In a simple, plain language text image on Tomb Raider‘s official Twitter account yesterday, Square Enix announced that they are officially starting work on the next Tomb Raider game.
The message, emphasizing transparency and putting the fans first, promised they’ll save footage of the game until Lara Croft’s next adventure is closer to release, setting sights on ‘a major event in 2018’.
A message to our fans! pic.twitter.com/HlDYsUtZMs
— Tomb Raider (@tombraider) December 7, 2017
The tweet acknowledges that this method of announcing a game is a new approach for Square Enix, and it’s not common for other games of this magnitude, either. Publishers have a history of putting the cart before the horse when it comes to unveiling a new AAA project, using CG trailers or vertical slices of gameplay extremely early in development as a way to show an aspirational vision for their game. Announcing a game early like this can be great for a public company’s stocks, and a lengthy, big-budget marketing campaign can drum up a steady, increasing buzz of attention for a studio, but it can just as easily fizzle or backfire when players move on to more immediately available games, or when the final product fails to live up to promises.
Square Enix’s strategy here in lieu of all that is to let the public know the game is happening and let things cook until closer to launch. This will hopefully allow the team to focus on making a great game from the ground up, rather than making a great demo to sell at a press event and planning to retrofit a game around that later. Bethesda got some great reception for a similar thing in 2015, when they announced Fallout 4 just a few months before its November release date.
The previous game in the Tomb Raider series, Rise of the Tomb Raider, made a strong impression on critics, solidifying Square Enix’s 2013 decision to reboot the franchise. RotTR was a timed Xbox One exclusive, living solely on Microsoft’s platform and PC for the first year of its launch. We were anxious that loss of initial multi-platform sales might negatively impact its commercial success, but it seems to be doing well on PS4 and it’s also currently one of the best showcases of the Xbox One X’s powerful hardware. Evidently, the brand is still strong enough to warrant another sequel, which is great news.
Keep it locked to GEEK for more as the game develops.
Images: Square Enix