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Tomb Raider developer lays off a dozen staff, secret project ‘re-scoped’

Monday, 12 August 2013 23:22 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Crystal Dynamics has confirmed “roughly 12″ lay-offs as it re-assess an unannounced project in the works alongside a Tomb Raider sequel.

“We’ve made some decisions at Crystal Dynamics last week around the second project we’re working on, which has resulted in a small number of roles (roughly 12) becoming redundant as we re-scope the project,” a Square Enix representative told CVG.

“This doesn’t affect the Tomb Raider development team, who as confirmed last week are well into production on a next-generation sequel.

“We’re a close-knit team at Crystal and wouldn’t be making these changes if we didn’t feel it was absolutely necessary. We’ll help those affected as best we can and we want to thank them for their hard work and commitment.”

Confirming the existence of the Tomb Raider sequel last month, Square Enix Europe boss Phil Rogers had noted that the publisher was implementing structural changes.

Very little is known about Crystal Dynamics’ new project; it announced a new IP in January 2012, but an expected reveal did not occur. In May, a staff CV suggested the reveal was due soon.

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16 Comments

  1. salarta

    Aaaaand it has no effect on me because I’m not buying Crystal Dynamics stuff anyway. :) Hopefully the people that got laid off obtain jobs where they can actually make good stuff.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Francis O

    Gaming budgets have inflated out of control. Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics need to scale down all the hollywood talent and scope and focus on what makes games good in the first place: gameplay.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Bashtee

    I was satisfied with the new Tomb Raider. Probably the best one in the whole series.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. salarta

    @3: More accurate to call it a random new IP with the Tomb Raider names and faces slapped on it to sell more copies.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. DSB

    Yeah, it was easily the best Tomb Raider. It’s mindboggling how a game can be a succes in every concievable way and still hurt the publisher.

    It sold twice of what Human Revolution did. Someone at Square just doesn’t want to win.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Sublimeone

    Best Tomb raider… you must be kidding.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Metroid455

    @3 your kidding right? It was Tomb Raider in NAME ONLY and to long time fans an insulting entry -_-

    Also I agree with salarta, too many IP’s now are simply having their names taken and slapped on to whatever the latest trend is, the list is too large to write down so I ain’t bothering.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Daniel_N7

    You guys made me register VG24/7 just to comment on this. I am a “long time” fan of Tomb Raider since the original game, because, yes, I am that old. The new Tomb Raider is an amazing game, one of the best in the series, and only a serious case of nostalgia can make you not see how much it needed a reboot.

    Now, I’m not going to defend that it is the “best”, because TR2 still holds a special place in my heart: the Great Wall of China, the Venice channels, the late night incursion in the Opera House and, well, possibly the most extraordinary TR moment ever, 40 Fathoms.

    What happened to Lara Croft since then? Well, nothing bad, really. The Tomb Raider games remained decent for the most part. I mean, I enjoyed playing them, but it’s kind of like going through pre-Daniel Craig’s Bond movies. You were being fueled by your own nostalgia more than anything else.

    I understand that fans tend to be defensive of what they love and are likely to be somewhat conservative about the changes. But when you think about it, Lara never had a plausible background. She was never a “real” character. The new Tomb Raider tries to do that. To turn Lara into a vulnerable, believable individual. Not just a super-hero, but someone we honestly care about. Personally, I think they did a great job.

    So, please, don’t talk for the “long time fans” as if we’ve got a hive mind or something. We are all different and we all have our own opinions.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. sebastien rivas

    Guys let’s be fair. Story wise, Tomb Raider has been better or stellar one after next the sequel. 3D performance have been AAA one after the next sequel too. Same goes for in game character animations and cinematics.

