Lara Croft is coming back in a game using the latest Unreal Engine 5 technology. Crystal Dynamics is making the game, and Amazon Games will provide support and publish the game globally.
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. The companies said 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.
The title will be the first since Square Enix sold off Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix Montreal and Eidos Montreal to Embracer Group for $300 million in May. For Square Enix, the sale gave the Japanese publisher an exit from big Western triple-A titles that it said were financial disappointments so it could focus on technologies, like blockchain, AI and cloud gaming. Clearly, Crystal Dynamics and Amazon Games believe a lot of life is left in Lara Croft.
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“Tomb Raider is one of the most beloved [intellectual properties] in entertainment history,” said Christoph Hartmann, vice president of Amazon Games, in a statement. “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 wants to use Unreal Engine 5 to take storytelling to the next level, in the biggest, most expansive Tomb Raider game to date, Amazon said. The title is currently in early development, and additional details will be announced at a later date.
“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, in a statement. “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.”
Crystal Dynamics has developed and published dozens of award-winning titles over the past three
decades, including globally revered franchises like Legacy of Kain and Tomb Raider. The Tomb Raider
franchise includes more than 20 video games, and it has more than 170 million players(NRG survey) around the world. The franchise has sold more than 95 million copies since the first entry was released in 1996.
The most recent “Survivor Trilogy,” comprised of Tomb Raider (2013), Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015) and Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018), garnered more than 200 “Best of” awards and nominations.
The agreement with Crystal Dynamics marks a further expansion of Amazon Games’ focus on its triple-A publishing efforts, which also include Lost Ark from Smilegate RPG and the recently announced Blue Protocol from Bandai Namco Online.
The upcoming Tomb Raider title will mark Amazon Games’ first single-player narrative title, following success with multiplayer titles New World and Lost Ark.
In addition to its headquarters in San Mateo, California, Crystal Dynamics has two additional studios: Crystal Northwest in Bellevue, Washington, and Crystal Southwest in Austin, Texas.
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