Embracer Group Loses Major Deal
In December 2022, Amazon announced that it had struck a deal with Crystal Dynamics to develop and publish the next Tomb Raider game. Since then, we haven’t heard anything more about the game except that it is currently in early development. I should point out that Tomb Raider is a major franchise and changed hands when Embracer Group bought Crystal Dynamics in September last year. Many of us were concerned that Lara Croft would be lost in IP hell after all this pass the parcel but were relieved when Amazon made the announcement, albeit with a little scepticism because Amazon isn’t naturally associated with gaming, per se. Then, last month Embracer Group announced that it had lost an undisclosed $2B deal in “a ground-breaking strategic partnership agreement…”. Following this announcement, media speculation was rife as to whether the undisclosed partner was Amazon and whether the Crystal Dynamics/Tomb Raider deal could have been jeopardised. But that’s a bit of a stretch in my opinion because Amazon doesn’t appear to have mentioned how much that deal was worth and Embracer hasn’t disclosed any further information either.
Embracer Group has been on a spending spree over the last year or so, having acquired numerous game studios with game IPs such as Deus Ex, Goat Simulator, Tomb Raider, Dead Island 2, and many others. However, it has recently announced a program of restructuring which can only mean studio closures and redundancies. Naturally, those in the industry and gamers alike, are wondering how this restructuring will affect games in development such as the new Tomb Raider.
The Future Of Tomb Raider
Since no specific announcement has been forthcoming from either Amazon or Crystal Dynamics on the latest news from Embracer, we can only assume that good sense has prevailed and that the next Tomb Raider game will continue to be developed in partnership with Amazon. We know the game will use the Unreal 5 Engine which should result in stunning graphics, but that’s all we know. I think it goes without saying that the Tomb Raider franchise is too much of a money spinner to be shelved or otherwise neglected, which wouldn’t make a lot of sense. Shadow Of The Tomb Raider was released in September 2018, so it’s a significant amount of time to wait for a sequel. While I enjoyed the last game, I did feel that Lara had become a little soft, so I’m hoping that in her new adventures, she will be challenged with a grittier storyline and that the puzzles will take cues from earlier Core Design games.
We live in hope.