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New Tomb Raider game in development (update)

Shorter period between announcement and release

Rise of the Tomb Raider - Lara Croft jumping toward ruins
A scene from 2015’s Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix
Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Tomb Raider publisher Square Enix is working on a new entry in the franchise, the company announced today.

“A new Tomb Raider game is coming,” Square Enix said in a Twitter post, which you can see below.

The publisher did not provide any specifics about the project, such as a name, release window or platforms. A Square Enix representative told Polygon that the company is not giving further details at this time beyond the announcement posted on Twitter.

Part of the reason that today’s announcement is light on details is that Square Enix is “taking a new approach this time” with its rollout plan. Instead of unveiling a game well ahead of release, the publisher is shortening its typical marketing cycle.

“Driven by our goal of putting our fans first, we want you to know that it won’t be very long between the official reveal and when you can play,” said Square Enix. The company added, “Our journey together will begin with a major event in 2018.” This may be a reference to the upcoming release of a new Tomb Raider film, Tomb Raider, which stars Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft and is scheduled to hit theaters on March 16, 2018.

We also don’t know which studio is making the new Tomb Raider game. Crystal Dynamics, the developer of all the main Tomb Raider games for more than a decade, is currently working on an Avengers video game as part of a major partnership between Square Enix and Marvel. The most recent Tomb Raider title, Rise of the Tomb Raider, debuted on Xbox in November 2015 before being released on Windows PC in January 2016 and PlayStation 4 in October 2016.

A leak in October 2016 suggested that the next Tomb Raider game could be titled Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and that it was being developed at Thief and Deus Ex studio Eidos Montreal instead of Crystal Dynamics. Square Enix never commented on that rumor, but Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal are working together to lead development on the untitled Avengers project. Note that at this time, Crystal Dynamics hasn’t retweeted the game announcement from the Tomb Raider account, or tweeted about the news itself.

Update: Gaming historian Liam Robertson noticed something intriguing about Square Enix’s announcement — something that suggests the leaked Shadow of the Tomb Raider name is indeed the title of the new game. If you take the first letter of every sentence in the statement and put them all together, they spell the word “shadow.”

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