Star Wars games being pulled from App Store as THQ's licence winds down

Lucasfilm likely lining up new deal

Star Wars games being pulled from App Store as THQ's licence winds down
Pulling games from the App Store usually make headlines if they're controversial or violate Apple's rules and regulations.


However, something as simple as a licence changing hands can have a similar impact.

That seems to be the situation facing Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner developer Vertigore Games, following the news that the title is to be pulled from sale on March 31.

This date marks the end of the financial year for many publicly traded companies. 

License laws

Its removal comes as a result of what appears to be a loss of the Star Wars license by the game's publisher THQ - whose Q4 ends March 31 - with Lucasfilm reportedly looking to move in a fresh direction with the series.

"I wish it were up to us, but unfortunately, our license to make Star Wars games was predicated on our amazing publisher THQ Wireless' arrangement with the Lucasfilm folks, and that seems to be winding down," said CEO and creative director Josh Shabtai on his blog.

"In the end, I shouldn't be upset: I'd literally been dreaming about making a Millennium Falcon arcade machine for more than 27 years. THQ and Lucasfilm gave me and Vertigore the chance not only to realize this vision, but also to produce the first augmented reality Star Wars game, um, ever.

"But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sad. Especially when I knew what we had planned: An awesome iPad 2 version. An Android version. Visual interaction in AR mode. And last but not least, a Battle of Endor update, complete with an interactive backing track from Nien Numb."

Shabtai speculates that other developers tied to the THQ deal may also find their titles disappearing from the App Store in the coming days, suggesting Lucasfilm is planning a franchise-wide reset for Star Wars on iOS.

The news isn't a surprise though as THQ Wireless has been winding down its business for sometime. It sold its mobile and Android operations to Swedish outfit 24MAS in February, although it was thought it would retain its iOS activity.  

[source: Mobile Entertainment]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.