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Livingstone affirms possibility of next Tomb Raider movie; Other game-to-film Eidos titles confirmed May 9, 2009

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Ian Livingstone is quite proud of Eidos games going mainstream through their respective Hollywood adaptations. “Hollywood initially created its own characters; then they looked to books and comic books for stories and characters, and now they’re looking at games, because they see the rise in the popularity of these video game characters.”

There have been two Tomb Raider films and a Hitman movie, and now it’s Kane & Lynch that’s getting the silverscreen treatment, which will star no less than Bruce Willis, according to Livingstone. The Eidos life pres has also affirmed that there’s “possibly another Tomb Raider movie” alongside an animated TV series based on IO Interactive title Mini Ninjas.

Eidos titles going Hollywood — who didn’t see that coming? Definitely more on the films as new details come in.

[Gaming Indians]


Livingstone: “Remarkable things in next ‘Raider will make you say ‘Oh Lara, I love you so much!'” May 9, 2009

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Ian Livingstone isn’t Eidos life pres for nothing. He’s a walking, breathing hype machine for the next Tomb Raider title, and we’re happy he’s around.

In an interview with Gaming Indians, Livingstone talked about Underworld‘s supposedly lackluster performance and Tomb Raider‘s appeal as a continuing franchise. “As a franchise, I don’t think Lara Croft is going down at all. In fact, her popularity continues to increase.” He goes on to compare Lara’s commercial and critical performance across games to James Bond. “If you look at movies, James Bond has survived 40 years. Not all those films have been great, but the character remains strong.”

But that’s not even the juicy part.

On the ninth Tomb Raider title, Livingstone says that it “will surprise a lot of people and reinvigorate the franchise. There are some remarkable things we’re doing in the next Tomb Raider to make you say, ‘Oh Lara, I love you so much!'” Well, in our case, maybe it will make us say, “Oh Lara, I love you even more!”

We’ll definitely have more on ‘Raider IX as it develops, which it will.

Eidos life pres recounts days of Team Lara in ’96 May 8, 2009

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“It was estimated that around 50,000 copies of the game would sell but we ended up selling seven and a half million.”

In a seminar for animation students in Kochi, India, this is what Ian Livingstone — now life president of Eidos — had to say about the humble beginnings of Tomb Raider. The Animation Arena-organized series of seminars served as a venue for Livingstone to detail the production and pre-production stages of Lara’s genre-defining debut in ’96.

Recognizing India’s “high quality talent pool” and its potential as a main player in the animation industry, Livingstone said that “the next step for India is to make works for the global market.” Lara’s gone global with the backing of a tiny team of passionate game developers. India can, too. More through this jump.

Eidos is coming to E3; Is Lara, too? May 4, 2009

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Eidos is getting booth #2422 for this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo. So what are we expecting from the UK, Square Enix-owned publisher?

First, we’re counting on Deus Ex 3 from Eidos Montreal to make an appearance. In an interview with Gameblog France, developers Stéphane d’Astous and Andre Vu confirmed that the sequel to Invisible War will indeed be shown at this year’s E3. Of course we did salivate at that bit of news.

We’re also expecting the “second project” of the same team, which is rumored to be Thief 4, to make an E3 showing. The official unveiling of this mysterious project will be on 11th May, and what better way to generate fan buzz about a newly-announced game other than the expo?

Hitman 5, we’re predicting, will also be announced at the event. The last Hitman title from dev team IO Interactive was Blood Money, which was released in 2006. It’s now 2009. Yeah.

Rocksteady‘s delayed Batman title, Arkham Asylum, is also bound to make an appearnce at E3. Eidos has yet to announce a new release date for Batman’s asylum excursion, but they did say that the release window is “the end of summer 2009.” A demo of the game at the Eidos booth would definitely do well for the anticipated title, and we’re expecting no less of the Batman exhibit. It’s been around for quite a while already.

Lara Croft, as much as we want to see her in June, won’t be making it this year. To be clear, nothing’s for sure, but considering the disappointing sales of Underworld and the subsequent plans for a Lara make-over, the Croft team (Crystal D, specifically), we bet, must be taking their time getting everything right for a re-revitalization of the series. And we’re all just going to have to wait patiently.

Stay tuned to Fanboy for more Eidos at E3 news. You never know, she might just make a suprise appearance after all.

Business as usual: Eidos and Square Enix gearing up for new game reveals; Ninth ‘Raider set for E3? May 3, 2009

Posted by tombraiderfanboy in Crystal Dynamics, Eidos, Future Games, Square Enix.
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It’s business as usual for the acquired and the acquirer. Eidos and Square Enix are teasing the gaming community about their respective game reveals.

Eidos Montreal, Eidos’ (and by extension, Square Enix’s) dev team for the upcoming Deus Ex threequel, while presumably hard at work on their follow-up to Deus Ex: Invisible War, has put up a teaser image for their “second project,” which will be officially unveiled on 11th May. Early speculation puts it that it might be the fourth entry to the Thief series, and while we are excited about the prospect of it, we wouldn’t want to put ourselves prey to failed expectations. For all we know, it might be new IP.

Square Enix on the other hand has made a teaser site for its own yet-to-be-announced game. A John F. Kennedy quote is set against a backdrop of a futuristic cityscape (pictured above) that seems to be under attack: “The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life.” Deep.

