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Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration Launches Today on PS4

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Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration Launches Today on PS4

The following is an excerpt from the upcoming 20 Years of Tomb Raider, the definitive guide to the franchise, digging deep into two decades of Lara Croft’s impact on pop culture. As Lara returns to PS4, we look back at a key moment from the character’s past, as she takes her first steps towards Hollywood…

Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration on PS4

Tomb Raider III: Completing the Trilogy

Lara’s expansion into the pop-culture consciousness continued to grow in her third year of life. Partnerships established in 1997 came to fruition in 1998 as merchandise requests continued to flood in. “Eidos as a company is very, very protective over Lara so we’re very careful with the merchandise that we choose,” said Janet Swallow, VP of Licensing in GameTap’s Tomb Raider retrospective. “We’ve had two odd requests; one of them was a racehorse owner asking whether he could call his racehorse after Lara, which we declined.” The concern being that the horse may fall at the first hurdle, a risk they didn’t want to take. “And the second one was a tulip grower in Holland,” continued Swallow. “To name one of their brands of tulips after Lara which we thought was quite nice.” She confirms the tulip deal was approved and they were grown in Amsterdam.

Some top tier merchandise also made it through approvals, such a series of 9” figures from Playmates that became immediate fan favorites. Each posed Lara within intriguing dioramas, and kicked off a long partnership with the toy company. Other products included a PlayStation memory card with Lara’s torso jutting out from the console, letting her save games with style. She was also partnered up with U.K. sports drink brand Lucozade for a series of action-packed commercials, and starred in one of German band Die Ärzte’s music videos, taking it to the top of the music charts for eight weeks.

March of 1998 saw the announcement that Paramount had acquired the worldwide film rights to Tomb Raider. “Tomb Raider is a high-energy, inventive and smart action-adventure project,” said Producers Lawrence Gordon and Lloyd Levin in an official release. “It’s based on the rare video game that is well-suited for film adaptation, not only because of its thematic and visual richness, but also because it’s so strongly character and story oriented.” A pair of striking teaser posters were released long before an actress was cast, asking “Who is Lara Croft?” Following the movie’s 2001 release, there would be few left who couldn’t answer that question…

Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration on PS4

Previews for Tomb Raider III took place again at E3 and ECTS. This time model Nell McAndrew filled Lara’s boots for photoshoots and live appearances. Eidos also choreographed a custom stage presentation where fans could talk directly to Lara and ask her questions; her voice actress Judith Gibbins was squirreled away backstage to answer the queries. McAndrew would proceed to take Tomb Raider on tour for several months, visiting Europe, Australia, and stops all over the United Kingdom.

It was at events like these (specifically E3, held in Atlanta at the time) which Producer Troy Horton recalls most fondly. In the “pre-social media days” shows had extra weight and importance. “Those are the kind of moments you realize you are working with a really fantastic team on a really amazing product. You face the customers, see people playing it and hear their feedback directly. You live in a bubble at a studio, especially a small one. Back then there was no social media, email had only come into use a year or two before.”

Tomb Raider III sold massively — the best to date at the time of launch, although lifetime sales were eventually overtaken due to re-releases of the original two titles. The studio continued to invest in the future, satiating the desire for yearly Tomb Raider releases while keeping an eye on new technology and opportunities just over the horizon.

20 Years of Tomb Raider, a 360 page hardback recounting Lara Croft’s greatest moments across video games, comics, movies, and pop culture, is out on October 25. Written by Meagan Marie, Senior Community Manager, Crystal Dynamics, it will be available at select retailers.

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48 Comments

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    • Can’t wait to play it. But this series should be a PlayStation first exclusive. It first came out on PlayStation hardware. It would have made a lot more sense and money.

  • Played this on PC, such a great game!!

  • Played it on Pc as well,very good game. Sucks us PS4 players had to wait another year.