    Much like you, I miss Lara (fun-clever… etc). In that are the depth and relativity of puzzles in first sequels.
    Also I understand the dev trying to reach for new heights of emotional in Lara’s mind but all should remain in subtlety or gamers understand and appreaciate in overall and defines Lara has it has been in recent sequels which can be a blow to devers. Although Devers should not take it as a blow but as an indication that Lara’s emotional acres are not subtle enough and/or appear for too long across the experience of the game.

    Lastly the change in body structure does not appeal me to be honest.
    It is like saying devers should not evoke too much muscles on male characters or it will complex the male audience so in order to have more male audience , let’s make the male character less male, it is more truthful and won’t hurt anyone…. catch my drift about Lara?

    I have all hopes this new tomb Raider is better in some game elements and much in tune with my first paragraph and I wish they re-evaluate the important part of first Tomb Raiders.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. DSB

    @8 The second was very memorable. But the things I remember it for isn’t a compelling character or a personal investment, but rather the settings you mention.

    I remember zooming around those channels in speedboats and thinking “This shit is the bomb” – But I was never personally engaged, I was just marvelling at what they had accomplished technically.

    That’s ultimately why the new one clinches it for me. Instead of just moving triangle-boob through settings infinitely more interesting than she is, I’m looking at a character that’s worth rooting for.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Ireland Michael

    @5, Gotta make them rocks look good. That doesn’t come cheap!

    @10, “Triangle boobs”.

    *titter* (no pun intended)

    Its easily the best game in the series… which honestly wouldn’t be difficult, considering the comparative quality of other the games in the series. Its definitely my high contender for Game of the Year.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. sebastien rivas

    @8
    Vulnerability is a good thing but we must take several things into account which lays in comments and criticisms of Tomb Raider that lingers sequel after sequel.
    I am playing Tomb Raider right now on my laptop.
    You take a still frame Black pass of old Tomb Raider and new Raider. (an image of each facing frontand fill it with black).
    The old Tomb Raider looks like a female, the new looks like a “lilly white boy” (Yi-San a Korean TV show episode 28 if I remember correctly). Only At the level of the boobs could it reveal the new Tomb Raider as a female, yet and again many would still confuse it with a male thinking the dude has developped muscles on Teres minor and Teres Major. Now does the Tomb Raider need a F size breast, sure it can be avoided but in these terms of vulnerability, the new Tomb Raider does not appeal me.

    Secondly I play Raider , yes but I don’t know which or if it is the latest installement. Perhaps she is better now in newer installement but the one I play is where she is on an island fending off Sun Queen’s minion (let me know if I have some catch up to do).
    Until ~38% of the game story and character emotional acres, Lara just shivers, whimps, and almost up to cry and I still wonder how she finds the strength to help her mates, there is no solution to it but the limited cinematics of Lara and mates’ life on the boat prior the crash.
    Now Shivers, whimps and almost up to cry is good point for vulnerability but as gamers what does it convey when she gets hit by an enemy… (you deserve it girl, stop your whining) or even better ( I want to protect you but stop that nonsense because I am here).
    Where the dev really wanted to make a strong point in emotional acres for Lara is when … (what’s his name… Rough or something like that) got killed while protecting Lara … then she can cry and I feel for her to have losta dear friend. But with previous experience of shivering, whimps and more vulnerability exploited in the game, it seriously and aggravated numbness in feeling for Lara when her friend protected her and died.

    therefore and again I repeat… Subtlety is key ;)
    and Moreover it helps to make points even stronger….

    Well, that was my feeling and experience of the game franchise.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. bradk825

    I am also a long-time fan of the series, and my favourite by far is the reboot.

    Long time Star Trek fans (also me) are not upset about the reboot of that series for the most part, especially because it has increased the fan base exponentially.

    It’s a reimagining and therefor it doesn’t have to be the same Lara, just like how William Shatner is no longer the Captain of the Enterprise.

