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Here’s where Lara could be staying during E3 ’09 May 19, 2009

Posted by tombraiderfanboy in Eidos, Future Games.
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It’s the E3 2009 floor plan. Best keep an eye on Eidos booth still. Click to enlarge. The rest? Here.

Laraverse round-up: Tomb Raider dev house is 43rd world’s most successful game studio May 12, 2009

Posted by tombraiderfanboy in Crystal Dynamics, Eidos, Future Games, Lara Croft, Underworld.
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The 2009 edition of book series Develop 100 has ranked the Tomb Raider dev house as the 43rd most bankable game studio of the world, beating the likes of Bandai Namco, Bioware, Bungie, Rare, and, yes, Square Enix. Published by Develop, Develop 100 ranks the world’s most successful game studios based on a variety of criteria, including critical success or review scores, industry standing, and sales data of their respective games.

Tomb Raider Underworld, the most recent title developed by Crystal Dynamics, only sold an estimated 1.5 million units as of January 2009 — a sales count, despite surpassing the million mark, deemed disappointing by Eidos for Lara Croft’s eighth outing. This was followed by 30 Crystal Dynamics employees being laid off “to eliminate redundancy and give the studio tighter focus moving forward” and a directive for a Lara Croft make-over for the next game. Underworld has since reached 2.6 million units sold, ranking the game sixth lowest-selling  of all nine major outings of the franchise.

The game, however, has received generally respectable reviews, garnering 75 out of a possible hundred on Metacritic, which has led Eidos to give Crystal Dynamics directive to solely focus on the Tomb Raider franchise. Ian Livingstone, Eidos life president, has hinted that Crystal Dynamics is already hard at work on the ninth entry to the series, saying that “remarkable things” being added to the game will make you say “Oh Lara, I love you so much!”

In February, a Crystal Dynamics representative said that “it’s too soon to say anything about the next game,” and while Lara’s next game does seem to still be tightly under wraps, Eric Lindstrom, former creative director at the Redwood-based team, hinted in November 2008 that there have been talks of adding a multiplayer feature to the next game.

This was substantiated by Crystal Dynamics’ March ’09 job openings, which included an Online Programmer, whose job is to collaborate with “designers, artists, and other programmers” — as the job description puts it — “to develop and iterate on an online functionality including areas like multiplayer, user content sharing, community features, game metrics, etc.” While there is no solid indicator of what Ian Livingstone exactly means by “remarkable things,” perhaps a safe bet would be the added functionality of multiplayer in the Laraverse.

As E3 2009 closes in, we are still left guessing if Lara will even be making an appearance at the expo. Of Eidos’ portfolio, only Deus Ex 3 has so far been confirmed to be shown at the event. While fans of Tomb Raider are no doubt enthused at the prospect of a ninth Lara game, Crystal Dynamics would do well to focus on the more essential part of making a game — its development, rather than its advertisement.

Stay tuned to Tomb Raider Fanboy for all the latest and newest and Lara Croft and Tomb Raider.

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.