Amazon will release the next Tomb Raider video game
Amazon announced Thursday that it will release the next iteration of the popular Tomb Raider video game franchise, a coup for the tech giant’s video game business.
Tomb Raider, an action-adventure title developed by a Californian game studio called Crystal Dynamics, features the character of Lara Croft, a British archaeologist who traverses unexplored tombs around the world, solving puzzles and battling villains. .
Recent versions of the game, like 2018’s well-regarded title Shadow of the Tomb Raider, were released by Japanese company Square Enix. The franchise has also inspired several feature films.
Crystal Dynamics is still the developer for the next game, which doesn’t yet have a release date and is in early development. But Amazon will be the publisher, meaning the company works closely with Crystal Dynamics on “creative support” and is responsible for things like marketing, shipping the title to various retail platforms, and online, and advertising.
The new Tomb Raider game will be the first major single-player game released by Amazon Games, which struggled for years to break into the tough, insular world of game development before finally finding a niche with multiplayer online games. Placing a flagship single-player game in its portfolio could be a big step and boost Amazon’s credibility in the industry.
Learn about big tech
- Amazon: The e-commerce giant has agreed to a settlement with European Union regulators that will force the company to change its practices but also save it billions of dollars in potential fines.
- Microsoft: The Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit to block the company’s $69 billion acquisition of video game maker Activision Blizzard.
- Meta: John Carmack, a pioneer in virtual reality technology, is leaving Meta after more than eight years with the company.
- Foreign workers: As cuts hit the tech industry, some foreigners on work visas face a daunting prospect: having to leave the United States unless they are hired within 60 days of being fired.
“It’s a great moment for us”, Christoph Hartmann, the vice president of Amazon Games, said in an interview. “If someone had told you four years ago that Amazon makes games, you would have laughed.”
Under Mike Frazzini, a longtime Amazon executive who left the company this year, Amazon’s decade-old video game unit has failed. In 2018, the company tapped Mr. Hartmann, an industry veteran who founded 2K Games, which produces popular titles like NBA 2K, to report to Mr. Frazzini.
In 2021, Google, which had also made a foray into video games, shut down the in-house game development arm of its games service, Stadia, before announcing this year that it would end the entire game. service. Some thought Amazon and its video game ambitions might meet a similar fate.
But Amazon finally released a popular multiplayer title, New World, last fall, and followed that up with another well-received game this spring, Lost Ark.
Tomb Raider could build on this success. Although Amazon is a latecomer to video games and follows other deep-pocketed companies like Microsoft, Hartmann says he thinks time is on his side because he’s only part of the game. ‘a big company that is patient and doesn’t ask for immediate funding. Hit.
“I’m not part of this rat race to see who outperforms – I’m here to make great games,” he said.
After concluding a trilogy of games detailing the origins of Lara Croft, the new Tomb Raider game will return “to our roots”, said Crystal Dynamics studio head Scot Amos, although he said he was too early to give a lot of details.
“There’s a logical evolution of what we can do next there, in terms of how we can actually give her a bigger adventure and even more things for her to do and more worlds and mysteries. to explore,” he said.
For Amazon, bringing in video game veterans has paid off. Mr. Amos’ studio had some initial questions about partnering with Amazon, he said, given that it’s a newcomer to the game, but they were won over.
“We didn’t know what Amazon’s group looked like when we started this conversation,” Amos said. “We knew they had a few games there, but we started talking to Christoph, and it’s like, ‘Oh, by the way, we’ve all got 25, 30 years of history in this business.’”