  • Amazon will be delivering this today before I get home, I’m really looking forward to it! Of course, the Overwatch Halloween event is rumored to start today, so I’m torn. :) First World Problems. :)

    • I know Right? Us first world people are so spoiled

      The Halloween event is soo damn good, that even though I love TR I gonna have to put it off for now

      Damn you Blizzard for make Overwatch so addicting

  • Sorry, I can’t support timed exclusivity by buying your product. My money wasn’t good 1 year ago, so you are definitely not getting it now. The only way I will purchase this game is 2nd hand.

    • Same. I’ll wait until it’s $25 or lower before I even think of getting it. There’s so many new games and a backlog of games I didn’t purchase new that have dropped to enticing prices.

    • Very well said….glad there are people out there seeing this game for what it is.

    • “The only way I will purchase this game is 2nd hand.” x2

    • agreed…price drop it is for me too. gave them the benefit of doubt on the first remaster on ps4…this one is worth waiting on.

    • i despise timed exclusive myself, but don’t u think if anyone actually want to buy the game, it’s the second release that they should buy?

      i mean, microsoft paid to temporarily locked this game from playstation users. wouldn’t it be a kick to their balls if we buy the game when their payment runs out?

      no offense to xbox owners. sony did some stinky timed-exclusives too *cough* SFV *cough*

  • Great game, a legitimate threat at the time as a timed exclusive for that “other” console that got overshadowed by sharing a release day with Fallout 4 (terrible TERRIBLE marketing strategy there). I know I myself didn’t play until late December/January when I was finally done with Fallout 4. Anyhow, I may very well grab this version too if it plays as superior as it’s predecessor reboot Definitive edition did on PS4.

  • Nice. But I don’t support sell outs. And I will not be buying this. Next time think before you are blinded by a check.

  • I have no problem with exclusives, without them there would be little point in buying one console over the other. But a game that is multiplat should stay that way. Those people who loved the reboot would of been excited for rise and it’s disgusting that ps players had to wait a year when we shouldn’t of had to.

    Imagine when GTA 6 is close to release and Sony manage to make it exclusive to ps4 for a year, i guarantee a hella lot of people would go nuts. Including those who say, “it’s a game, it happens, don’t be angry.”

  • This is a year old game. I will buy when the price reflects this.

  • Like every x*** exclusive before…it came crying for the money of PS playas hu.I’m a huge TR fan but I’m not supporting this game,will buy when its $20 or less.I’m glad a lot of people are seeing this game for what it is…a sellout and I would hope this game would sell poorly but PS has more TR fans than any other place…maybe next time y’all should consider that.

  • Last year I would have gladly pay 60 for this at release, now? nah, SquareEnix can wait as I waited, I’ll buyit when it’s on sale for super cheap, that if I even remember. I hope the time exclusive deal payed off.

  • To all those boycotting this game:

    Would you have felt the same way if it released last year as a timed PS4 exclusive and was only releasing on XB now, a year later? Would you have refrained from buying the game a year ago if it was Sony that secured the exclusivity instead of Msoft?

    Sony did the same with Street Fighter V except it’s even worse for owners of the other console because it’s a permanent console exclusive. Batman Arkham VR is another example of a timed PS4 exclusive.

    I don’t know if any of us would do any different if we were in the shoes of the executives who agree to these deals, which probably include a handsome check on top of the financing of the game’s marketing campaign among other benefits.

    In hindsight, we know now that this Msoft deal probably hurt RoTM’s sales in the long run (coupled with the same date release as Fallout 4), but these types of deals have the potential to help recoup the significant investments made on these AAA productions. It sucks for us fans, but business is business unfortunately.

    • Absolutely, I didn’t buy SFV, I don’t support franchises that were multi plat and suddenly betray their fanbase, and keep in mind that for a jap game to be a PlayStation exclusive makes a hell of a lot more sense, Xbox pretty much doesnt existe there. Batman VR is also different, is not a mainline Batman game… a fair comparison would be what if Arkham Knight was a PS4 exclusive.

    • I never played street fighter nor does it interest me, so I never heard it was a ps4 exclusive, if I did I wouldn’t of agreed with that either. No multiplat game should be made exclusive to one console.

      It may be business, but all that tells me is them saying, “**** the players who spent money for the reboot, because we’re getting more money, and **** the players who want to play the sequel, because we’re getting more money. Therefore I don’t intend to support it.

