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LucasArts Shutdown Triggers Layoffs at ILM

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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