Disney design director 'quits for LucasArts'

Star Wars company hires experienced industry exec, reports claim, following turbulent year
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Frederic Markus, the director of game design at Disney Interactive Studios, is said to have left the company in favour of a top job at LucasArts.

Markus, according to news site IndustryGamers, has been appointed as LucasArtsâ?? new studio creative director.

He leaves Disney Interactive in a state of flux. The firm recently underwent a division-wide layoff operation that is said had affected some 200 staff.

The Mickey Mouse media conglomerate recently closed Tron developer Propaganda Games â?? a studio with enough staff to work on two projects simultaneously. There have also been reports of layoffs at Epic Mickey developer Junction Point.

Those drastic measures followed Disney Interactive reporting a $234 million loss between July and September last year. This was despite revenues climbing to $762 million â?? an indication of the magnitude of investment Disney put into games.

LucasArts had its own problems to overcome last year.

In May, its president Darrell Rodriguez resigned from his position, apparently along with several members of his executive team.

Two months later the firm had lost one of its most important developers, Haden Blackman, who ended his thirteen-year spell at the company to start an independent studio.

In August that year it was then revealed that the company had cancelled its Force Unleashed PSP project. In September the firm issued redundancy notices to an unspecified number of staff at its San Francisco studio, with the same occurring again in November.

The appointment of Markus, along with the hiring of former Ubisoft man Clint Hocking signals the companyâ??s intent to return to form.




LucasArtsâ?? development vice president Peter Hirschmann explains to Develop how the studio rebuilt itself to take advantage of a proximity to Industrial Light and Magic, and what the effects house has taught it about game productionâ?¦