Why Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga sells millions of copies

A Lego princess Leia sitting on top of a large pile of gold, coins and jewels.

Screenshot: Lucasfilm / Disney / Kotaku

WB Games announced it today Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga had a massive launch, sold through over 3 million copies worldwide, and has set new records for Lego games across all platforms around the world. To put it another way: This latest Lego Star Wars the game is one of the biggest releases of the year and one of the most successful Star Warss games of the decade.

If you’re surprised by this news, you might be wondering why this family-friendly game about toys and Star wars is suddenly one of the biggest things in 2022. Well, the reality is that this is a long way off, as Lego Star Wars games have quietly become a cultural phenomenon over the last two decades, complete with memes, nostalgic fans and a large community of players who have been waiting for this game for a long, long time.

The first Lego Star Wars the game was released in 2005 on PS2, Xbox, GameCube and PC. It took the three prequel Star wars movies and recreated them in Lego form, complete with a great list of playable characters, a lot of secrets to find and silly interludes that were fun Star wars and its universe. Eventually it became one of the best selling PS2 games ever and developed a fanbase not only for Lego lovers or kids. It appealed to anyone who liked silly video games, Star warsor if you just needed a fun, easy game to play with a younger sibling.

Over the next few years, when TT Games released a sequel, a remastered collection and one Clone War follow up, Lego Star Wars became more than just a popular game. It became a cultural phenomenon. Players created memes out of everything in the game, including the franchise’s hidden minikits, the character’s UI profile pictures, and even Lego Yoda’s characteristic death cry. In fact, all of the game’s death sounds became memes in their own way, in which players created collections of them online. And when social media became a thing, it was common to see people rock Lego Star wars avatars on Twitter or elsewhere.

This is such a well known part of the community that TT Games itself has released official, high quality profile pictures on his Twitter account since Skywalker Saga launched earlier this month.

That is, as the nostalgic love for Lego Star Wars grew, and so did the demand for a large new participation in the franchise. For years, fans had wanted a remake of the original games using modern technology and the newer designs found in reality Lego Star Wars set. And while we got one Force wakes up Lego games in 2016, it was not quite what people wanted. It was certainly not a bad game, but it was mostly based on a movie with a few fun character packs from other eras. Star wars released as DLC. Good, but not good enough.

Fans lost it in 2019 when TT Games announced Skywalker Sagaa Lego game that brings together all nine Star wars film for a giant, open world package. For years, when the game suffered delays and the people who did it endured grueling amounts of crunch, fans wondered endlessly. You can still find these videos on YouTube. Each screenshot and teaser was combed through by thousands of players and discussed across Reddit and Discord.

Read more: Codes to unlock secret characters and submit Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

So when the game finally landed earlier this month – and turned out to be one of the best Star wars games ever made– I was not surprised to see the game explode across YouTube, TikTok, Reddit and Twitch. It even cracked the 10 most played games on Steam, and is still in the top 50 today. People had been waiting for years for this. Hell, some people had grown up with the franchise and spent most of their adult lives dreaming of a massive, new Lego Star Wars games that feature hundreds of characters and missions across all the movies. Needless to say, when that dream game finally came true, people were a little excited.

Although the launch has been huge, I expect Skywalker Saga to continue to sell well and likely end up being one of the best-selling games of 2022, and possibly the best-selling Lego game ever released. People love Lego. People love Star wars. People love big games. Combine them together and add a bunch of silly memes and nostalgic PS2 memories, and you get one of 2022’s biggest and (for some) most surprising video game success stories.