Crystal Dynamics rebooted Lara Croft because she was “losing relevance”

Monday, 18th July 2011 15:39 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Crystal Dynamics brand director Karl Stewart has said that it needed to reboot Tomb Raider and, more specifically, Lara Croft because she was “losing relevance.”

“I think Lara’s a beloved character and Crystal has really enjoyed their time they’ve been able to spend with her,” Stewart told RPS, referring to the three previous games with the old Lara.

“We felt she was losing some relevance in the gaming world, that she was a little too hard and removed. We wanted to make her more approachable and relatable. I think this was a perfect time for us to reimagine the franchise, taking Lara back to her roots.

“I think it’s growing to be a great way for players to learn to reknow who Lara is, retell her story.”

Stewart added that it wanted to show a Lara Croft that wasn’t “perfect,” adding there wasn’t too many stories it could have told with the previous iteration.

“I think she became an icon. When you do, you remove yourself from relatability. We wanted to bring her to a place where she didn’t have all those skills, she wasn’t perfect. The modern gamer can relate to that, they want a complex hero,” he said.

“I think Lara had done all the growing she could. We’d taken her to a great place, to somewhere she had some closure. There weren’t really many more stories we could have told. So we feel like with this new place we have fertile ground and there’s a lot of places we can go.”

Tomb Raider launches in autumn 2012 for PS3, 360 and PC.



  1. Edo

    True dat.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Corfizz

    I still don’t understand why they couldn’t have just made up a new character. If Lara is losing relevance, why not tell the story of somebody else entirely? It removes the confusion that must surely result from having three fictional universes. Obviously, I know the answer: the names ‘Lara Croft’ and ‘Tomb Raider’ are simply more likely to sell.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Gurdil

    @2 Well obviously you got a point with the sales. But I also think they’re keeping Lara because the story of the character is appealing and doing a kind of clone (like a Lara Croft with smaller boobs and another name) would have been a call for criticism. Plus, it can bring back old fans. I didn’t care about Tomb Raider games up until now anymore because the franchise went straight in a wall a few games back (IMO). But I find this idea of playing Lara’s youth very interesting and do want to play the game. I don’t think it’s JUST a marketing stunt even if, as you noted, the name itself will help to sell the game. The character’s background is interesting and has been scarcely exploited.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. alimokrane


    An established brand guarantees at least some following unlike a brand new IP.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    Well said #3. Also, just to add, they probably wanna help make up for the shit that tarnished the series after 3 and before Legend…lol.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. hitnrun

    @2: I agree, and have been saying this for awhile. I’m certain they could find a market for a high-textured, well cleaved girl who gets bloodied up a lot. Even if some of it seems a bit…creepy.

    Of course, we all know *why* it is another Tomb Raider. This game would never even have come into existence, except in a whiteboard-aided brainstorming session about “making Lara relevant again.” This isn’t about “exploring” Lara – the character seems to be very much a reboot and her salience to the old Lara is likely nil – but answering the question “what do we make next?” in a room where continuing to exploit the Tomb Raider property as often as possible goes without saying.

    But still, as an artistic move, yeah, they should have just made another game and told us it was a “spiritual successor.” Lara was a tech demo for boobies and 3D exploration. Let her rest.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. DaMan

    @6 .. smh. so then James Bond is a silly array of quotes, eh? I ‘ve always been amused at the people who say stuff like that.. amazing, man. Unparalleled criticism. You see through the bullshit. How about stating God has no personality? You know what, I think she’s amazing, and the way they subtly presented her in say, Anni was excellent. I see zero reason to make a visual clone of what is probably the most well known videogame protagonist with a new name and a plethora of emotional issues.

    Old school LC is a classy character, since she’s an all around sublime being why would she have some down to earth emotional ‘personality’. The simple fact is that the more vulnerable and flawed the person is, the more there’s to explore for the author, ie in those short stories about everyday people.

    The way they explained this in one of the interviews is that once you finish this game you’ll get to see why she became the invincible adventurer from the previous titles.

