E3 2014: ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’ Will Arrive in 2015

Microsoft just confirmed at E3 that ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider,’ the sequel to the 2013 ‘Tomb Raider’ reboot, will launch on the Xbox One in 2015.

Jun 10, 2014 at 12:10PM

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) just announced at its E3 2014 press conference that Rise of the Tomb Raider, the sequel to the 2013 reboot Tomb Raider, will arrive on the Xbox One during the holiday season of 2015.

Rise of the Tomb Raider is being developed by Square Enix's subsidiary Crystal Dynamics, and has not been announced for any other platforms yet. Its predecessor, Tomb Raider, was originally released in 2013 for Sony's (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation 3, Microsoft's Xbox 360, and Windows. Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, a next-gen remake for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, was released in January.

The business of Tomb Raider
The Tomb Raider series -- which launched on the Sony PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and the PC in 1996 -- has sold a total of 34.4 million copies over the course of 10 main games:

Image

Source: Compiled by author from Vgchartz sales data.

Robust sales of the first four games led to the release of two feature films, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003) -- two critically hated films that were nonetheless box office hits, grossing a combined $431 million worldwide for Viacom's (NASDAQ:VIA) Paramount Pictures.

But then the law of diminishing returns kicked in, and the series bottomed out with Tomb Raider Chronicles and Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, two games that bombed commercially and critically. The PC versions of Chronicles and Angel of Darkness earned scores of 57% and 49%, respectively, at review aggregator site Metacritic. By comparison, the original game earned a score of 86%.

Image

Angel of Darkness, a low point of the Tomb Raider series. Source: Steam.

Core Design, the original developers of Tomb Raider, handled the series until 2006. Crystal Dynamics took over the franchise with Tomb Raider: Legend, a 10th anniversary title that also partially rebooted the series. Meanwhile, Tomb Raider's publisher Eidos was acquired by SCi Entertainment in 2005, then sold again to Square Enix in 2009.

Since 2006, Crystal Dynamics has done an admirable job getting Tomb Raider back on track. Its 2013 reboot was well received across all platforms, with the PC version earning a score of 86% at Metacritic.

Reinventing a heroine for a new era
Yet sales and critical response only account for half of Tomb Raider's story.

Back in the 1990s, Lara Croft was widely regarded as gaming's first female superstar and one of the industry's first sex symbols. Lara Croft currently holds six Guinness World Records, including that of "the most recognized female video game character" in the world. She also became the unofficial mascot of Sony's original PlayStation, which helped the console solidify an edgier and more mature image than Nintendo's (NASDAQOTH:NTDOY) N64 -- a perception that has stuck until today.

However, the new Lara that emerged in 2013 was radically different from her predecessor. The original Lara was brash, fearless, and effortlessly took down wolves and tigers with dual pistols. Her personality was primarily defined by cocky one-liners delivered in a British accent. In other words, Angelina Jolie's film portrayal of Lara Croft was actually a surprisingly accurate depiction of her video game counterpart.

Image

Classic Lara, film Lara, and new Lara. Sources: Wikimedia Commons, Paramount Pictures.

The new Lara, on the other hand, is much younger and less confident than the original version. She is portrayed as a timid, inexperienced young woman who evolves into a warrior by surviving brutal experiences. The new version also swaps out her revealing shorts for more practical cargo pants, and replaces her buxom features with more realistic proportions.

In other words, Crystal Dynamics cleverly recreated Lara Croft for a new generation accustomed to more realistic heroines like Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games.

The Foolish takeaway
The new Tomb Raider games could also serve as the foundation for a whole new franchise in comics, toys, and films. Dark Horse Comics launched a new Tomb Raider comic book series in February, which fills in the gaps between the end of the first game and the beginning of Rise of the Tomb Raider. MGM has also been developing a film reboot based on the new games.

In closing, Rise of the Tomb Raider probably won't generate Call of Duty-like sales for Square Enix, but it's not intended to. If Rise of the Tomb Raider is as well received critically and commercially as its predecessor, it could help the 18-year-old franchise win over a new generation of fans, and help Lady Lara retain her title as the most famous video game heroine in the world.

Is your portfolio becoming a tomb of dismal returns?
Give us five minutes and we'll show how you could own the best stock for 2014. Every year, The Motley Fool's chief investment officer hand-picks one stock with outstanding potential. But it's not just any run-of-the-mill company. It's a stock perfectly positioned to cash in on one of the upcoming year's most lucrative trends. Last year his pick skyrocketed 134%. And previous top picks have gained upwards of 908%, 1,252% and 1,303% over the subsequent years! Believe me, you don't want to miss what could be his biggest winner yet! Just click here to download your free copy of "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014" today.

 

Leo Sun has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.


Compare Brokers