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Eidos the publisher is “Eidos” no more; We now call it Square Enix Europe July 7, 2009

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It wasn’t too long ago when Square Enix decided to keep the Eidos brand intact following the acquisition move. Now, that decision no longer stands. The Japanese gaming giant has apparently expressed its intent for future Tomb Raider games to be published by “Square Enix Europe” — Eidos, no longer.

Incumbent Eidos CEO Phil Rogers will be heading the rebranded UK-based publisher, and while the Eidos name will no longer be used for the publishing team behind Lara’s games, the firm’s so-named development studios (Eidos Montreal, among them) will retain their namesake.

[GamesIndustry.Biz]

Square Enix, Eidos to hold company summit for talent, tech sharing June 13, 2009

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“It’s coming, yeah. This month.” Eidos CEO Phil Rogers has confirmed plans for a summit where key figures from both the Final Fantasy and Tomb Raider publishers will be in attendance.

On the possibilities of the exchange, Rogers doesn’t mind showing his excitement. “We’ve loved the pace, internally, that things seem to be [at]. There’s a lot of planning and thought leadership.

“Some initiatives that we talked about: we have anacademy of experts; we’re going to take our studio leadership structure and key engineers, and have attendees and participation from the Square Enix side, and that’s fantastic.”

Yoichi Wada, Square Enix CEO and president, has also confirmed that “Square Enix engineers are going to be participating in that as well, so there is going to be a lot of exchange going back and forth, in that sense.”

“So there’s genuine excitement in the business,” shares Rogers, “And it’s lovely to be able to say that, actually. I really love that it’s true. We’re a very product-focused company now, and this combination feels right.”

Good things can only come from a thing such as this. Let’s hope we’ll all feel just as well about the combination.

[Gamasutra]

Yoichi Wada: Square Enix-Eidos IP swaps possible June 12, 2009

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In an interview with Gamasutra during last week’s LA gaming expo, Square Enix president Yoichi Wada talked about the possibility of swapping Eidos and Square Enix IPs.

“I think that’s possible. But what’s more important is that the two companies, for example, are going to be creating a new IP together.”

While the prospect of the Final Fantasy Versus XIII team developing Lara’s next outing would no doubt be…interesting, to say the least, Wada pointed out that swapping of IPs doesn’t have to be limited to exchanging game development responsibilities. “Square Enix not only has IP for games, but there’s also IP for animation or manga, as well. So those IPs might be leveraged, for example, by Eidos — in order to turn them into a game.”

“Or it can be vice versa as well: the game IP that the Eidos team has might be transferred over to the Square Enix team to turn it into a comic book, for example, or animation, or figures as well. And so those are some of the areas that this question concerns, as well.” — Reminds you of something?

So what will it be: More Lara dolls or a Square Enix-developed Tomb Raider game?

Tomb Raider dev house faces another workforce cut June 10, 2009

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Following last January’s workforce cut at the Tomb Raider dev house, Crystal D yet again faces another round of “resource-focusing”. This time, 25 employees are being laid off. Eidos cites the company’s “continued drive to focus resources at the studio” — as they did last January — as the reason for the layoffs.

“We can confirm that Crystal Dynamics has made a reduction of approximately 25 people at the San Francisco studio. This decision is a reflection of the continued drive to focus resources at the studio. We would like to thank all of the employees affected by this difficult decision for their hard work during their time at Crystal and we wish them all the best in the future.”

Let’s see then just how focused the next Tomb Raider game will be.

[Kotaku]

Eidos to push for more “character-driven” games May 28, 2009

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 Eidos CEO Phil Rogers, in an interview at Square Enix Holdings, has reiterated the British firm’s vision for their games: “to create innovative, high-quality, character-driven games and gameplay experiences.” Rogers says this vision has served as “a good driver, a good focus for us” towards “a content-creation business with supreme sales and marketing talent around that.”

Our radar’s picking up signal of a more Lara-driven Tomb Raider game, folks — as should a “high-quality” one but…we’re getting nothing. We’re sticking to Square Enix’s mission towards consumer happiness.

Square Enix wants to give you an “unforgettable” tomb-raiding experience May 28, 2009

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Square Enix big boss Yoichi Wada has a vision for the future of Tomb Raider (among other Eidos IPs) — a game that will “spread happiness across the globe by providing unforgettable tomb-raiding experiences.” But just how does he plan to achieve that?

In a joint interview with Eidos CEO Phil Rogers, Wada says the company puts prime on “understanding each and every one of our customers.” That means the Wada-man counts you and I in in shaping the future of Tomb Raider, but…really now? If anything, they’ve at least fulfilled the fangasmic dream of seeing Lara Croft with THE Final Fantasy pres.

Loads more through the official firm interview.

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

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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.

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 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.