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Crystal Dynamics layoffs hit non-Tomb Raider team, unannounced project 're-scopes'

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Developer Crystal Dynamics has laid off roughly a dozen employees working on an unannounced, non-Tomb Raider project, a representative from publisher Square Enix confirmed to Kotaku. According to a statement, Crystal Dynamics other title is undergoing some changes, as developers "re-scope the project."

"We've made some decisions at Crystal Dynamics last week around the second project we're working on, which has resulted in a small number of roles (roughly 12) becoming redundant as we re-scope the project," a statement from the company reads. "This doesn't affect the Tomb Raider development team, who as confirmed last week are well into production on a next-generation sequel."

Phil Rogers, CEO of Square Enix in the Americas and Europe, confirmed the next-gen Tomb Raider sequel in a blog post earlier this month. The game will be preceded by a new comic book series.

Rogers also explained that organizational changes were being implemented across Square Enix's development studios, saying, "We're working hard at improving how we develop our games and how we release them."

"We've recently re-orientated our studio leadership to focus production expertise at the top, to allow us to ship the best quality games possible, faster and with better cost control," said Rogers. "We've taken away administrative duties from studio heads, so they get closer to the games, gameplay and gamers with fewer distractions."

Crystal Dynamics' unannounced project is said to be a new intellectual property. In a post written in January 2012, Crystal Dynamics said it was preparing to "reveal exciting new intellectual property to the world" sometime last year.

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