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LucasArts president resigns


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Read the article and the comments below. I have to agree with all those who hope that the new president will take LucasArts back to its roots, meaning Monkey Island and Grim Fandango franchises, but also make sure that the Star Wars fans aren't disappointed.

I'm a little weary of that mysterious MMORPG Bioware is developing, since the article emphasized that they were the developers of the original KotOR right after that announcement. Dunno, maybe it's nothing, but I just wouldn't like it if it turned out to be KotOR 3: The MMORPG.

I'm also vastly disappointed that they aren't developing The Force Unleashed for PC. I've seen the trailer and while the abilities you have do seem impressive, the graphics itself doesn't strike me as that much hardware demanding that it couldn't be made to work on a PC.

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Strange news. I wonder why he stepped down. Hopefully his successor will have some new visions that are in sync with our own. Was kind of hoping to hear Peter Hirschman would step in -- the VP of Product Development who said KotOR 3 was a good idea.

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Ward either 'resigned' because he wasn't making the company profitable enough (or some other work-related problem), or he has some personal problems that are serious enough to warrant more attention from him (e.g. family illness, etc.), or he got tired of or frustrated with LA politicking, or he got a better offer at another company. I wouldn't be surprised to see his name pop up at some other major gaming outfit in the not too distant future.

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They mention a great line-up for 2008. All I know is that they're doing Force Unleashed and Fracture. Any surprises this E3? ;)

It has to! Both games are promising, but they don't make a great-line up by themselves. Kotor3... :)

 

Anyway, I don't think Ward did a bad job, he had a vision for the company, I hope someone can continue this and somehow take the wishes of gamers into account (including a better support for released games).

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Interesting...'Personal reasons'; I don't buy that story. It's too cliche to be the real reason. I wonder if this is a sign of the coming of K3? *hums Battle Hymn of the Republic*

Right.

 

"KotOR III is coming all excellently and nobody knows!"

*rubs hands in glee*

"Sir, maybe you should resign - that would be a mild, entirely subliminal hint to the fans that we're making KotOR III"

"Oh yes, most certainly! I'll say... uh... internal disputes?"

"Good sir, but I know something better! Personal reasons! It always works in the movies!"

"Sounds a bit cheesy, but what the hell. I love it!"

*writes resignation letter*

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This news did come as a surprise to me. Jim Ward has only been president at LucasArts for about three and a half years. When games typically take 2-4 years from start of development to public release that isn't a very long tenure. The SW games I attribute to the Jim Ward era are the LEGO Star Wars series (LucasArts didn't publish the first game though so I don't know how much that really counts for), Star Wars Empire At War and its expansion, and the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. I may give him credit for the LucasArts/BioWare project as well though I'll need some more info before I can give him the nod on that one.

 

I've always wondered if Jim Ward was the right choice to head a game publisher/developer like LucasArts. George Lucas and Micheline Chau decided to give him the opportunity and of course they are the ones that call the shots. Based on comments he made though and background info I read on him he seemed way too focused on the business side of things and didn't take into account the artistic aspects of game development. I did appreciate his commitment to make sure LucasArts made quality games though I'm not really sure his actions matched his words on the subject.

 

In any case, as Jae Onasi said, there is a reason for his departure and if it's not for health or family-related problems then it's highly likely he already has another job or business opportunity he is pursuing. He is way too young and too ambitious to be exiting the business world.

 

Here's hoping that GL and company will find a new president for LucasArts that will be dedicated to making quality games and who also loves the KotOR franchise. ;)

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As president of LucasArts, Jim Ward had oversight of all LucasArts games since 2004 May, when he took over at LA. As I understand it SWG is something he inherited from his predecessor so if you want to blame him for SWG's shortcomings I don't think culpability is fully on his shoulders.

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Blame Jim Ward if you want. I don't really care one way or the other. By all accounts SWG has struggled during his tenure so if you feel he should shoulder all the blame for that then go ahead and put it on him. There is no doubt in my mind that he should shoulder a good chunk of the responsibility for SWG's shortcomings but I don't think it would be fair to say it was him alone.

 

Also, if it turns out that BioWare and LucasArts are partnering on a new SW MMORPG based on KotOR and that game turns out to be a winner then you might remember that he was the one at the helm when that deal was made. :)

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