Lara Croft co-creator Toby Gard has “probably had enough” of working on the Tomb Raider franchise, the developer told VG247 today, but his just-confirmed departure from Crystal Dynamics was an “amicable” one.
“I can’t really discuss the situation around my leaving,” Gard said in a phone interview. “It was amicable, but I can’t really discuss it. I might have to go into what was going on inside Crystal Dynamics, and I don’t really want to talk about any of their stuff. I’m under NDA, anyway.”
Gard admitted Lara’s allure had faded: this is the second time he’s parted company with the IP, having famously quit the original Core Tomb Raider team in 1997.
“I think I’ve probably had enough,” he laughed. “It’s been a long time.”
He added: “Obviously it’s sad, but I guess I already realised it was out of my hands a long time ago. I left the first time because it was already out of my hands. My interest in going back to help out with Crystal was really just to make sure that that hand-over process worked out as well as possible; I do care about the character.
“At Crystal I obviously had a great time, and learned a lot there. It’s been a really good experience for me, and that’s that, really. A good time to move on.”
Gard has now set himself up as a freelance consultant, although it sounds as though he’s finding his way a little.
“I don’t really know whether or not it’ll work out,” he said. “At the moment I’m doing some freelance consulting, so I’m looking around to see whether or not people in the games industry are actually looking for consultancy. I don’t know how much that actually goes on, so I’ll have to wait and see.
“It just seems to me that there are a few key areas like story-writing and cinematics and feedback on designs that seem like key points in the game where it would make sense to have someone come in and give some outside opinion, just not have someone on the payroll that’s just sitting around not doing anything for the rest of the game period.”
You could probably do worse than hire Toby Gard, game developers of the world. Hit up his LinkedIn page for contact details.