Eidos To Give Lara Croft A "Family-Friendly" Makeover?
Tomb Raider: Underworld wasn't a bad game, but as sales haven't hit expectations and Eidos continues to struggle overall, the long-running franchise may see a major makeover.
According to Edge Online, Eidos believes Tomb Raider's popularity is waning in North America, and because much of every game's success has always relied on the heroine, they're thinking Lara Croft may need to become more "family friendly." We're not entirely sure what this means - it could relate only to Lara herself or to the entire game's atmosphere and structure as a whole - but we get the feeling that Lara's days as the industry's sex icon are numbered. Said Eidos CFO Robert Brent to the British publication, The Times:
"We need to look at everything, as we develop the next game. Look at how Batman changed succesfully, from the rather sad character of the Michael Keaton era to the noir style of The Dark Knight."
That's an interesting comparison, and it may be crucial for Eidos and Crystal Dynamics to change the face of Tomb Raider. On the other hand, they could just buckle down and make a top-quality action/adventure game that appeals to gamers everywhere...and without the other type of appeal that Ms. Croft offers. Remember, the last time the series went through a major rejuvenation was right around the turn of the new generation, when the developer decided to produce a good game (Tomb Raider: Legend) for the ailing series. Perhaps it's just a matter of quality, not style. This whole "family-friendly" idea may not work if you still produce games that aren't worthy of great scores; that's all we're saying.
1/12/2009 Ben Dutka