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Zynga’s Star Wars: Hunters launches globally today after three years of delays

The intergalactic franchise’s latest video game lands across Earth for fans on Nintendo Switch and mobile
Zynga’s Star Wars: Hunters launches globally today after three years of delays
  • Zynga’s long-awaited Star Wars: Hunters is out now after a three-year delay
  • Star Wars: Hunters has launched on iOS, Android and Nintendo Switch

Zynga’s long-awaited Star Wars: Hunters has launched globally today, June 4th.

Having been lost in space for some time, this multiplayer title brings the intergalactic Star Wars franchise to mobile and Nintendo Switch in cross-platform hero shooter fashion for the first time. 

The road to release

Years in the making, Star Wars: Hunters has seen multiple delays that set it back from a 2021 release date to 2022 and finally 2024. Star Wars fans have had some hands-on experience with the title in the interim - playing in soft launch in select regions so that Zynga subsidiary NaturalMotion could collect data and improve the game.

But today, June 4th, 2024, marks the first time everyone on the planet is able to play, whether on Android, iOS, or Nintendo Switch and it’s a landmark moment for Zynga and for Star Wars. 

Hunters was Zynga’s first game in development for Nintendo Switch, broadening the company’s horizons; meanwhile, for Star Wars, Hunters was the brand's second game revealed after EA’s exclusivity deal came to an end.

Hunters is also canon to the wider Star Wars universe and further broadens the series’ transmedia reach, with NaturalMotion having worked with Lucasfilm to ensure the game stays true to the films and other media. The game iteself is set after Episode Six taking place in a location where  characters from across the galaxy pay a visit for entertainment and combat.

Ready for launch

As for its gameplay, Star Wars: Hunters offers chaotic 4v4 multiplayer battles in iconic series locales, with plenty of characters to choose from and roles like Support, Tank, and Damage classes.

There are multiple game modes with different objectives like taking and maintaining control over certain areas, or capture-the-flag type challenges. Trophy Chase tasks squads with holding the TR0-F33 droid, while Squad Brawl challenges teams to make 20 eliminations.

The event system, challenges, quests, and arena pass have all been introduced and iterated upon thanks to soft launch tests, as NaturalMotion studied what brought players back and which features they failed to engage with.

"About a year ago, one of the primary gameplay components that differentiates the game as a shooter is the abilities you use, and we observed that they were not getting used that much. We could literally see through analytics when buttons weren't getting pushed. So that led us to course-correct abilities from the actual player input to the cooldowns on those abilities," said Star Wars: Hunters game director Scott Warner, discussing the title with our sister site PocketGamer.com.

"One great benefit of soft launching on mobile is the ability to basically make the game better over time. And so we wanted to make sure that when the game was launching worldwide in all territories, it was as good as it possibly could be."

Senior art director Rich Kemp added: "We've optimised everything to make sure that it looks beautiful and plays well on all devices."

And as for longevity, Kemp has high hopes for Hunters’ future. “Hopefully, the game lasts a decade,” he said.