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LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC (short LucasArts) is a company for video game development and publishing founded by George Lucas in May 1982 as the Game Division of LucasFilm (LucasFilm Games). With its memorable games, LucasFilm Games became one of the most important pioneers in the range of adventure games up to the 1990s. Today its success is focussed on publishing Star Wars games.


Company HistoryEdit

In 1982 George Lucas contracted a development partnership with Atari. The first games, Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus!, were illegally spread on pirate bulletin boards months before their official release for the Atari 5200 in 1984. Home computer versions published by Epyx followed in 1985. Koroni’s Rift and The Eidolon were further results of the collaboration with Atari and Epyx, until Lucasfilm Games started publishing by itself in 1987. The first movie-realization developed by Lucasfilm Games was the action-adventure game Labyrinth, based on Jim Henson's movie, which was produced by George Lucas. The developers already used some sort of sub-form of the SCUMM-engine here.

In the course of a reorganization of the George Lucas' spin-off companies in 1990, Lucasfilm Games, Industrial Ligt & Magic and Skywalker Sound were united under the newly created LucasArts Entertainment Company, from which later Lucas Digital Ltd. (ILM and Skywalker Sound) was split and LucasArts was from then on the official name of the former Games Division.

X-Wing (1993) was the first in-house production using the Star Wars license, leading a whole serial of Star Wars games, which would later become the basic formula for success within the company. Holding onto this concept for years shaped up to a nearly flop in the new Millenium, when LucasArts was criticized for producing Star Wars games in bulk at the cost of quality. Reinforcing their focus on quality to revive the profitable Star Wars franchise paid off for the company, as the fruitful release of Knights of the Old Republic (2003) did prove.


SCUMMEdit

In 1985 Ron Gilbert joined the team of developers. He created the concept for Maniac Mansion together with Gary Winnick and programmed a special graphics-engine for it: Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion, short SCUMM. The SCUMM-engine opened up a new era of gaming experience by enabling the players to control the game without longsome text-inputs for the first time. The users could from now on just click on the playscreen to get a direct reaction from the character - point-and-click was born. Another feature of the game were the multiple possible endings, depending on which character the player used. Maniac Mansion was one of the first games not only developed, but also published by Lucasfilm Games in 1987.

The invention of the SCUMM system did not only prepare the ground for the future Lucasfilm Games adventure games, which should gain cult status, it was also the basement to a new era of game development.

Adventure gamesEdit

Following the line of Maniac Mansion's success, LucasArts released a pack of adventure games in the following years, such as Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders (1988), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure (1989) and especially the popular The Secret of Monkey Island (1990). Besides Sierra, Lucasfilm Games could vaunt to be one of the leading developers in the field, publishing adventure games, that have been unforgotten until today. In the first half of the 1990s, LucasArts peaked out with the release of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (1991), Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (1992) and the Day of the Tentacle (1993) (a Maniac Mansion sequel). But the PC market alterred: two-dimensional graphics were no longer popular, high quality graphics cards applied a new standard for developing. The last game to keep the tradition of two-dimensional graphics and point-and-click interface was The Curse of Monkey Island (1997). One year later, LucasArts released its first game with 3D graphics: Grim Fandango (1998). The final adventure game in the classic LucasArts style released was Escape from Monkey Island (2000), a 3D game using the Fandango engine. Due to market turnover, plans were scrapped for sequels to both Full Throttle and Sam & Max. An unrelated episodic Sam & Max sequel was eventually developed by Telltale Games.

Star WarsEdit

In attempt to continue the success LucasArts made with their first home-developed Star Wars space combat simulator X-Wing (1993), the company launched a whole X-Wing trilogy (1994: TIE Fighter, 1997: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, 1999: X-Wing Alliance) and a big number of other Star Wars-based games like first person shooters (1995 Star Wars: Dark Forces with its Jedi Knight sequels), arcade video games (1993: Rebel Assault, one of the first CD-Rom-only games), strategy games (1993: Rebellion) and others within the following years.

Over the years, LucasArts had to take stick about the mass-production of Star Wars games, especially criticized for the growing lack of quality. In 2002 they announced to release at least 50% non-Star Wars-related games. However, those were not selling too well, so that LucasArts is today again developing mainly Star Wars games, but managed to revive the Star Wars franchise with the release of the role-playing game Knights of the Old Republic in 2003.

In the same year LucasArts captured a new market by launching the MMORPG Star Wars Galaxies. Again their new idea was very well received, and so the company released a number of expansions. Although Star Wars Galaxies is very popular all in all, some redesigns didn't match the players taste and there is also a number of problems that haven't been fixed yet.

The success in the year 2003 encouraged LucasArts to keep developing Star Wars games. More effectual releases followed, such as Star Wars: Battlefront (2004) and its sequel Star Wars: Battlefront II (2005), Revenge of the Sith (2005), Star Wars: Republic Commando (2005), the popular Lego Star Wars in 2006 and its sequels and finally Star Wars: The Force Unleashed in 2008.


Chronology of Releases Edit

(incomplete)

Year Title
1984 Ballblazer
1984 Rescue on Fractalus
1984 The Eidolon
1985 Koronis Rift
1986 Labyrinth
1986 P.H.M. Pegasus
1987 Strike Fleet
1987 Maniac Mansion
1988 Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders
1988 Battlehawks 1942
1988 Life Story: The Race of the Double Helix
1989 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
1989 Their Finest Hour: The Battle of Britain
1989 Pipe Dream
1990 Loom
1990 The Secret of Monkey Island
1990 Night Shift
1991 Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe
1991 Monkey Island 2: LeChucks Revenge
1992 Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
1992 The Empire Strikes Back
1992 Defender of Dynatron City
1992 Super Star Wars
1993 Star Wars: X-Wing
1993 Rebel Assault
1993 Day of the Tentacle
1994 Sam & Max Hit the Road
1994 Star Wars: TIE Fighter
1995 Full Throttle
1995 Dark Forces
1995 The Dig
1996 Rebel Assault 2
1996 Afterlife
1996 Rebellion
1997 X-Wing vs. Tie-Fighter
1997 Outlaws
1997 Jedi Knight
1997 Shadows Of The Empire
1997 Monkey Island: The Curse of Monkey Island
1998 Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith
1998 Grim Fandango
1999 Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine
1999 Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance
1999 Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
1999 Star Wars: Pod Racer
2000 Monkey Island: Escape from Monkey Island
2000 Force Commander
2002 Jedi Knight II - Jedi Outcast
2003 Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb
2003 Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
2003 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
2004 Star Wars: Battlefront
2004 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 – the Sith Lords
2005 Star Wars: Republic Commando
2005 Lego Star Wars: The Video Game
2006 Star Wars: Empire at War
2006 Star Wars: Empire at War - Forces of Corruption
2006 Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
2007 Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron
2007 Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga
2008 Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
2008 Fracture
2008 Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures


External linksEdit

--Zahya 12:39, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

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