Disney purchases Lucasfilm in $4 billion acquisition deal, includes LucasArts

Disney has acquired Lucasfilm, Ltd. in a massive acquisition which cost $4.05 billion, the two companies announced in a joint press release today.

The announcement is not without its fair share of surprises, including the reveal that Star Wars: Episode 7 is in production, and slated for a tentative 2015 release. The purchase also nets Disney all of the production company's subsidiaries, including Lucasfilm Animation and long-running video game developer and publisher LucasArts.

We've reached out to both companies to find out how the acquisition will affect the upcoming releases from LucasArts, which notably includes Star Wars 1313, a gritty shooter which eschews the lightsaber and force-based focus of most of the other entries in the gaming franchise.

Disney Interactive has been scaling back its own video game offerings over the past year, shuttering its own game development subsidiaries (including Split Second developer Black Rock Studio). The company is reportedly focusing its development efforts on a mysterious, widely cross-platform gaming project called "Toy Box," according to the New York Times.

Update: A LucasArts representative responded to our questions about the fate of Star Wars 1313, saying, "For the time being all projects are business as usual. We are excited about all the possibilities that Disney brings." We're still waiting on response from Disney, and will update this post with more information when we have it.

Update 2: Disney CEO Robert Iger briefly discussed Disney's plans for game development using the intellectual properties acquired in the acquisition, saying, "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."

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