LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC is an American video game developer and publisher. The company was famous for its innovative line of graphic adventure games, the critical and commercial success of which peaked in the mid 1990s. Today, it mainly publishes games based on the Star Wars franchise.
The company was founded in May 1982 as the video game development group of Lucasfilm Limited, the film production company of George Lucas. Lucas had wanted his company to branch out into other areas of entertainment, and so he cooperated with Atari to produce video games.
The first results of this collaboration were unique action games like Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus!. Beta versions of both games were leaked to pirate bulletin boards exactly one week after Atari received unprotected copies for a marketing review, and were in wide circulation months before the original release date. In 1984, they were released for the Atari 5200 under the Lucasfilm Games label. Versions for home computers were not released until 1985, by publisher Epyx. Lucasfilm's next two games were Koronis Rift and The Eidolon. Their first games were only developed by Lucasfilm, and a publisher would distribute the games. Atari published their games for Atari systems, Activision and Epyx would do their computer publishing. Maniac Mansion was one of the first games to be published and developed by Lucasfilm Games.
In 1990, in a reorganization of the Lucas companies, the Games Division of Lucasfilm became part of the newly created LucasArts Entertainment Company, together with Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound. Later ILM and Skywalker Sound were consolidated in Lucas Digital Ltd. and LucasArts became the official name of the former Games Division.
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