NewsTomb Raider: IP Bidding Wars Result in a lot...

Tomb Raider: IP Bidding Wars Result in a lot of Confirmed and Potential Content


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In 2018, Shadow of the Tomb Raider finished off the excellent prequel trilogy – known as the ‘Survivor Trilogy’ – to reignite the legendary franchise for modern gamers and audiences. This new rendition of Lara Croft even spurred a new crack at bringing her to the big screen, and while the movie didn’t set the box office ablaze, the Alicia Vikander film did eclipse $273 million from a $90 million budget.

Last year, Tomb Raider entered the headlines again thanks to Embracer Group snapping up the rights to the mighty IP and several others in a deal said to be worth $300 million with Square Enix. Luckily, the new owners reaffirmed Crystal Dynamics as the developers of their planned upcoming trilogy. As for other uses of the Tomb Raider IP, not only is it already being utilised across the board but new creations have been confirmed.

Amazon appears to be the new video rights holder

After the debacle with the planned sequel to 2018’s Tomb Raider and MGM simply leaving the rights dormant until they expired in May 2022, fans were left wondering if we’d get another Tomb Raider movie soon. Embracer Group is much more into asset acquisition, management, and distribution rather than direct creation, so much was unknown. Now, however, it appears as though Amazon has emerged as the rights holder.

Unconfirmed figures of some $600 million to take on the Tomb Raider rights to game publication and show making have been put out there, but at the very least, we know that Amazon is now making a Tomb Raider series and will publish Crystal Dynamics’ new games being made in Unreal Engine 5. The gaming arm of the eCommerce giant has pledged its full support to the game development team and has attached Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) as the creator of the series.

Assumedly before Amazon gets its live-action show out, Netflix will release its own Tomb Raider series. This one will be an animated series and is being written by Tasha Huo (The Witcher: Blood Origin). While Blood Origin did very poorly with critics and viewers (Metacritic scores of 45/100 and 1.3/10.0, respectively), the Lara Croft animated series will have Hayley Atwell lending her distinct accent to the titular role.

Recent works leave the door open to more Tomb Raider action

The most recent release into the Tomb Raider universe was the mobile game Tomb Raider: Reloaded. A rouge-like die-and-restart mobile game, it received a strong 4.7/5.0 review score on the App Store from 1,300 reviews but was criticised for its monetisation. That said, you can just play it through Netflix Games – if you have a subscription to the streaming service – without any ads, fees, or in-app purchase options. In this form, it’s great fun.

More strong mobile games would only be welcomed by the fans. Another place of entertainment where Lara Croft has had a strong historical footing and should be explored for further expansion is the online casino. The platform boasts a diverse range of live casino tables and game shows, for example, there are the popular slots Secret of the Sword, Lara Croft Tomb Raider, and Temples and Tombs. The next step should be to integrate Lara Croft and her slot theme into a live casino game, just as the studios have done with Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt Live.

Away from any screens, the adventures of the Tomb Raider have also been made real in London. Tomb Raider: The Live Experience has been quite the hit since its opening in Camden’s Stables Market on 1 April 2022. In fact, it won the Best Family Entertainment Centre of the Year Award, even besting Legoland Discovery Centre in Brussels. Clearly, Little Lion Entertainment should explore the possibility of setting up more Tomb Raider attractions as a result of its instant success.

Tomb Raider fans will almost certainly be happy that there are confirmed shows and games in the works and that recently launched Lara Croft products are finding success. Maybe Amazon isn’t the most desirable landing spot – seeing what happened with The Rings of Power and The Wheel of Time – but there’s a chance that a Tomb Raider series will be done well.

Andrew Edney
Andrew Edney
I am the owner and editor of this site. I have been interested in gadgets and tech since I was a little kid. I have also written a number of books on various tech subjects. I also blog for The Huffington Post and for FHM. And I am honoured to be a Microsoft MVP since January 2008 - again this year as an Xbox MVP.

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