Warner Bros. recently published a job ad for a full-time game programmer to work on a ‘major IP-based LEGO game built in Unreal’. That represents a change of pace from LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, if only in terms of the language used, as the developers behind the saga-spanning title have been famously coy about the brand new engine it’s built on.
“We can say that it’s brand new technology, from the ground up,” Arthur Parsons told Nintendo Everything in January 2020. “Everything with this game is brand new tech. We’ve never used this tech before. We can definitely say that. In terms of how proprietary it is, we can’t say.”
Epic Games’ Unreal Engine is currently in its fourth generation, with the fifth version set to launch in January 2022. It’s not clear whether the mysterious new LEGO title will be built in the latest or upcoming version of Unreal, but either way, it suggests that the work put into LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga won’t be used as a base for the new game.
That may be because – at least according to the job ad – we’re looking at an entirely different type of LEGO video game experience. The specifics of the game programmer’s role involve creating ‘networked content’ and ‘networked player mechanics’, indicating the new title will have a heavy focus on online gameplay and player-to-player interaction.
Online co-op is a feature rarely seen in recent LEGO video games, and TT Games hasn’t yet confirmed whether it will be available in LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. ‘Networked content’ doesn’t necessarily have to mean just co-operative gameplay, though: it could also mean (for instance) a player-versus-player scenario, such as a battle royale experience.