its staff was left working only for ILM’s vfx business.

“It’s impossible for ILM to absorb all of those resources,” said a Lucasfilm spokesperson, “so with this change came the necessity for ILM to align itself and take responsibility for its own resources.” The company would not disclose the number of staffers who are being let go, but the group includes IT staffers and support staff.

The move comes as Lucasfilm prepares for its next era, as it ramps up for what will be the busiest era of film and television production in its history. There will be at least one Star Wars movie a year and a new animated TV series is in the works. But that ramp-up won’t arrive in time to save those jobs.

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  1. P. Ronai says:

    $5.7 billion PROFIT last year even after their $4 billion purchase of ILM! And they have to lay off hundreds of staff that were responsible for such a stellar year???? There must be something about $5.7 billion profit I don’t understand.

    • Greg Price says:

      Simple, that 5.7 B belongs to the shareholders, not the workers whose labor made it possible.

      • Greg Price says:

        The point, Pete, is that it won’t be used to help the guys slogging in the trenches. They KNOW they’re gearing up for another animated, and STILL let the animators go. When they need to “staff up” for the new show, it’s a good bet they won’t rehire them, or if they do they’ll have to take a pay cut.

        And it’s all to “increase value” for the shareholders, which is ALL corporations think about today.

      • Pete RONAI says:

        Corporations always try to match their resources to the demands of the market, but the truly great corporations create the market, and expand into what they create. Apple comes to mind. What Disney is doing is “eating the seed crop” instead of using it to create new and expanded opportunities.

      • Pete Ronai says:

        It belongs to the shareholders only if it is distributed to the shareholders in the form of dividends. Otherwise it represents retained earnings available for future acquisitions, replacement or expansion of physical plant, bonuses to executives, etc.

  2. Michael says:

    David, you completely got it wrong about the movie schedule. It’s a new movie every other year,NOT every year.

    • EM says:

      Actually, it is a movie every year starting in 2015 until 2020. It’s a new “trilogy” movie every other year. EP VII, VIII & IX in 2015, 2017 & 2019. The even years (2016, 2018 & 2020) will have non-trilogy SW movies.

  3. firebird2110 says:

    Disney got the IPs they wanted and now they’re stripping the company to the bone. They don’t care that The Clone Wars wasn’t finished, they don’t care that people were looking forward to 1313, they don’t care about the fans AT ALL. I think we’re just going to have to accept that Star Wars DIED the day George Lucas sold his company.

  4. Michał Przybylak says:

    “I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.” — Darth Disney

  5. Joey says:

    George had to sell before a massive tax hit. Enjoy your vote people! He’s “paying his fair share now eh?”

  6. Thanks for the memories:

  7. Themousescrewedus says:

    Bob Iger to Captain Dumbass: “Issue order 66! Wipe them out! all of them!”

    People have to stop apologizing for disney and say that lucasart put out crap games . 150 person lost their jobs and more on the way because of Disney’s view on how the franchise should be handled. Clone wars cancelled. Detours cancelled. Games cancelled. All things that George started to help the franchise and make the fans have fun. But disney thinks nothing of it since it does not bring money for them. Unless its guaranteed cash its gonna disappear. So expect a lot of thibgs star wars to just disapear unless disney has its greedy paws into it and see the dollar sign at end of it. George and the fans got screwed . Plain and simple. And when disney has had enough of George he is gonna get the boot too. U just wait and see. Disney is gonna get rid of him after the new trilogy.

    I do hope that they get bad publicity. It is the first time i see a company do this much damage to a franchise after an acquisition. They did not do this to Marvel. I guess some had an hidden agenda on this!

  8. The Father says:

    No Lucas = No Me
    RIP Star Wars
    1977-2012

  9. Tim says:

    Immediately ask for your job back…make a case for it.

  10. MJ says:

    Uncle George got rich, Disney got rich, and a bunch of middle-class people are out on their butts.

    • Lucas donated all $4B that he got from selling his company to Disney to education, so yeah, he got rich from Star Wars, but everything he got from selling the company, he gave away.

      • EM says:

        Lucas only donated the $2B in cash he received, he is keeping the $2B in Disney stock. He is one of Disney stakeholders now.

    • some dude says:

      Yup, It was only a matter of time. I like how production conveniently won’t be ramping up on the busiest schedule yet. SO they really can’t roll these people onto deferred projects? BS they just want to fire’em and move the job over seas. rat bastards

  11. Very Grimm News Indeed… =-_-=

  12. Kelly says:

    Same question for ILM as I had for LucasArts/Disney regarding their mass layoff:

    Did ILM comply with the provisions of Federal and State WARN laws?

  13. lazypadawan says:

    All Disney has done is outrage Star Wars fans with one piece of bad news after another.

  14. Greg Price says:

    That’s a shame, but not surprising. That’s what Hollywood has become. No art. No vision. Just numbers. The bean counters run the studios. It killed Stargate. It killed Star Trek. It killed a number of Marvel shows. Now it’s killing Star Wars.

  15. Oscar Dingle says:

    Lots of good talent affected. And it’s not just the Clone Wars that is affected. Those talents are in a good amount of the credits that run though your favorite films. Some have defected and others starting independent companies. But it’ll never be the same cohesion and innovation as before. That magical ship has sailed. You can only get that juice when you have a pit of talent that gels like it did. The one good thing is anyone associated with ILM has an unmatched CV and a key to most any studio.

  16. Greg says:

    What is it that you are saying Laid Off? Are the problems at ILM/Lucasfilm deeper than is being told?

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