I once saw a documentary on Disney parks--it's actually available on Netflix instant right now--that talked about the behind the scenes of Disney. At one point, they discussed one of the Disney park properties that needed more thrill rides, and at one point, they got to talking to George Lucas
about a Star Wars ride. What George said in that moment made a lot of sense; basically, he said that if he didn't do Star Wars himself, the only company he would have trusted to do it was Disney. This makes the news of LucasFilm--including the LucasArts gaming division--purchase for $4.05 billion all the more interesting.
Naturally, the first thing most think of when they think LucasFilm--LucasArts, too--is Star Wars. And a Disney Star Wars affair could be one to remember. There's plenty of room in the Star Wars universe
--especially if the prequels and the expanded universe is considered--and plenty of iconic characters to work with. A Star Wars version of Kingdom Hearts may not be out of the running. But there's more to the story than just a long, long time ago and a galaxy far, far away.
There are plenty of lesser-known characters in the LucasArts bundle that could be brought into play once more. Consider the Maniac Mansion
series, which gave us the eponymous title as well as its successor: Day of the Tentacle. A little mature for Disney, maybe, but a Maniac Mansion with a Pixar twist? Now that could be some fun indeed. Further considering the Monkey Island series, Full Throttle, and Grim Fandango also provide plenty of fun in the mix.
Don't even get me started on Sam and Max. The idea that one day Sam and Max could team up with Donald and Goofy is an idea that fills me with a childlike glee.
While there are plenty of possibilities involved here--there's an absolutely mind-boggling number of them available--the takeaway point here is that there are properties that haven't been seen since the days of the Commodore 64. That in turn poses a wide array of potential opportunities that could make a big impact on gaming once more.
Just what does the Disney / LucasFilm deal mean for gaming? Frankly, it means quite a bit, at least potentially. But only time will tell what route Disney ultimately takes with its new property.