    I found the storytelling to be the best in the series by a long shot. No TR game before it had that level of character development. The story of the crazy people on the island is also a very good setting, and Lara’s confidence level noticably changes throughout. The animation of her first huge climb, the radar tower, showed a panicky girl afraid she’ll fall to her death any moment, while at the end the animation shows a confident climber knowing exactly what to do while shit blows up all around her. She goes from being scared out of her tree with little likelihood to survive, to deciding at the end to go out and intentionally find another adventure.

    Anyway, I am very excited that a new entry is in development and I can’t wait to see what they have in store. I also hope the talent of these dozen individuals finds a new outlet and doesn’t go to waste.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. DSB

    It’s funny to see how different people experience the game.

    Personally I put Lara in the “badass” category as soon as she killed the deer and got on with it.

    She was intimidated by what she was doing, but that’s what made it resonate so well. She was constantly overcoming herself, and to me that’s the most honest form of being a badass. I don’t think you could climb that radio tower if you were completely distraught.

    There was that one cutscene with the old guy where she’s all “Oh, selfdoubt”, and to me that felt pretty forced, because obviously she was handling her shit quite magnificently.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. salarta

    @8: Always good to have more voices in a discussion, so I’m glad it got you to register.

    Different fans think differently. Some people that say they’re fans of Final Fantasy adore FFX-2 despite how insulting that is to the franchise. It’s all about a mix of priorities and how well a company can spin what they want people to buy.

    On the more specific matter of this “reboot,” I agree that Tomb Raider needed a reboot. But I do not agree in any way whatsoever that this was it. A vulnerable Lara Croft, which some people are claiming makes her “believable” despite this thing being the false Hollywood notion of what “believable” “vulnerability” means, is not Lara Croft. This is as much Lara Croft as Superman is Batman.

    If you can’t care about superheroes, that’s your problem. I find no difficulty whatsoever in caring about superheroes, because I actually acknowledge and respect what they represent as superheroes. In Lara’s case, she used to represent the concept of a smart, powerful, respectable woman, a void we now have to wait for a new character to come along and fill. If they wanted to make a “vulnerable” character, they should’ve started a brand new IP, pure and simple.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Sublimeone

    @ 8

    To each its own I kind sort of respect that.
    I am as well also a “long time” fan of Tomb Raider since the original game. But seriously as much as I love Tomb raider, to some extent I felt insulted playing this game. It tries to be something which I think a Tomb raider game isnt.

    Then again, I guess I expect more than what I was a presented. I didn’t like it enough to even finish the title before I traded in for something else, to me that says alot. I would say one thing, out of all the numerous things that infuriated me, was the extensive hand-holding of the game, from start to finish. There was no challenge whatsoever.

    To me this is a decent title, just little above average, nothing special.

    #16 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Gold Mario Amiibo are expected to sell for pretty astounding profits on eBay and other auction sites. The Walmart-exclusive Gold Mario Amiibo is already completely sold out. Plenty of people managed to snaffle them to resell, though. There are now dozens of listings on eBay and other auction sites. One of the average asking prices […]

  • Canadian new game prices jump to $75

    Canadian gamers are in for an unpleasant price hike. As spotted by HardcoreGamer, the local Canadian branches of Amazon and EB Games have raised the prices of upcoming games to CAD$75. The CAD$5 increasing comes within a year of prices hitting the CAD$70 point. CAD$75 (£38/€53) currently exchanges for $60, the standard US pricing. The […]

  • New Xenoblade Chronicles X footage shows weather, day-night cycle

    The latest Xenoblade Chronicles X footage shows off a gloriously beautiful world. Xenoblade Chronicles X is Monolith Soft’s first solo Wii U game, and the developer is clearly enjoying being able to build a big open world with all the features we’ve come to expect. Missed the whole Xenoblade thing? Chronicles X is a sort […]

  • Dead Rising: Watchtower teaser talks up the benefits of Zombrex

    Live-action Dead Rising movie Watchtower is almost upon us. Dead Rising: Watchtower will release on Crackle on March 27, and via other digital distributors thereafter. Enjoy the short teaser below, courtesy of IGN.

