The Embracer Group owns Crystal Dynamics, but Amazon Games will handle the studio’s next Tomb Raider game.
In April, Crystal Dynamics announced that it was working on a new Tomb Raider game using Unreal Engine 5. A new episode in a hugely successful game franchise wasn’t exactly the most unexpected news, but today’s announcement came as a bit of a surprise: Amazon Games will publish the game.
“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 Christoph Hartmann, Vice President of Amazon Games.
“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.”
The announcement doesn’t give any details about the new game, describing it as “a single-player, narrative-driven adventure that continues Lara Croft’s story” with “all the elements that have made Tomb Raider one of the most revered franchises in gaming, giving players control of the confident and multidimensional hero Lara Croft in an environment that rewards exploration and creative pathfinding, with mind-bending puzzles to solve, and a wide variety of enemies to face and overcome.” That sounds good, but it could pretty much describe any Tomb Raider game to date.
What makes it a bit surprising is that Crystal Dynamics is owned by the Embracer Group, which has its own publishing capability. Square Enix owned Crystal Dynamics when the new Tomb Raider was announced. Embracer only began the process of acquiring the studio a month later. It is possible that a publishing deal with Amazon was already in place at that time.
Something similar happened with the New Tales from The Borderlands game released earlier this year.
A publishing contract was already in place with 2K Games when Embracer acquired Gearbox, and it remained in place despite the change of ownership.
The new Tomb Raider is a big hit for Amazon Games, but not the only one. Last week, Amazon announced at The Game Awards that it will also publish Bandai Namco’s Blue Protocol in the second half of 2023. Hopefully, it will have better luck as a publisher than as a developer. The New World fantasy MMO is perfectly fine. But it doesn’t exactly set the world on fire. In contrast, its third-person hero-shooter, Crucible, was cancelled before it even made it out of the closed beta test.
Source: Amazon Games