Reflecting: Demise of The Tomb Raider

By on May 24, 2015 | 478 comments

Demise-of-The-TR-Featured-ImageWith tensions soaring and bad press surrounding Rise of The Tomb Raider, I’ve decided to write this article from a different perspective rather than my usual angry rant. Rise is the highly anticipated sequel to 2013’s Tomb Raider reboot. Fans were ecstatic after seeing the world premiere trailer at the E3 2014 event. Though, the hype was short lived after only a few months when Crystal Dynamics had announced that the next installment would see it’s arrival launch exclusively on the Xbox platform come holiday 2015.

The community pushed back with petitions, blackouts, numerous rants on social media and so forth. Yet, after all the hard heavy emotions, I think I’m finally starting to understand why Crystal chose to debut the game on Microsoft’s gaming platform.

The Tomb Raider reboot took four years of hard intensive development to see it’s vision through to the mainstream market. From the early reveal days of the reboot, former global brand director Karl Stewart often spoke on behalf of the developers working on the game, citing that this new iteration of Tomb Raider would be “the game of our careers.” With that achievement came sacrifice and resources that the studio had exhausted through out the last game’s campaign.

“But that success wasn’t without its cost. Several members of the team burned out during the last game’s stretch of development, working 18-hour long days for nearly a year. The needs of a top-tier video game forced its developer to sacrifice personal hobbies, friendships, and time with family. Through that pain and sacrifice, however, Crystal Dynamics delivered the best Tomb Raider to date. Now, they just have to do it again.”

—Rise of The Tomb Raider’s GI cover story,

In the beginning, a lot of us questioned as to how this is helping the fans or the studio by partnering with a tech “monster” like Microsoft. Their affiliation with the last game just made their invitation that more welcoming. But with first party marketing, and hardware specialized hands to help work on the game to relieve some of the pressure, it definitely makes sense now why Crystal Dynamics thought this was the best decision for the game.

“This doesn’t mean that we’re walking away from our fans who only play on PlayStation or on PC.”

Rise of the TR Announcement

In the initial press release, it was emphasized that they had made Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris along with The Definitive Edition accessible on both Playstation and Xbox platforms. With the mentioning of Rise’s exclusivity duration, they understand how important it is to develop a game for multiple platforms. Which kind of contradicts their exclusivity contract, but it’s evident that it’s important the studio reaps the benefits of that partnership. Once the game is made with more qualified hands on deck, the struggle to porting the title over to the other platforms shouldn’t be as severe as if it were being developed for multiple hardware specs in just one stretch.

I’m predicting that Rise will soon see a PC and PS4 release shortly after the title launches first on Xbox. It’d be a bit ridiculous for the team to work so hard to only have their game being played on just one platform. Out of respect and ethical diplomacy, of course we’re not going to hear anything about the game releasing on other platforms quite yet. Coding the game tailored specifically for Xbox One could be either incredible or an epic fail. It’s obvious Crystal set the bar pretty low for collaborating with the weaker partner, but one can hope that the team can cook up an extraordinary game out of this ordeal.

I sincerely hope they surprise us all, and that in the end, partnering with Microsoft was indeed the right decision.

With E3 being just a few weeks away. It’s undoubtable that Rise of The TR is going to have a huge turnout this year.

Cheers.