‘Tomb Raider’ sequel ‘well into development,’ Square Enix reports
"You can't just create a male character with boobs,” says "Tomb Raider" writer Rhianna Pratchett. At left is Lara Croft in 2006's "Tomb Raider: Legend." At right is Croft in 2013's "Tomb Raider," a March release. (Crystal Dynamics / Square Enix)Link
Lara Croft returns in the new "Tomb Raider." (Crystal Dynamics / Square Enix).Link
Lara Croft’s video game adventures will continue.
Square Enix today confirmed that the company is “well into development” on a sequel to 2013′s reboot of the “Tomb Raider” franchise. No details were offered in the way of timing or plot, but Square Enix Chief Executive Phil Rogers said in a blog post that the title will be coming to next-generation consoles.
Word of a “Tomb Raider” sequel first leaked out of San Diego’s Comic-Con International, where comic writer Gail Simone said in an interview with Kotaku that her upcoming “Tomb Raider” series for Dark Horse will lead “directly” into the sequel for the game. The 2013 game boasted a script from Rhianna Pratchett, who described the new-look Croft as one who combated the very video game stereotypes the little-clothed Croft character helped nurture.
“This new Lara is much less chesty, and she doesn’t wear hot pants and midriffs,” Pratchett said in an earlier interview with Hero Complex. “She looks like a woman who has dressed herself, rather than a woman who has been dressed by a male video game developer. You can’t ignore the fact that she’s female. You have to give that some respect. You can’t just create a male character with boobs.”
The 2013 “Tomb Raider” went back to focus on a more college-aged Croft. Far from the seasoned, Indiana Jones-inspired adventurer of yore, this Croft hesitated with a weapon and had to learn survival skills on the fly. The game saw Croft marooned on an island full of violent men under the cult-like control of a mysterious “sun Queen.”
While a “Tomb Raider” sequel was almost assured — Croft remains one of the most recognizable characters in games — a May financial briefing from Square Enix went into detail on the increasing difficulty of releasing big-budget games such as “Tomb Raider” or “Hitman.” Today’s post from Rogers was designed to quell any concerns that the company had reservations regarding the green-lighting of top-tier games, so-called AAA games.
“There’s been speculation and commentary made this year about Square Enix’s strategy in the Americas and Europe, and I know we’ve not outwardly commented or addressed this, so some folk may be confused about what we’re actually doing – therefore I want to try and explain directly to you here on our Square Enix blog,” he wrote.
He continued: “I can categorically say that we’re not abandoning core, triple-A console and PC games. We’re working hard at improving how we develop our games and how we release them …”
In the spring, Square Enix’s senior executive managing director, Yosuke Matsuda, spoke in the company’s financial briefing of “significant degradation” in regard to sales of console games. He put the blame on increased competition in the console sector, as well as more entertainment and gaming options available to consumers, many of them cheaper than a $60 console game.
“There was tremendous competition from many other strong titles, and with the diverse amount of entertainment options available, customers have become more selective, resulting in this disappointing outcome,” he said in the presentation.
Aside from “Tomb Raider,” Square Enix has a number of major games in development, including “Final Fantasy XV” and “Kingdom Hearts 3.”
“Kingdom Hearts” architect Tetsuya Nomura recently spoke with Hero Complex about the development of the game, noting that numerous character arcs defined over the first two core “Kingdom Hearts” games will be coming to an end.
– Todd Martens | @toddmartens
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