Crystal Dynamics is helping Square Enix make a Tomb Raider roguelike on mobile

Crystal Dynamics, the studio behind Marvel’s Avengers and the Tomb Raider reboot, is helping Square Enix London Mobile with Tomb Raider Reloaded. The iOS and Android game’s main developer is Emerald City Games.

Crystal Dynamics has mainly worked on AAA games for console and PC. Square Enix previously implied the studio’s involvement with Tomb Raider Reloaded was minimal.

But a new announcement says the mobile game is being ‘’developed in partnership with Crystal Dynamics’’, perhaps implying more involvement.

Tomb Raider Reloaded was first unveiled at the end of 2020. The top-down action game features roguelike gameplay for the first time in the franchise, including run-specific and permanent weapons, abilities, upgrades, and collectibles.

While Reloaded is officially launching in 2022, it soft-launched in Thailand and the Philippines earlier this year. That early version of the game includes ads and in-app purchases, two common monetization methods in the mobile gaming space. User reviews are mixed so far.

The mobile title will lean heavily on nostalgia, featuring a stylized version of Lara Croft resembling the original character model. Yes, the T-Rex from the first game will also make an appearance.

Crystal Dynamic’s involvement is odd, as this mobile version of Tomb Raider is a far cry from the company’s gritty Lara Croft reboot.

However, the studio is no stranger to mobile development. Crystal Dynamics worked with Square Enix and Simutronics on 2015 mobile game Lara Croft: Relic Run. But that game has far more in common with the Tomb Raider reboot.

Crystal Dynamics’ most recent games, Marvel’s Avengers and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, disappointed many players. And Avengers also failed to live up to Square Enix’s expectations:

‘’Initial sales of Marvel’s Avengers were lower than we had expected and unable to completely offset the amortization of the game’s development costs,’’ the company said last year.

Crystal Dynamics isn’t leading development on any publicly announced Square Enix titles. However, the studio will support development for the upcoming Perfect Dark game from Xbox-owned studio The Initiative.

Author: Rhys Elliott

What do you think of Crystal Dynamic’s involvement? Will you give Tomb Raider Reloaded a go? Let Rhys know on Twitter @superhys.

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