LEGO Skywalker Saga
Image: WB Games

In April 2022, TT Games and Warner Bros. Interactive launched the highly anticipated LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, an ambitious project and one that reportedly took its toll on studio employees. The game has been a sales success, selling 3.2 million copies in less than two weeks after launch, which must have come as a relief to TT studio management considering the project's troubled development. In fact, we have spoken to multiple sources confirming the cancellation of various projects at the studio featuring high-profile IP, including a Lego Disney title that was terminated just last year.

Known internally as 'Project Marley', this Lego game is said to have featured multiple worlds and Disney characters including Jungle Book, Nightmare Before Christmas, Pirates of the Caribbean, Maleficent, Muppets, Frozen, Toy Story, Winnie the Pooh — any animated Disney property that's had the Lego treatment, it seems — with the player exploring a large overworld and Diablo-like dungeons. The player's overarching goal was to rid each world of an evil purple force corrupting the environment.

If that sounds familiar, that's because a similar feature also showed up in Gameloft's Disney Dreamlight Valley, which launched in paid 'early access' form on multiple platforms back in September 2022. We're told that the TT team was struggling with the direction of its Lego Disney project and, ultimately, that Dreamlight Valley proved to be the final nail in the coffin. It was canned after at least four years in development.

While that is the largest of the cancelled projects, according to our sources several others — all of which were being built with Unreal Engine — have fallen by the wayside at TT Games, including:

  • 'Project Cosmic', a Lego game based on the Guardians of the Galaxy IP, which was said to also feature the Marvel characters Nova and Adam Warlock, was apparently in development for a full 18 months before being scrapped
  • 'Project Rainbow Road', a non-Lego shooter featuring Warner Bros. IP (including DC, Rick & Morty, and Looney Tunes, along with Netflix's Stranger Things), which reportedly started life as a Funko project at TT Games before developer 10:10 was set up and took the Funko license. TT apparently tried to salvage what it had, coming up with different ideas for its own mascot character designs to 'wrap' the WB properties around
  • A mobile port of Lego Worlds known internally as 'Project Lego X' was originally in development by Playdemic, but this was moved over to TT Games when the former was acquired by EA

Additionally, the same sources detail a narrative-based Mandalorian DLC in development for Lego Skywalker Saga (the character is already available in the game as part of prior DLC) that is also said to be in jeopardy, along with another new title based on DC's Batman that has apparently been put to one side. It is suggested that development on both of these games has stalled thanks to another large project sucking up the studio's resources: a long-rumoured Skywalker Saga-style treatment for the Lego Harry Potter series.

As reported by Fanbyte last year, many TT employees agreed that the studio had 'started to turn a corner' with regards to some of its reported mismanagement and crunch-related issues. All of the projects except the Mandalorian DLC and the Harry Potter game are said to have been built using Unreal rather than the internally developed (and reportedly unwieldy) NTT engine.

In many ways, this situation appears to mirror the difficulties and 'churn' Telltale Games ran into several years ago when dealing with a financially successful formula that attracted huge licences — including Guardians and Batman — from multiple IP holders.

Other developers besides TT have recently taken on the Lego licence (BrickTales and Builder's Journey, for example) and VGC reported last year that 2K had secured the Lego licence for sports games.

We've reached out to WB Games for comment and will update this article with any response.

Would you have liked to see an open-world Lego Disney game? Think these multiple cancellations are the result of TT biting off more than it can chew? Let us know below.