Crystal Dynamics Hit By Layoffs, Tomb Raider Team Safe

Crystal Dynamics Hit By Layoffs, Tomb Raider Team Safe

What is Crystal Dynamics working on behind the scenes? Who's ready for a new Gex?

So only last week, we found out that despite missing sales expectations, Square Enix is already moving forward with a Tomb Raider sequel at Crystal Dynamics. Kotaku is now reporting that layoffs have hit Crystal Dynamics, but only at its second team, which is working on an unannounced project.

"We've made some decisions at Crystal Dynamics last week around the second project we're working on, which has resulted in a small number of roles (roughly 12) becoming redundant as we re-scope the project," Crystal Dynamics told Kotaku. "This doesn't affect the Tomb Raider development team, who as confirmed last week are well into production on a next-generation sequel."

"We're a close-knit team at Crystal and wouldn't be making these changes if we didn't feel it was absolutely necessary. We'll help those affected as best we can and we want to thank them for their hard work and commitment."

So this doesn't necessarily affect gamers at this point. It's a small number of staff members within Crystal Dynamics, and we here at USgamer hope they find new employment soon. The real news here is the rejiggering of Crystal Dynamics' second game. Heading up to the release of the Tomb Raider reboot, the studio was focused on that title, but also discussed a new IP with the next generation of consoles coming.

"We have all these great IP, now is a great time, looking at what's coming in the future, what's coming up in the console space, what's going to be happening next... Let's start now, with a blank page," said CD executive producer Scot Amos on the company's podcast in 2012. "We take that kind of bold step of, let's make something new, something where we don't already have a finger in that particular pool, and let's try, from scratch, to make a new game with all of our abilities and skills. What would be a new great experience for our future?"

The new IP was supposed to shown sometime in 2012, but the year passed without anything to report. Now we know why: either something is not going smoothly with the game's development, or Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix have decided that the project needs to shift to a different space, possibly mobile or digital-only.

Crystal Dynamics has already confirmed that the new IP is not a sequel to Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, or a new Legacy of Kain title. Crystal Dynamics global brand director Karl Stewart told Joystiq in 2011 that a sequel to the Tomb Raider spinoff, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, wasn't in the cards.

In the podcast above, Amos also confirmed that God of War 2 writer/director Cory Barlog was working on a project separate from the new IP. Barlog joined Crystal Dynamics in early 2012 to help on Tomb Raider and this other unannounced title. Later that month, anonymous sources told VG247 that CD was working on a Soul Reaver reboot. The Legacy of Kain series hasn't been seen since 2003's Legacy of Kain: Defiance, unless you count the upcoming multiplayer title Nosgoth, set in the same universe. Crystal Dynamics is not involved in the development of Nosgoth.

That leaves Crystal Dynamics working on a new Tomb Raider and two unannounced games. What do you want to see from the company? A new Soul Reaver? A new Gex? Or something completely different? I'll be honest, I want my Soul Reaver fix.

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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