After more than half a year without a president, LucasArts has finally gotten around to appointing a new head honcho, as the marketing director from the company's parent division, LucasFilm, will take over the top spot on the gaming side. Jim Ward, who will retain his LucasFilm responsibilities in addition to his new duties, was apparently selected by George Lucas himself after the big man reviewed holiday sales figures from the 2003 holiday season.
Mr. Lucas had been under increasing pressure from various commentators for leaving the position vacant for so long, and while this may or may not have influenced his decision, there was certainly ample cause to have somebody in place; the development division has been in some turmoil of late, with widespread cancellations and layoffs taking place even as the company geared up for the sequel to its smash hit Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
When reached for comment, Mr. Ward stated "it's clear there is enormous potential for synergy between visual effects, video games, licensing and film and television production. I'm looking forward to exploring how to integrate them into the current and emerging interactive entertainment markets, where so many possibilities exist. It's going to be a great adventure."
Mr. Ward's "great adventure" will have a rather mundane opening chapter; his first duty will be to ensure that Star Wars: Battlegrounds, an action title, ships alongside the DVD release of the original Star Wars Trilogy.