  • We Happy Few debut hits you upside the face with a frying pan

    Contrast developer Compulsion Games has revealed its next project – the delightfully creepy-looking We Happy Few. We Happy Few is set in “a drug-fuelled, retrofuturistic city in an alternative 1960s England” where “a plucky bunch of moderately terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial”. Players are tasked with blending in with […]

  • Slender: The Arrival creeping onto PS4, Xbox One in March

    Slender: The Arrival sold like hotcakes on PC and last-gen consoles, so why not terrify yourself on PS4 and Xbox One, too? Slender: The Arrival will release on PS4 on March 24 and on Xbox One on March 25, developer Blue Isle Studios has announced, for $10. No word on that Wii U version, though. […]

  • GOG weekend sale celebrates German debut

    DRM-free games vendor GOG is celebrating its German-language launch with a tasty sale. The sale offers discounts over 25 “German favourites”. Highlights inclue 97% off Deponia, and less steep but still tasty savings on Memoria and Blackguards 1 and 2. The sale will run through March 3, and you do not have to be, speak, […]

  • Humble Weekly Bundle goes back to Japan

    The latest Humble Weekly Bundle is called Made in Japan, and I’m sure you can guess the theme. Pay what you want for Cherry Tree High Complete Pack (PC; Steam or DRM free), Fairy Bloom Freesia (PC; Steam or DRM free) and Influent + Language Pack (Linux, Mac, PC; Steam or DRM free). Pay more […]

  • Capcom “looking into” solutions to Resident Evil: Revelations PC co-op issue

    Resident Evil: Revelations 2 fans should sit tight for a bit, as Capcom is working on some sort of solution to the co-op issue. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 doesn’t have local co-op on PC and fans are pretty mad about that, as it was advertised ahead of release as a key feature. Although Capcom has […]

  • The games industry is disruption, says Assassin’s Creed producer

    Former Assassin’s Creed producer Jade Raymond has characterised the games industry as one long series of upsets. The games industry changes all the time, and that’s one of its best qualities, Raymond said. The ex-Ubisoft leader told Polygon that the reason seh got into games in the first place was because it “is this undefined […]

  • GTA 5 made $31 million in digital revenue in January

    GTA 5 is the highest-grossing title at the moment in terms of digital revenue, and the PSN is absolutely minting it. Digital games industry analyst Superdata has extended its scope to include console games, which means we suddenly have access to a whole bunch of data we’ve only been able to guess at, or extrapolate […]

  • Destiny: Inferno playlists debut next week

    Destiny PvP will shake things up next week with a new way to slaughter your mates in the Crucible. Destiny is already a skilled PvP game, but the new Inferno playlists will turn things up a notch with a focus on “basic gunplay”. The first of these, Inferno Control, kicks off on March 3 and […]

  • First-person camera coming to Guild Wars 2 next month

    ArenNet has announced its adding nonrestrictive first-person view to Guild Wars 2. Here’s what top expect come March 10: First-person Camera: Zooming in all the way will allow players to experience a first-person view. First-person mode is available while standing in place, walking, running, jumping, playing PvP and just about anything else. There aren’t any […]

  • Shadowrun Online signs on with Nordic

    Shadowrun Online has been given a nice little boost thanks to a distribution deal with Nordic Games. Shadowrun Online is a new team tactical RPG from Cliffhanger Productions. Although it’s already available through Steam Early Access, Nordic has agreed to distribute the finished version, which is due on Linux, Mac and PC in the second […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, game world ten times the size of demo

    Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, according to director Hajime Tabata. Speaking with IGN, Tabata said development will kick into high gear once the Episode Duscae demo is released. “It’s about 60% now. People may look at that and say ‘well, you’ve only done five more percent!’ [since 55% in September] but it’s actually a […]

