Tomb Raider delay due to “natural evolution” of original development plan

By Brenna Hillier
22 May 2012 05:15 GMT

Crystal Dynamic has further explained Tomb Raider’s six month delay, hopefully quashing fan concerns over the reboot’s development.

In the latest episode of the Crystal Habit podcast, Crystal Dynamics studio head Darrell Gallagher flatly denied a suggestion that the release date change came about because development had gone “horribly wrong”.

“Definitely that is not what happened,” he said.

“Making games is not a science, right? It’s very complex. In a lot of cases you’re doing things for the first time. You’re trying to break new ground with every game you try and make. So it’s not like you’re repeating the same old formula time and time again.

“For us it is really more about refining what we have, less about new features, less about ‘horribly wrong’ than just saying, hey, this is the natural evolution of what we once started, what we intended to do,” he added.

“We want to see that through. We have a commitment, and we didn’t want to compromise that original commitment and vision to put the game out a few months earlier.”

Gallagher confirmed earlier reports that Tomb Raider is in a playable alpha state, but was quick to stress that building to beta and beyond varies from game to game.

“We have the whole game in place, it’s great to see start to finish, you can play it beginning to end, and it’s in great shape. We have a great structure of a game here,” he said.

“In terms of six months, 12 months for alpha, it’s just not apples to apples. I can’t really compare one development team or one studio or publisher to another.”

Gallagher denied a fan’s challenge that release had been delayed to avoid competing with other major launches.

“Last E3, we had a great E3 and it showed that we can stand toe to toe right next to the competition. So that’s not something we’re necessarily concerned with. What we’re most concerned with and what we’re most focused on here is making the greatest game possible,” he said.

“There’s always triple-A titles that are breathing down your neck or coming up right in front of you. There’s nothing you can do,” brand director Karl Stewart added.

“You pick a window and you can guarantee that within a few weeks before or a few weeks after, there’s some other big title coming out around you. Whether we like it or not, there’s always a great title around the corner.”

Tomb Raider is now expected in the first quarter of 2013.

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