Originally Posted by Gabez
Looking at the list of past LucasArts president, and thinking about their history, it seems to be me that two things are true:
1) Each president has a different vision or idea for LucasArts, and steers LucasArts in a particular direction
2) Each president inherits many projects from their predecessors.
For instance, Rod. inherited both The Force Unleashed and Indiana Jones from Ward's time, and had to wait for them both to be released before taking the company in a different direction (Lucidity and the special editions).
The next president will inherit some of that as well, but I'm sure that a new direction will also come, after perhaps a year.
A new direction definitely doesn't mean a big shake up, but I do think it means differences in what the company aims to do, which, as far as I can judge it, is the principal role of the president: to lead the way.
I agree on both points. It's just that the last two presidents made significant changes, including sacking a fair number of existing employees. And the "steering" you refer to takes up precious time.
Jim Ward came in and fired a bunch of staff, focused on console development, incorporated flashy new technologies into LucasArts games, approved the deal for SWTOR with BioWare, and scrapped a fair number of projects already in the pipeline.
Darrell Rodriguez came in and got rid of a number of employees, oversaw completion of TFU, then canceled the Jim Ward-era Xbox 360 and PS 3 versions of Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings as well as SW Battlefront 3. He moved forward with his own initiative to revive the back catalog of LucasArts PC games on Steam and other digital distribution channels while continuing The Force Unleashed franchise left to him by Jim Ward.
What I see is a developer/publisher who has had two very different leaders over the past 5 years that took LucasArts in different directions and then bolted. IMHO LucasArts has had one helluva roller coaster ride of late and unfortunately the ride looks like it's poised to continue.