In an interview with Forbes, a narrative designer at Crystal Dynamics confirms that she is working on the ‘future’ of Tomb Raider.
Belinda Garcia gave this statement when she was asked about what projects she is working on at the moment:
“I can say I am working on the future of Tomb Raider and that is all I can reveal at the moment. I am patiently awaiting the day I can say more.”
This does follow a similarly vague statement from Crystal Dynamics CEO Phil Rogers teased the investors himself at the studio’s latest investor call. Phil stated that they had nothing to share at that event, but they will be making an announcement for Tomb Raider for 2023.
For those who may not remember, Square Enix very recently sold Crystal Dynamics and the Tomb Raider IP to Embracer Group, the rapidly growing Swedish based video game conglomerate.
Embracer indicated they had high hopes for Tomb Raider and the other properties they acquired, with the potential of sequels, remasters, spinoffs, and other non-video game projects.
Most reassuringly, Embracer had the good sense to deliberately give control of the Tomb Raider IP directly to Crystal Dynamics. This actually gives the studio the most control they have over Tomb Raider games and projects since Core Design started the series in 1996 on the Sega Saturn.
Again, because Embracer is a conglomerate of multiple game studios, it has a different corporate structure than a comparable game company like Electronic Arts or Activision Blizzard King. Embracer doesn’t seem interested in pushing a centralized leadership, which can see smaller games killed off in favor of focusing on their biggest games. This means each studio has more comparative autonomy than their equivalents in other giant game companies. However, Embracer could still choose to do things like take Tomb Raider away from Crystal Dynamics, in the same way that Square Enix took Tomb Raider away from Core Design in 2003 following a few failed sequels.
Tomb Raider’s state in 2022 isn’t as dire as it was in 2003, but after the fading popularity of the recent series in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, a reboot would be welcome. It can’t be ruled out that Crystal Dynamics would jump back in to this continuity, or even go back to the original timeline. They could even do all three.
As for what the future of Tomb Raider could be like? This is what Belinda said:
“I hope my personal brand is one of empathy and inspiration. I always want to inspire more people to be creative. I know it’s tough, I know it’s not always a rewarding path, but to me… it makes life worth it. Sharing stories, being vulnerable to the world, creating close connections through art… it’s all magical. It’s the closest thing to magic we have in this life. I hope that I inspire people to understand both themselves and others more. That’s all I really want.”