The next Tomb Raider game in development at Crystal Dynamics will be published by Amazon Games. The untitled follow-up to 2018’s Shadow of the Tomb Raider will be a multiplatform game that’s described as a “single-player, narrative-driven adventure that continues Lara Croft’s story in the Tomb Raider series.”
As previously announced, the next Tomb Raider is being developed using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5. In a news release, Amazon and Crystal Dynamics called the next game in the franchise “the biggest, most expansive Tomb Raider game to date.” It is also noted to be in early development; a release window and platforms for the new Tomb Raider were not announced.
Previous entries in the Tomb Raider franchise were published by Square Enix. The publisher acquired Eidos Interactive, which owned Crystal Dynamics, in 2009. But earlier this year, Square Enix sold off Crystal Dynamics and other studios — and their associated intellectual properties, including Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, and Thief — to the Embracer Group.
Now, Amazon Games is stepping in to provide “full support and publishing” for the new Tomb Raider.
“Amazon Games is committed to bringing players games of the highest quality, from the best developers, across all variety of platforms and genres, and we’re honored by the opportunity to work with this storied developer and franchise,” said VP of Amazon Games Christoph Hartmann in a news release. “Our team is incredibly excited about collaborating with the talented and visionary Crystal Dynamics team to bring the next chapter of Lara Croft’s saga to players around the world.”
“Crystal Dynamics has an extraordinary opportunity following our acquisition by Embracer to redefine what a publishing relationship is for Tomb Raider,” added Scot Amos, head of studio at Crystal Dynamics. “Transformative is what we’re looking for, and with Amazon Games, we found a team that shares our creative vision, ambitions, and values for a Lara Croft universe across the spectrum of possibilities. They’re uniquely positioned to rewrite what publishing and development collaborations are, and we’re eager to forge this new path together, starting with building the biggest and best Tomb Raider game yet!”
The next Tomb Raider game is said to unify the timelines of Lara Croft’s more recent, prequel-set adventures and those of the original games. Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s ending, which capped off Crystal Dynamics’ “Survivor Trilogy,” nodded slyly at the events of the original Tomb Raider, with artwork featuring a young Lara Croft outside of a pyramid and facing a Tyrannosaurus rex.
Amazon Games has struggled to find a foothold in games with its original properties, trying and bailing with games like Breakaway, Crucible, and a scrapped The Lord of the Rings MMO. The games division of Amazon has found better luck with New World and by publishing Smilegate’s Lost Ark. Last week, Amazon Games announced it was teaming up with Bandai Namco to bring Blue Protocol, a free-to-play online action-RPG, to a global audience.