Amazon and Crystal Dynamics to Publish New ‘Tomb Raider’

Amazon Games and Crystal Dynamics are teaming on a new multiplatform installment in the “Tomb Raider” franchise. Crystal Dynamics is producing the title, which Amazon Games will publish globally. The as-yet-untitled project will mark Amazon Games’ first single-player narrative, following multiplayer titles including “New World” and “Lost Ark.” Crystal Dynamics plans to use Unreal Engine 5 to take gameplay and storytelling to the next level, according to Amazon, whose games VP Christoph Hartmann called the franchise “one of the most beloved IPs in entertainment history,” following the adventures of British archaeologist Lara Croft.

In addition to Smilegate RPG’s “Lost Ark,” and the self-produced MMO “New World,” Amazon Games’ AAA efforts include the recently announced “Blue Protocol” from Bandai Namco Online.

“Previous hits from the company, like the hugely successful localization of South Korean title ‘Lost Ark,’ have targeted the same sorts of players who spend their time connecting with multiplayer communities on Twitch,” writes Ars Technica.

The title will be the first featuring Lara Croft since Square Enix sold off Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix Montreal and Eidos Montreal to Embracer Group for $300 million in May,” reports VentureBeat, noting that the sale gave the Japanese publisher Square Enix “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.”

But Crystal Dynamics and Amazon Games see further potential in the franchise, which “includes more than 20 video games, and has more than 170 million players (NRG survey) around the world,” VentureBeat writes, adding that the series “has sold more than 95 million copies since the first entry was released in 1996.”

“Crystal Dynamics has an extraordinary opportunity following our acquisition by Embracer to redefine what a publishing relationship is for ‘Tomb Raider,’” Crystal Dynamics studio chief Scot Amos said in a joint announcement with Amazon. “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.”

“Naturally, you’ll solve puzzles and battle a variety of enemies,” says Engadget, reporting that “the game will continue Lara’s story rather than being another reboot (so it’s probably not going to be the ‘Tomb Raider 2’ remake some have been hoping for).”

Though Amazon didn’t indicate a release date, the forthcoming installment “will be the first mainline “Tomb Raider” game since 2018’s ‘Shadow of the Tomb Raider,’” although the “Tomb Raider Reloaded” mobile title was released earlier this year, per Engadget.

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