In a new Polygon report, multiple current and former TT Games employees have detailed the conditions they faced trying to ship the LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.

After starting development on LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga in late 2017, it’s reportedly been a long difficult road for TT Games staff, who’ve been at odds with management throughout the delayed production

One employee told Polygon that “it was a very soft-spoken blackmail,” and that “if people don’t start doing overtime, there’s going to be problems.” This reportedly made it “not uncommon” for staff to work 80-100 hours, six days a week, during crunch. 

Former employees also detail how crunch wasn’t seen as an “emergency protocol” to be used at last resort by management. Instead, it was reportedly seen as “another tool in the box for production,” with projects even being planned with crunch periods. 

To make matters worse, in 2010 TT Games changed their overtime policy from being voluntary and paid, to some weird “flexitime” hybrid system. This new system didn’t let staff exchange overtime hours for extra pay or days off, instead only being given late starts to the day or extra holiday despite putting in the same extra hours of work.

As a result of the working conditions that TT Games employees faced, Polygon reports that “at least 40 employees have left TT Games and TT Fusion since the start of 2021,” 10% of the company’s roughly 400 strong workforce. 

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After seeing the gameplay overview trailer for LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga we can’t help but think it looks like a stellar game that’s been meticulously built by the staff at TT Games. Now knowing the punishment and crunch that staff had to endure undoubtedly tarnishes the game’s appeal.

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