Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, beset by delays and crunch, arriving in April

You can soon relive all of the moments of the main nine Star Wars movies in tiny Lego block form with Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. Publisher Warner Bros. Games published a gameplay overview trailer Thursday, and after multiple delays — which have coincided with extensive crunch at developer TT Games, according to a new report from Polygon — announced a release date of April 5 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox Series X, and Xbox One.

The trailer starts out by introducing players to the basics of the new Lego game. Players will start by selecting which Star Wars trilogy they’d like to play, then they’ll start playing through the story line of the first movie in the bunch.

Gameplay will be familiar to anyone who has played a Lego game in the past, but with a few important upgrades to the combat system. The Skywalker Saga includes in-depth combos with different attacks for different types of characters, as well as more Force powers, a new aiming system if you’re using a blaster, and even a cover system. It also offers dozens of upgrades for players to unlock, to boost one attribute of their characters or another.

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga has led to extensive crunch at TT Games

There’s more to this game than just playing through the Skywalker storyline, though. Between missions, you can hop to many of the different planets from the Star Wars galaxy to explore and find more rewards. Meanwhile, Freeplay mode will give you access to the game’s roster of over 300 characters from every corner of the universe.

The Skywalker Saga has been a long time coming. Development began in late 2017, and the game has been delayed three times since its announcement in mid-2019. Polygon reported Thursday that there has been high staff turnover and a change in management at TT Games during the game’s development cycle, and dozens of sources described a culture of crunch that hasn’t been alleviated by the multiple delays.

“It was a very soft-spoken blackmail,” one former employee says. “‘If people don’t start doing overtime, there’s going to be problems,’” although the problems were never specified.

Asked about the development of The Skywalker Saga and its delays, a TT Games spokesperson provided Polygon with the following statement: “Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, is the most ambitious title the studio has ever undertaken. The team is determined to deliver a wonderful Lego experience to our players, and we are giving the game the time it needs to deliver on that aspiration. We greatly appreciate the support and understanding from our fans.”

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