  • Destiny: you don’t need to visit the tower to access your vault

    Destiny players, you asked for it and Bungie has delivered it: you can now swap items in and out of the vault using the companion app. “Destiny needs more vault space” you cry – and yes, this is true. But while we all struggle with the limitations imposed on us by Bungie, we face all […]

  • Mortal Kombat X will contain over 100 Brutalities

    During the Mortal Kombat X stream today, NetherRealm Studios revealed Brutalities are back for the game, and stated there will be over 100 to pull off. You won’t gain any extra experience for being overly cruel with your painful moves, but you will at least get to laugh at some and “cringe” at others, according […]

  • Numenera: Strand is a film based on the game up on Kickstarter

    Numenera, the 2012 Kickstarter success and foundation for Torment: Tides of Numenera, could become a film if the Kickstarter for the movie is successful. With five days left, Monte Cook Games and Swedish film company Valdes/Eriksdotter needs £22,542 to reach its goal. Titled Numenera: Strand, it tells the tale of a drifter who “roams a […]

  • Gran Turismo 6 update adds MINI Clubman Vision, more

    A Mini Cooper has invaded Gran Turismo 6 via a new update. The Mid-Field Raceway track has also been added, and its a new and improved version of the original track from previous Gran Turismos. The new B-Spec Mode feature has also been added which allows the AI driver to race on your behalf. Additional […]

  • Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and some playable titles to PAX East

    Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and Splatoon with it to PAX East next month. The E3 2014 build of the game lets eight players transform into squids in a race for “splattered-paint dominance.” Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will also be playable and featured in stage presentations at the Nintendo booth. Upcoming or newly released Nintendo […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Premium information seems to have slipped out early

    Battlefield Hardline Premium perks have apparently leaked a bit early, according to a post on Reddit. Over on the Hardline subreddit is an image which was take at a GameStop location, noting two week early access to content additional Battlepacks and more. Here’s the rundown: Four expansions Two weeks early access 12 additional Battlepacks Exclusive […]

  • Final Fantasy: Record Keeper arrives in the US this spring

    Final Fantasy: Record Keeper will be released in the US on iOS and Android this spring, DeNA and Square Enix today. The mobile titles allows players to “relive favorite moments” across all Final Fantasy installments and build a team of classic characters from across the entire franchise. If you sign up for email updates, you […]

  • Battlefield Hardline now available for pre-order, pre-download on Xbox One

    Battlefield Hardline is now available for pre-order and pre-download on Xbox One. You can pre-order it now from the Xbox Store and once you have paid for it, you can start your pre-download. Battlefield Hardline releases on March 17, and will be made available to pre-downloaders come 12.01am EDT. Check pricing and availability for your […]

  • Dying Light interactive video allows you switch between day and night

    A new video for Dying Light has been released, which allows you to hit the Z key to change between day and night. Titles Life and Death in the Quarantine Zone, the interactive story video showcases how the game changes between day and night. Daytime and nighttime are shown side-by-side but the z key allows […]

  • Havoc DLC for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare out on PS3, PS4; PC delayed

    The Havoc DLC for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is now available for PlayStation 3 and PS4. Havoc contains the four multiplayer maps Core, Drift, Sideshow, and Urban along with the AE4 directed energy assault rifle, its custom variant, and the Exo Zombies cooperative mode. You can purchase the DLC separately or pick up the […]

  • Here’s a teaser for Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 2

    A teaser video for the second episode of Resident Evil Revelations 2 is available, so if you’ve yet to play the first episode, you may want to skip this. Resident Evil Revelations 2′s first episode is out now. Thanks, GamesHQMedia.