    Also, CD ‘ve pretty much ruined the series, Legend was an excellent title but downright poor TR, Anni was the only game they developed which was actually fun, perhaps they should spend more time designing platforming sections and placing artifacts instead. TR is one of the most fun games I ever played, it’s CD who took it in the wrong direction.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Fin

    All of Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raiders have been excellent! I don’t think it even needed a reboot, some minor tweaks to the design (more flowing movement) would’ve worked for me.

    The old Core Design games really haven’t aged well.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Gekidami

    Indeed, in the end it all boils down to brand recognition.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. OrbitMonkey

    It will NEVER happen, but I’d love to see a Tomb Raider/Uncharted mash up… Nate & Lara in competition for some relic, then teaming up to save the world from some big bad evil :)

    #10 3 years ago
  11. DarkElfa

    You don’t reboot a character that loses relevance, you retire her.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    #7 said “Also, CD ‘ve pretty much ruined the series”

    Are you for real with that comment? I respectfully couldn’t agree more. Legend, Anniversary, AND Underworld (yes I did enjoy Underworld) were my best Tomb Raider experiences since original 1 and 2!!! (and I’ve played them all)

    @10, that WOULD be AWESOME!

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    ^ That’s supposed to be “couldn’t DISagree more”

    #13 3 years ago
  14. DaMan

    @12 Surely I meant the gameplay. They did an awesome job with the atmosphere and everything else really. Although, again bar Anni the Core Design titles were definetely more immersive and the locations were all more intriguing, Thailand and Mystic Sea Creature in TRU were great though, the Shiva puzzle was very good too.

    As I said they were good games but poor Tomb Raiders. Anni was the only good one. With a little bit of more elaborated platforming it would ‘ve been as good as the original.

    There was practically zero depth as far as the jumpy climby sections go especially in Legend, not to mention the asinine ledge jumping that plagues this game ever since they followed in the footsteps of Sands of Time. Pretty much the reason i don’t play Ass Creed and the like.. Of course CD didn’t really fall that low but still. There should be a system rewarding more skilled players. If you played the old games, then you know everything I say. I wouldn’t go as fara s to say that the old controls were better because they were obviously the result of that time limitations, however I do think they should make something more elaborated too.

    Underworld made up for that a bit by introducing chimney jump and other moves and stuff, but on the other hand that one was devoid of any treasure hunting, there was no reason to replay the game after you beat it, collecting everything was so easy. many levels were clearly rushed and no fun. Repeating the boat stage had zero purpose, more so with that stage being the worst one. They also made the mistake of replacing artifacts/relics with numerous little ones scattered across.

    I’ve enjoyed the dlc Beneath the Ashes, TRU is a lot better with that included, but still couldn’t hold a candle to Anni, let alone old ones.

    Also, what this guy says is nothing but PR gibberish, LC has nothing to do with it, He is just distancing from not so well perfomance of Underworld. CD might’ve successfully rebooted the franchise after 2003 disaster, but failed to make the gameplay relevant for many TR fans. That’s what they should reconsider.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. triggerhappy

    @ Dr G – Yeh im with you there I loved the latest trilogy, underworld included. I liked the whole Lara looking for her mother story and it never got any cheesier than Tomb Raider normaly gets anyway so yeh I thought CD really did it justice.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Unlimax

    How about rebooted Aya brea .. Square ?

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Kuwabara

    I want a game based on ELENA. She hears about drake cheating with Lara and goes to kill them both!

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Corfizz

    I suppose they could have made up a new character but still called the game ‘Tomb Raider’. They could have carried over the basic gameplay concepts with a different story and characters. Lara could have had a cameo role, if they really wanted. That way they would satisfy brand recognition without having to mess up the fiction or feel constrained by the past iterations of Lara. This model seems to work for Final Fantasy. (Imagine if they just kept ‘rebooting’ Cloud Strife with more and more emotional baggage – oh no!) I’m just musing, here.

    #18 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.