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Tomb Raider comes ‘home’. Crystal Dynamics reinstated as developer following Embracer acquisition

The studio was acquired by Embracer as part of a deal with Square Enix

Last month, Embracer finalized its acquisition of numerous Square Enix assets, namely the Japanese company’s western studios and developers. This deal saw Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal, and Square Enix Montreal change hands for $300 million.

Crystal Dynamics has signalled that, following this deal, they have regained control of the Tomb Raider franchise, which follows adventurer and archaeologist Lara Croft in her travels. The developer first gained control of the franchise in 2006 (having originally being developed by UK-based company Core Design and published by Eidos through its early years) and went on to develop every game in the franchise until the most recent entry, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, which was developed by Eidos Montreal and released in 2018.

The Crystal Dynamics years are seen as a triumph and a series high by fans for the franchise.

Hunting for treasured franchises

Crystal Dynamics now owns the rights to the franchise, among others. Only one other franchise – Legacy of Kain – was highlighted in a brief press release.

Referring to the acquisition, Crystal Dynamics states that “As a result of this change, Crystal Dynamics (or its affiliate) is now the owner of these games and the controller of the gameplay and personal data related to them.”

“We look forward to taking this new and exciting journey with you.”

Although the franchise is best known for its AAA console games, Lara Croft has been featured in numerous forms of media, as well as games on mobile platforms: Lara Croft GO – developed by Simutronics – and Lara Croft: Relic Run, developed by Square Enix Montreal.

As part of the deal, Crystal Dynamics will take charge of the entire franchise, including an upcoming Tomb Raider currently in development and any future mobile titles. However, no other titles from Crystal Dynamics have been announced, although Embracer previously stated that it’s considering reviving several dormant franchises.

Last month, we listed Embracer Group as number 21 on our list of the top mobile game makers of 2022.

Written By

Lewis Rees is a journalist, author, and escape room enthusiast based in South Wales. He got his degree in Film and Video from the University of Glamorgan. He's been a gamer all his life.

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