Today in Tech: Disney shuts down LucasArts just 154 days later

Also: A look at the future of EA; Computing pioneer Alan Kay interviewed. 

Disney shuts down LucasArts just 154 days after acquiring it [TECHCRUNCH]

Beginning today, Disney will continue to license out the LucasArts properties (namely Star Wars), but has ceased the development of all internal projects. Some projects (such as the incredible looking Star Wars 1313) may find new homes with other development houses, but their status is currently up in the air.

Five years and nothing to show: How Doom 4 go off track [KOTAKU]

“People referenced Call of Duty,” said the source. “There were jokes like, ‘Oh, it’s Call of Doom.’ They referenced it because of the amount it was scripted—there were a lot of scripted set pieces. There was kind of the recognition that in order to be a big shooter these days, you have to have some amount of the big, bombastic movie experience that people get pulled through.“

Another source criticized this approach, telling me that it all felt rather mediocre: “The coolest part… were the horror and shock elements, unfortunately bookended by somewhat pointless and contrived shooting galleries of hoards of uninteresting enemies.”

Flurry five-year report: It’s an app world. The Web just lives in it [FLURRY]

Today, the U.S. consumer spends an average of 2 hours and 38 minutes per day on smartphones and tablets. 80% of that time (2 hours and 7 minutes) is spent inside apps and 20% (31 minutes) is spent on the mobile web. Studying the chart shows that apps (and Facebook) are commanding a meaningful amount of consumers’ time. All mobile browsers combined, which we now consider apps, control 20% of the consumers’ time.

EA and the future [BIZPUNK]

One of the things EA doesn’t get enough credit for is the transformation of FIFA into a virtual goods engine. Without question, FIFA has become the global lynchpin franchise for the company bridging both the packaged goods and digital spheres. As of the end of 2012 the company said it sold 12 million FIFA ’13 units across all platforms. But the most impressive thing to me is that they’ve generated well over $150MM of virtual goods revenue from their FIFA Ultimate Team mod – a virtual goods engine that runs on top of the packaged goods product (this is in addition to the $70MM+ they are generating from the Asian online-only versions).

The silent partner [BUZZ FEED]

Also absent from the table, and, largely, from Twitter’s public profile, was Jason Goldman. An office manager at Williams’ previous startup, Goldman worked his way up to run product development at Twitter. He claimed a seat on the company’s board (as did Williams and Dorsey, but not Stone), oversaw a team of 40, and remains a meaningful stakeholder. When Goldman stepped downfrom Twitter in 2010, after overseeing the expansive redesign that became “New Twitter” (and transformed Twitter into a fundamentally different type of company), he joined Williams and Stone in rebooting the Obvious Corporation, which had initially incubated Twitter. This time, the three are partners. Yet on the Charlie Rose segment, he was nowhere to be seen — or heard about.

“He engineered a kind of behind-the-scenes, Wizard of Oz role for himself,” Stone told me of his friend.

An interview with computing pioneer Alan Kay [TIME]

In traditional personal computing (desktops & laptops) the graphical user interface/desktop paradigm is now well established at 20+ years, having become dominant sometime after the Apple Macintosh with Microsoft’s Windows 3.1 in 1992. Do you see this changing anytime soon? What might replace it? Or will these types of computers always use this type of interface for the foreseeable future?

The current day UIs derived from the PARC-GUI [the interface developed in the 1970s by Kay and his colleagues at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center] have many flaws, including those that were in the PARC-GUI in the first place. In addition, there have been backslidings — for example, even though multitouch is a good idea (pioneered by Nicholas Negroponte’s ARCH-MAC group [a predecessor of MIT’s Media Lab] in the late ’70s), much of the iPad UI is very poor in a myriad of ways.

Readying for an IPO, Enterprise SaaS integration platform MuleSoft raises $37 million from NEA, Salesforce, and others [TECHCRUNCH]

MuleSoft lets organizations integrate their cloud and on-premise applications. The company’s newly launched platform allows for a complete integration platform to enable connectivity to any application, data service or API, across the entire cloud and on-premise continuum.

The company also offers Tcat Server, an application server that simplifies management, application provisioning, and diagnostics tasks for Tomcat developers and administrators; Mule ESB, an open source enterprise service bus, which enables organizations to create and integrate application services; and Mule Data Integrator that simplifies data integration and transformation tasks.

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