In what is surely the biggest entertainment news of the year, Disney has announced they have purchased LucasFilm Ltd. from George Lucas for $4.05 billion. The deal includes the video game publisher LucasArts, as well as everything LucasFilm owns. This includes the rights to the Star Wars franchise, Industrial Light & Magic, Skywalker Sound, and the rights to Indiana Jones franchise. Also announced was a new Star Wars trilogy, starting with Episode 7 coming out in 2015.
"For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next," George Lucas said in the announcement. "It's now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I've always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime."
"This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney's unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, business, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value," Disney CEO Robert Iger said in a statement.
Disney has for a while now been shrinking its interactive division to mainly just a social gaming company. While LucasArts is currently focusing on Star Wars 1313. The game is a much darker take on the Star Wars universe, in which players take control of a bounty hunter exploring the Coruscant underworld.
Disney CEO did say the following about LucasArts: "We're likely to focus more on social and mobile than we are on console. We'll look opportunistically at console, most likely in licensing rather than publishing, but we think that given the nature of these characters and how well known they are, and the storytelling, that they lend themselves quite nicely, as they've already demonstrated to the other platforms."