Final Chapter: LucasArts Employees Hold Wake

The bar’s name says it all: The Final Final.

That’s where LucasArts employees gathered Friday night to hold a wake, following the death of their game studio earlier in the week. At Final Final in San Francisco, a large gathering of LucasArts employees and former LucasArts workers shared drinks and tears, from recalling memories of creating such notable cult games like Monkey Island to mourning the loss of games whose lives were cut short, like Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault. 

But perhaps the people who best captured the sentiment of employees were Jesse Harlin, a LucasArts music supervisor and composer, who wrote an online Eulogy for LucasArts, featuring photos by Joel Aron, a CG lighting and Special Effects supervisor on the TV series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” Here are a few lines and photos excerpted from their work:

Photo: Joel Aron
Photo: Joel Aron

 LucasArts died today. It was 30 years old. …

Photo: Joel Aron
Photo: Joel Aron

The private face of LucasArts was so much more complex and nuanced.

We were a company, as all game companies should be, in the business of manufacturing imagination and conjuring fun. …

Photo: Joel Aron
Photo: Joel Aron

Sometimes executives presented us with projects, development partners, or deadlines that were impossible.

But giving all of yourself creatively never stopped. Ever.

Marriages failed as we poured our hearts into games that the press might eventually skewer.

Pregnancies were delayed in favor of project milestones.

Funerals were missed. …

Photo: Joel Aron
Photo: Joel Aron

Ask the employees to recall George Lucas’s gaming company and they’ll tell you about the time then-President Jim Ward rapped in front of all of Lucasfilm, or the winter our offices were infested with mice, or the semi-ceremonial send-off each departing employee had at the local bar, the Final Final. …

They’ll tell you about their successes and their stumbles.

Ask them to remember LucasArts and they will tell you about the lives they lived together imagining, innovating, telling stories, and conjuring fun.

Rest in peace, LucasArts. And thank you for the memories.

One image floating around on the Internet, however, may sum up gamers’ views on the closure of LucasArts.

Image: Kotaku
Image: Kotaku

Meanwhile, Disney is still on the prowl for more cost-saving cuts, according to Reuters, which cited sources who pointed to Disney’s consumer products division and studio as the next targets for layoffs.

Related Links

A Eulogy for LucasArts [IMGUR Albums]

9 Responses to “Final Chapter: LucasArts Employees Hold Wake”

  1. I remember how then-Lucasfilm Games (internally called Lucasfilm Computer Division Games Group) prototypes “Behind Jaggi Lines!” and “Ballblaster” knocked every Atari 8-bit owner off their socks when they first saw it. The games were eventually published as “Rescue on Fractalus!” and “Ballblazer” and still count among the best games for the Atari 800 ever made.

    Just watch this video:

  2. emberlynn

    I’m boycotting anything Disney. I have always wanted to go to disneyland – I’ve gone to their movies – but i’ll not spend another dime. I don’t care how badly I want to see the movie.

  3. Bob Plugh

    Just think of the money that Lucas made… How many billions did he get from selling the company? Think of this – 300 people – say each one is $100k / year – that’s 30 million / yr.

    1 billion $ is 30 years of that. So, Lucas EASILY made over 30 years of these people’s lives and he just let Disney buy it and toss it all away.

    I will buy NO Disney Products.
    I already cancelled my trip to Disney World this year.
    I will buy pirated copies of their movies that I want, or I will wait until they’re on cable and I will record them and burn them to disk myself (yes – wonderful how that technology is).

  4. Andrew E

    I started to lament their death until I read these phrases:

    “Marriages failed as we poured ourselves into games the press might eventually skewer.”

    “Pregnancies were delayed in favor of project milestones.”

    Those people had seriously misplace priorities if the project and GAMES at that took precedence over marriage and family.

    If that was truly the culture at Lucas Arts, then good riddance!

  5. Bob Plugh

    If this story says anything it should say this:

    A job is just a job – it is not your life, it is not your wife or husband, and it is not your child. Do not treat it as such for it will never hug you, kiss you, and it most certainly won’t take care of you in your old age – heck, there’s a good chance it won’t even take care of you the rest of this year!

    So –
    1) LIVE YOUR LIFE – screw the job
    2) LOVE YOUR WIFE – screw the job
    3) RAISE YOUR KIDS – screw the job
    4) ENJOY YOUR LIFE – screw the job…

    Why do I say “screw the job”? Because in the end – the job will MOST DEFINITELY SCREW YOU!

  6. Bob Plugh

    I will miss the output from LucasArts.

    And, I say this – as today is my 55th birthday – I am so very grateful to have a loving wife and two children that I helped raise and spent huge amounts of time with. They will soon be leaving the fold so to speak – once that happens I MAY jump into my job more than I have previously, but I will do so under my terms and not due to any stupid pressure from management. I will make sure I am PROPERLY compensated for it, should it occur. I have done so in the past and been SCREWED by the job – you know how that goes –

    Fool me once – Shame on you
    Fool me twice – Shame on ME!

  7. Extremely Pissed

    I feel really really really sad that his is happening. Not because it’s a company called LucasArts but because a lot of great people are going to be out of work. There’s going to be a great big group of people who have sacrificed their lives, missed funerals, marriages ended, pregnancies delayed, etc. all for the greater good of the team and the company, to see that the products succeed and loved by many who buy it, laid off. This is another great example of corporate america just using and abusing their employees and when the opportunity comes along to sell the company at a big price, none of the top executives and board members give a fly bleeeep about those who have worked at the company for so long, have sweated and bled for the company, who have helped to make it what it is today. Instead, they just sold it to the highest bidder and did not make sure that everyone below them in the corporate ladder, still had a job and was still well taken care of.

    This is a wake up call for everyone, company loyalty DOES NOT EXIST in this day and age. So managers and top executives, don’t be suprised or pissed that your employees leave quickly or in packs because you don’t give a fly rat’s arse about your employees that have helped to make your company great and have made you a whole ton of money. You just use and abuse your employees!!! I don’t care what kind of benefits the company may have because in the grand scheme of things, the employees have sacrificed way more than what the benefits are worth!!! Bottom line, LucasArts, you have betrayed your employees. Your employees who have worked tremendously hard for you, sacrificing so much of their lives for you. And in the end, you screwed them over!!!