LucasArts has confirmed to Joystiq that the company laid off "a portion" of its workforce yesterday, June 5. Margaret Grohne, director of public relations for LucasArts, could not comment on the number of employees affected or which departments they came from. She could confirm that Peter Hirschmann, vice president of product developer, did depart the company yesterday in what was a "mutual decision" with management, and that his "passion and humor will be missed."
According to Grohne, the layoffs are not the result of a shift away from internal product development. "We remain committed to both our internal teams and working with external partners," Ghrone told Joystiq, adding that "[sites] are definitely reading too much into the layoffs; [LucasArts] is not halting internal development."
To that end, Ghrone stated that no titles have been canceled or put on-hold as a result of the layoffs, and that the company is "very proud" of the work done by the internal team creating Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, as well as that done by the staff of Day 1 Studios, who are developing the upcoming original IP Fracture for LucasArts.
Regarding various reports of now ex-employees of the company divulging information online concerning titles such as the next Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Star Wars Battlefront 3, and a "lightsaber game" for Wii, Grohne stated that the company cannot comment on unannounced products.
The LucasArts layoffs follow THQ's elimination of at least 200 jobs last month.