While Eidos and Square Enix has yet to announce their presence at the June 2-4 E3 2009 event (early list of participants here), we’re counting on both unnamed games to make an appearance at the expo. Would be a good venue to generate buzz.

As for a possible Tomb Raider IX announcement at E3, we really wouldn’t expect anything from Lara for at least another six months. Crystal Dynamics did say in February that “it’s too soon to say anything about the next game.” But now that they’re mandated to solely focus on the Croft series, we’re expecting them to at least be 10% into the development of the the ninth ‘Raider title.

Fanboy will be sure to keep an eye on E3 for any Croft sightings, nevertheless. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, you can hop on to our Twitter page to get all the latest on Lara Croft and Tomb Raider.

Ian Livingstone now life president of Eidos April 30, 2009

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Following the recent acquisition of Eidos by Final Fantasy publisher Square Enix, Ian Livingstone has been promoted as life president of the UK ‘Raider house, GI is reporting. Livingstone will still be part of the Green Light committee and will continue to oversee key franchises of the company.

On his new position in Eidos, Livingstone has expressed his “delight” as it gives him “the opportunity to further promote the good ship Eidos and the industry too. I never get tired talking about games.”

Livingstone has been an active adviser to the UK government with regard to interactive entertainment and creative industries in general, and it’s another role of his that he won’t be giving up any time soon. “I have been spending an increasing amount of time dealing with the government, pushing the debate forward on issues such as tax credits, the skills agenda, IP and the future of creativity, and I will continue with that.”

Pressure’s on for Lara Croft and Agent 47 to give Square money back April 29, 2009

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Lara has quite a huge debt to pay to Square Enix. Of course the Japanese publisher didn’t save the ailing ‘Raider house for nothing. They expect a huge return on their UK investment.

MCV is reporting that Square Enix is expecting to have a complete return on its £84.3m purchase of Eidos by 2012. While the popularity of her franchise is expected to shoulder a larger slice of the return, Lara’s not without her peers. Agent 47, Kane and Lynch, and the denizens of the Deus Ex universe will have to give their own contributions.

Yoichi Wada, Square Enix CEO, seems confident that he will get what he went to the UK for. “Eidos as a company is excellent, with powerful properties and strong management. And by joining our group, we think that the pace of growth and success can now be accelerated. We would not have taken this decision to buy Eidos unless we thought that we could get our investment back within two to three years. If we had thought it would take five years, for example, then we wouldn’t have made the acquisition.”

Eidos CEO: “I think some consumers think we don’t care…” April 28, 2009

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Oh, but Eidos CEO Phil Rogers argues that’s not the case: “We do care passionately about what consumers say, and it’s great they’re so vocal, and intimate, and trying to drive more into the relationship.”

Asked about what Eidos’ response is to the greater emphasis on cost performance versus game quality, Rogers says that “it’s the same targets and desires that we’ve been setting with our teams in the past year, in terms of asking how we move the quality mark forward, how we improve.” And how does he think Eidos manages to improve on that front? Through the challenge of pleasing their consumers.

“So I think the challenges that we’ve are the right ones, and our creatives and producers and art directors absolutely support them – that’s the goal.”

That’s the goal.

That’s the goal.


GI has the full interview. Here‘s a jump.

Square Enix to push for more “profit-generating” Lara Croft — dolls (!?) April 28, 2009

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Following the massive success of various Final Fantasy merchandise which range from toys, action figures, and other collectibles, we can’t really blame Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada for believing in the profit-generating power of increasing merchandising output for his game franchises. He’s been rather vocal about his interest in making more Lara Croft toys and ‘Raider-related merchandise.

Wada, however, is aware that “if I were to tell the existing staff to do that (produce more Lara Croft merchandise) it means their workload would double, and they’d just run away…” But that won’t stop the new Eidos big boss to maximize his newly-owned (yep, she’s a product) globe-trotting, gun-totting lass.

“So of course I’ll have the proper staff in place and then try to improve the merchandising output. If you have the merchandising capability, as well as strong characters – which we do – then there’s no way we shouldn’t use it to generate profit.”

We’ll see what the “proper staff” comes up with then. The Tonner dolls are beautiful, but perhaps an actual size Excalibur or Mjolnir would make for more original outputs this time ’round?


Square CEO on past years’ Eidos mishaps: “If there’s love, things will work” April 27, 2009

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It’s no secret that Eidos has had its share of mishaps in the past ranging from major title bombs, controversial review censorships, to shameful PR mishandles — things that Square Enix boss Yoichi Wada seems intent to address by “managing [them] as the same family (Eidos and Square Enix).”

Speaking to GI, Wada recounts Square’s recovery from near-bankruptcy back in 2000 — a case he seems to put in analogy with Eidos’ standing as a games publisher. While he says that he doesn’t think there’s any problem with Eidos, the Final Fantasy big boss does say that certain “things” will work “if there’s love.” We wonder what those “things” are that still need working on then.

In the same interview, Wada talks about the dilemma of prioritizing cost performance (i.e. milking a franchise a la ‘Raider on sched) or game quality (i.e. taking time to develop quality games a la Final Fantasy) and how it relates to his thrust for Eidos under his aegis. Read on through the GI jump.