It’s been ten years since Tomb Raider (2013) was released and changed the lives of countless fans. And it’s been ten years since Tomb Raider Horizons was launched. Mere days after the game was released, I finally set out to do something I had been brainstorming for years: launch a Tomb Raider site that focused on the art and archaeology of the game series and spin-off media.
In the space of a decade, I’ve published over 300 articles, including 29 editions of Arte-Factual, a series which explored the real-life art and inspiration behind some of the objects and background decorations seen in the games. I’ve written about several dishes that have been mentioned in the games and talked about the real-world locations that inspired some of Lara’s greatest adventures. I’ve interviewed writers who worked on Rise of the Tomb Raider as well as community members who have made incredible contributions to online fandom. I’ve met some amazing people who I’m honoured to call friends and I’ve taken part in several of Team Tomb Raider Community’s Extra Life charity events.
But late last year, I made the painful decision to close Tomb Raider Horizons once the site hit its tenth anniversary. It wasn’t a decision I made lightly. After all, I’ve spent ten years building up this site, establishing its “brand”, and being a fairly active member of the Tomb Raider fan community. So why give up the site? And why now, when we’re on the verge of getting a new Netflix series? Why now, when we’re just months away from announcements about the new game and the franchise’s multimedia future?
Well, the truth is, I’m just tired of running this site and its social media channels. Ten years is quite a long time in fandom terms and even longer when it comes to novelty sites such as this one, which began its life as The Archaeology of Tomb Raider and later expanded to cover a wider range of topics. It’s been a decent run but I’ve simply run out of steam. Articles can take hours, even days, to put together while Twitter’s imminent collapse and social media’s ever-changing algorithms make it tough to promote my work. It was either announce a site closure now or risk letting the site languish while I toyed with indecision.
Sure, I could have waited till the site’s 15th anniversary, perhaps even its 20th, but I don’t really relish the thought of another 5+ years of fandom arguments, petty squabbles, and energy wasted on ultimately trivial issues. Not to mention the fact that I have a job, family, and other hobbies that require my time and attention. And as much as I’ve enjoyed researching and writing articles for this site, it feels like the online community I came into in 2013 no longer exists. Older fandom friends have long since given up on this community or are far less involved and content creation trends have shifted towards short-form videos, podcasts, and virtual photography. So it’s time for me to move on and focus my efforts elsewhere.
As with my previous, less permanent breaks, the site will remain up for the foreseeable future. I’ve invested too much time and love into my work to simply bury it and I’m proud of what I have accomplished. Plus, the site still sees a decent readership even after all these years; my list of free resources for learning Egyptian hieroglyphs still attracts hundreds of unique readers a month! So if you’ve enjoyed reading my Arte-Factual and Lara’s Travels features, fear not. These will be accessible for as long as I keep paying my domain name and WordPress bills. 😉
As for the site’s social media accounts, these will go into hibernation. I may check for new messages from time to time and I may use the Twitter account to promote my Extra Life fundraising events later this year, but don’t expect a lot of activity on any of them.
I want to thank all of those community members and dear friends who have made this 10-year journey possible and worthwhile. Keep on being your awesome selves! And even though I’ll be taking a step back from the Tomb Raider community, I’ll still be around for the occasional chat or project. I still plan to participate in this year’s Extra Life event – donations are always welcome – and I hope you will all tune in for another session of Endurance Mode chaos with me and Matt. Last year’s live-stream was a BLAST. 🙂
And finally, I would like to thank all of my readers for their tremendous support over the years and for all the fun conversations we’ve had on social media. Our paths may cross again someday – especially if you follow me elsewhere – but this Tomb Raider site is now ready to walk off into the horizon.
Thanks for all the memories, folks, and keep on raiding.