  • North American eShop update is full of Donkey Kong games

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Titan Attacks, Donkey Kong Land, Donkey Kong Country and more. eShop on 3DS Ironfall Invasion Titan Attacks! Donkey Kong Land – Virtual Console Donkey Kong Land 2 – Virtual Console Donkey Kong Land 3 – Virtual Console Luv Me Buddies Wonderland Around the World […]

  • Venture into the Valley of the Yetis next week in Far Cry 4

    The next batch of Far Cry 4 DLC, Valley of the Yetis, releases in March and Ajay Ghale will be tasked with surviving violent cultists and the mythical Yeti. Apparently the cult is looking for a secret hidden in the valley, and Ajay has discovered their motives. The DLC features co-op with a friend taking […]

  • The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack out for Payday 2, has dino masks

    The 19th DLC pack for Payday 2 title The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack is available on Steam from today. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and features: 11 new weapon modifications for the AK rifles in the game 11 new weapon modifications for the CAR rifles in the game Four new masks together with their […]

  • Battle Chasers slated for PC, consoles; comic picks up where 2001 storyline left off

    Darksiders creator Joe Madureira and Vigil co-founder Ryan Stefanelli have confirmed a Battle Chasers game and a new comic are in the works at their new studio Airship Syndicate. Speaking to Polygon, Madureira and Stefanelli wouldn’t provide details on the the game, but did divulge it will be an adventure RPG with player-controlled Battle Chasers […]

  • Shovel Knight, Hotline Miami 2 discounted for Sony’s annual Spring Fever Sale

    Sony is hosting its annual Spring Fever Sale which runs for eight weeks and features a new title each week. The sale starts next week on March 3 with the launch of Helldivers. Here’s just a few items included in the sale: HELLDIVERS (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March 3 Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March […]

  • The gold Super Mario amiibo is a Walmart exclusive

    The Super Mario Gold amiibo which surfaced via a CPSIA certificate earlier this month will be a Walmart-exclusive, Nintendo has announced. The gold-colored Mario amiibo will be released the same day as the Mario Party 10 game for Wii U and will run you $12,96 at 3,000 participating Walmart stores in the US. Along with […]

  • Here’s an overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

    As new gameplay overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, culled from the Active Time Report, stream has been sent over by Square Enix. The video provides a look at the history and environments of the Kingdom of Orience; the 14 memebers of Class Zero; the battle system with customizable magic spells; and the ability […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 video gives you a look at the game’s wildlife

    A new video shown by Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata during the latest Active Time Report, contains a look at the game’s wildlife and ecology. You can watch the full stream two hour stream through here, or a smaller clip courtesy of GamesHQMedia below.

  • Lionhead ventures into the free-to-play space with Fable Legends

    Fable Legends will be free-to-play when it launches on PC and Xbox One. According to Lionhead, the one versus four cross-platform title borrows from MOBA games such as Dota 2 and League of Legends as it will contain free, rotating heroes which will be added to a roster for a two week period. Once the […]

  • Win! 5 pairs of tickets to the Call of Duty European Championships

    We have five pairs of tickets to giveaway for the Call of Duty European Championships, taking place in London this weekend. The event takes place this Saturday February 28 and Sunday March 1 at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Winners can watch teams will go head to head for a $10,000 prize pot […]

  • Republique Remastered has released on Mac and PC

    Republique Remastered, which was announced earlier this month, is now available for Mac and PC. The game is 20% off through Steam, GOG and the Humble Store for $19.99 until March 4. Thereafter, it will run you $24.99. The Remastered edition contains all five episodes of the game, with 1-3 available now and the remaining […]

  • LA Cops coming to Xbox One in March

    Isometric shooter LA Cops is coming to Xbox One on March 13. Already on Steam Early Access, the game looks like it’s been heavily inspired by Hotline Miami. Walk into a room, open fire, leave bloody puddles in your wake. It’s being published by Team 17. Check out the video below for some 70s cop […]

  • We have $500 of Steam Wallet funds to giveaway!

    We’re giving away 10 Steam Wallet prizes worth $50 each to VG247 readers, courtesy of Bundle Stars. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning $50 Steam credit is to enter your details below. Join the Bundle Stars Steam group for entry in the sweepstake, and gain extra entries for […]