A new report from Nintendo Life has alleged TT Games (Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga) has cancelled several major projects in development, including a Lego Disney adaptation. Sources speaking to the outlet claim these cancellations were necessary after an extremely difficult few years ‘took its toll’ on studio employees.
In January 2022, Polygon reported that staff working on Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga were subject to severe bullying, poor workplace conditions, excessive overtime, a culture of crunch, and bad management – all of which allegedly contributed to an overtly harmful development cycle.
Workers at TT Fusion claimed they were very poorly treated, and frequently expected to crunch. ‘The mood at [the Knutsford studio] was always rock bottom,’ one employee told Polygon in 2022. ‘People were worn out, worked down, mentally and physically ill because of the pressure. TT always said, “We’re going to change,” but we all knew it was never gonna happen. It was always a case of, Just one more game and then we do it differently.’
The impact of this culture is now reportedly being felt, with Nintendo Life‘s report flagging major changes at the studio that were likely caused by employee burnout, and a mounting pressure to fix studio culture, in light of media attention.
‘Project Marley‘ was reportedly a victim of these changes. This Lego game would have featured major characters from across Disney history, with plans for the crossover adventure to include Frozen, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Winnie the Pooh, Toy Story, The Jungle Book, and Maleficent. Players would have explored a large overworld and dungeons in a Diablo-style game, while working to fight back an evil force.
As Nintendo Life points out, the plot and gameplay sound fairly similar to Disney Dreamlight Valley, which also features crossover characters from the world of Disney, and a quest to defeat an evil force. Sources believe the popularity of this game contributed to the decision to pull the plug on Project Marley, despite the game allegedly being in development for at least four years.
It wasn’t the only project that reportedly got the boot at TT Games. According to Nintendo Life, at least three other projects have also been cancelled in recent months, including:
- ‘Project Cosmic‘ – A Lego Guardians of the Galaxy game, featuring Adam Warlock and Nova.
- ‘Project Rainbow Road‘ – A crossover shooter featuring Warner Bros. characters from Rick & Morty, Looney Tunes, and Stranger Things. This reportedly started life as a Funko adaptation before 10:10 games grabbed the license.
- ‘Project Lego X‘ – A mobile port of Lego Worlds previously in development at Playdemic.
Resources were reportedly diverted from these projects to make way for other ideas. Nintendo Life believes this includes a Lego Harry Potter game that, like Skywalker Saga, will remix each movie into a larger, coherent tale. At this stage, whether or not these alleged reductions will also contribute to a much-needed change in the studio’s culture is unknown.