Amazon Games VP Christoph Hartmann recently revealed that they will provide full support and help globally distribute the newest Tomb Raider title. The follow-up to 2018’s ”Shadow of the Tomb Raider” will be a ”single-player, narrative-driven adventure”, available across multiple platforms.
The as of yet untitled Tomb Raider game will be composed of all the elements that made the franchise one of the most esteemed in the gaming industry and it will use Unreal Engine 5.
In the collaborative press release, Amazon Games and Crystal Dynamics referred to the upcoming title as ”the biggest, most expansive Tomb Raider game to date.” This is saying a lot, considering the level of production quality we have come to be accustomed to when it comes to the Tomb Raider series.
According to reports, the game is still in early development and there’s still no timetable for when it might be released. Fans of the franchise will be pleased to hear the latest iteration of their multidimensional hero Lara Croft will be featured in an environment demanding a lot of exploration and creative pathing. Accompanied by the usual high dose of head-scratching puzzles that require solving and a large pallet of versatile enemies that need to be overcome.
We are excited to announce that @CrystalDynamics has partnered with @AMZNGameStudios on the next major entry in the Tomb Raider series, which will continue Lara Croft’s saga in a single-player, story-driven multiplatform adventure. Amazon Games will support & publish globally! pic.twitter.com/Pn5aGeZaAm
— Tomb Raider (@tombraider) December 15, 2022
Previously, Square Enix was in charge of publishing Tomb Raider after it acquired Eidos Interactive and Crystal Dynamics in 2009. Their fruitful collaboration ended earlier this year after Square Enix sold off multiple studios, including Crystal Dynamics. With it, the rights to their intellectual properties like Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, and Thief were transferred to the Embracer Group.
Over the three decades since its existence, Crystal Dynamics has developed and published a large array of award-winning titles. Globally cherished titles like Legacy of Kain, which could be getting a remake, and Tomb Raider are only a fraction of it.
Keep in mind that Tomb Raider alone has more than 20 video games. Also, the franchise has sold more than 95 million copies since its initial release in 1996 and is cherished by more than 170 million people across the world. Their most recent ”Survivor Trilogy” has garnered upwards of 200 ”Best of” awards and nominations. This should come as a surprise to no one considering it's composed of: Tomb Raider (2013), Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015), and Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018).
Tech giant Amazon’s motives for embarking on media production in the form of movies or TV shows are pretty self-explanatory. Building up a repertoire on their streaming platform Prime Video makes the investment worthwhile. But dipping their toes in the video game development sector is something we have seen from them only recently.
Their latest agreement with Crystal Dynamics signals a further expansion of Amazon games into triple-A titles. Their growing game division is now widely recognized for developing their MMO title called New World, which was released last year. Their valiant effort carried over to 2022 when they collaborated with the Korean studio Smilegate to publish Lost Ark, their Diablo-styled action game.
Last week at The Game Awards, it was revealed that Amazon Games has partnered up with Bandai Namco, to publish their upcoming anime-inspired MMO called Blue Protocol early in 2023. All of these ventures, however, are Amazon’s swing at live-service online games, so the Tomb Raider agreement is a step into uncharted territory for Amazon. But considering their financial backing and dedication towards expanding into gaming voiced by the VP of Amazon Games, Christoph Hartmann, it’s safe to say that Amazon’s reach in the gaming industry is expanding.