Lara Croft has often been described as a modern-day Amazonian heroine, so it seems only natural that the next Tomb Raider game should be published by Amazon Games. Crystal Dynamics and Amazon Games announced their collaboration on December 15, much to the surprise of Tomb Raider fans, many of whom were still coming to terms with Crystal Dynamics’ recent acquisition by the Embracer Group.
To summarise: Crystal Dynamics will develop this new multiplatform game and Amazon Games will provide full support and publish the game globally.
Here’s a short excerpt from the official press release:
The as-yet-untitled new Tomb Raider game is a single-player, narrative-driven adventure that continues Lara Croft’s story in the Tomb Raider series. It includes all the elements that have made Tomb Raider one of the most revered franchises in gaming, giving players control of the confident and multidimensional hero Lara Croft in an environment that rewards exploration and creative pathfinding, with mind-bending puzzles to solve, and a wide variety of enemies to face and overcome. Crystal Dynamics is drawing on the power and cutting-edge technology of Unreal Engine 5 to take storytelling to the next level, in the biggest, most expansive Tomb Raider game to date. The title is currently in early development, and additional details will be announced at a later date.
“Tomb Raider is one of the most beloved IPs in entertainment history,” said Christoph Hartmann, VP of Amazon Games. “Amazon Games is committed to bringing players games of the highest quality, from the best developers, across all variety of platforms and genres, and we’re honored by the opportunity to work with this storied developer and franchise. Our team is incredibly excited about collaborating with the talented and visionary Crystal Dynamics team to bring the next chapter of Lara Croft’s saga to players around the world.”
“Crystal Dynamics has an extraordinary opportunity following our acquisition by Embracer to redefine what a publishing relationship is for Tomb Raider,” said Scot Amos, head of studio at Crystal Dynamics. “Transformative is what we’re looking for, and with Amazon Games, we found a team that shares our creative vision, ambitions, and values for a Lara Croft universe across the spectrum of possibilities. They’re uniquely positioned to rewrite what publishing and development collaborations are, and we’re eager to forge this new path together, starting with building the biggest and best Tomb Raider game yet!”
I’ll admit that I’m not familiar with Amazon Games’ previous work and the full press release confirms that this will be the company’s first single-player narrative title. But it seems that Crystal Dynamics will still be responsible for the game’s development and that fans will likely be spared the exclusivity nonsense that impacted Rise of the Tomb Raider’s release back in 2015.
What’s more, the game will be built on Unreal Engine 5 with a story written by Belinda Garcia and her narrative team, where Lara will once again be portrayed as a “seasoned and confident adventurer”. There’s also been plenty of talk of “unifying” the various timelines and there’s a new Netflix anime series to look forward to that will help bridge the narrative gaps between Crystal Dynamics’ Survivor trilogy and the next Tomb Raider game. The excitement is real and I, for one, cannot wait to learn more about Lara Croft’s upcoming adventures in the coming months.
Update: It seems that Amazon and Crystal Dynamics may have plans for a Tomb Raider universe of transmedia storytelling. And if you’re aching for something to play in the meantime, check out the PowerWash Simulator Croft Manor DLC or the new mobile game, Tomb Raider Reloaded!
How do you feel about this latest development? Are you excited for a new Tomb Raider game or are you worried about the future of the franchise? Feel free to share your thoughts below!
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