Rise of the Tomb Raider
Square Enix announces PC release of "Rise of the Tomb Raider." Shutterstock/Lauren Elisabeth

Today it was announced that Amazon.com Inc. has struck an agreement with video game developer Crystal Dynamics to release the next title in the popular Tomb Raider franchise. The Award-winning game studio CrystalDynamics has partnered with AMAZON Game Studios on the next major entry in the Tomb Raider series, which will continue Lara Croft’s saga in a single-player, story-driven multi-platform adventure. Amazon Games will support & publish globally, giving a boost to the e-commerce giant’s struggling gaming ambitions while Crystal Dynamics will handle development. The game is said to be the biggest, most expansive of the franchise yet.

Earlier this year, the studio revealed that it was working on a new Tomb Raider during a showcase for Epic’s Unreal Engine game-making tools. Not much has been revealed at the moment, but the game is described as “a single-player, narrative-driven adventure that continues Lara Croft’s story in the Tomb Raider series.”

Tomb Raider, also known as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider from 2001 to 2008 is a massive action-adventure franchise that originated by the British gaming company Core Design. It was formerly owned by Eidos Interactive, then by Square Enix Europe, after Square Enix’s acquisition of Eidos in 2009. Amazon says the game, which will utilize Unreal Engine 5, will be multiplatform and is currently in “early development.” There is no word on a release date yet. The franchise was previously published by Square Enix, but the company sold off numerous properties and studios this past May, including Tomb Raider and Crystal Dynamics.

The Tomb raider series focuses on the fictional British archaeologist Lara Croft, who travels around the world in search of lost artifacts, infiltrating dangerous tombs and ruins while fighting enemies, solving puzzles, and navigating traps and hostile environments. In a bold move to gain more entry into the big-budget video game industry Amazon announced it’s acquisition today. No details have been provided yet about the plot, locations or gameplay. What we can expect is the usual exploration, puzzles and fighting off enemies.

With publishing the renowned franchise, Amazon is attempting to prove that its decade-long efforts to join in on the gaming big leagues are not the flop they long appeared to be - for years, its studios have produced few release and let alone any hits. Although, Amazon’s effort to bring Korean game Lost Ark to the West was well-received, and last years internally developed multiplayer New World was also well-received. Last week Amazon announced that it plans to serve as the Western publisher for Bandai Namco Online's Blue Protocol. Amazon has two other external publishing deals and its studios in Montreal and San Diego are working on unannounced projects.

Amazons efforts are being compared to the failed Google attempt to break into the gaming industry with its own internal studios and steaming platform, only to shut down operations gradually over the last couple of years. Microsoft is a different case, as the last corporate giant to successfully secure a lasting foothold in the Western gaming market. (which released the first Xbox 21 years ago). The Embracer Group bought Crystal Dynamics earlier this year from longtime owner SquareEnix, which had publicly expressed disappointment in the studios' games for maybe selling millions of copies, but not as many millions as projected.

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