    • @FeniX_TX_ Sure it makes sense for a Japanese game to be PS exclusive, but the fact is that it’s just as unfair for all the SFIV fans who played on their 360s and now upgraded to XB1.
      And I’m sure many of the people who spent all that money on their Oculus Rift or HTC Vive months ago are upset that they have to wait another 6 months to experience Arkham VR which is being considered as one of the best VR games yet. I don’t see how it is any different just because it isn’t a mainline Batman game.
      I would feel the same about Lucky’s Tale – a Rift exclusive – if I were to become a PS VR owner.

    • Sure, side with Square Enix why don’t you!!!! No one with an XBox even gives a damn. They sold 3x as many copies of the first one on PS3 than they did on XBox. But Microsoft offers them a pile of cash and they turn around and say ‘up yours’ to the majority of their fan base. If you want to pay $60 for a year-old game after getting the shaft from Square Enix, that’s your problem. No one’s stopping you.

    • @duke301 I’m not siding with anyone. I just feel it’s a bit ridiculous that these few fans who seem interested in the game refuse to buy it because they feel the need to boycott it just because its publishers chose to accept a deal that inadvertently delayed the game for the significant portion of their fan base which they are a part of. It’s not like they did it just to spite their PS fans.

      I’m not going to spend $60 on it simply because I can’t afford to spend that much on any game, but if I could, I would not hesitate to do so. In fact I could’ve bought this game for my XB1 several times over the past year for $20, but I passed because I prefer to play on PlayStation. Not because I refuse to support it.

    • No I wouldn’t of felt the same way because I own a PS4. This isn’t about being fair to the developers but voting with your money. If they want money from both console owners than they shouldve released it for both at the same time. As a consumer its not my job to blindly support devs or care about how happy people are on a competing product. I dont care whats going on with xbox, all I know is that the publisher chose to take a check from MS instead of getting their product out to me. They can keep the check but I can keep my money and play something else. Why would I reward a company that treated me, their consumer like this. Do want you want but no money from me. I dont want to like this game and get into it and then find out that a sequel is coming out which I wont get to play for a long while, thats a slap to the face. Only game companies treat their consumers this badly, I’m just not taking it.

    • The reason most of ps fan angry is because the deal is just greedy, with street fighter 5 exclusive there’s a reason: microsoft doesn’t want to open xbox live so pc and ps4 sf5 version can’t have cross-play with xbox version, capcom doesn’t want that. With insomniacs sunset overdrive, they want to have the ip and the only way to get that is exclusivity with microsoft.

      Since ps vr is the only vr system that sells, I kind of understand the exclusivity of it games. Pc vr has sold horribly, they can’t support the development of AAA vr games, not to mention piracy and “I’ll buy it when its discounted 90% on steam” mentality.

      Still I kind of understand it though, they don’t want to compete with uncharted 4 so they think it’s better to delay the game on ps4, they compete with something worse though, fallout 4 :(

    • if this game was released back then, I will not be tempted to play it on PC and instead it will be the next game I will play after MGSV TPP. But since Square Enix did it, I played Batman Arkham Knight after MGSV.

  • @FeniX_TX_ Sure it makes sense for a Japanese game to be PS exclusive, but the fact is that it’s just as unfair for all the SFIV fans who played on their 360s and now upgraded to XB1.

    And I’m sure many of the people who spent all that money on their Oculus Rift or HTC Vive months ago are upset that they have to wait another 6 months to experience Arkham VR which is being considered as one of the best VR games yet. I don’t see how it is any different just because it isn’t a mainline Batman game.

    I would feel the same about Lucky’s Tale – a Rift exclusive – if I were to become a PS VR owner.

  • Not paying $60 for an one year old game. Will buy second hand or rent. SE didn’t want my money one year ago, so They can screw themselves.

  • Played this last year on my Xbox 1. Why should i pay sixty again to play it on PlayStation 4?

  • Square Enix turns us the cold shoulder and they still expect us to pay $60 for a year-old game? Well they can stuff it up their shaft. I’m going to wait until I can get it for $25 or less just to spite them. Serves them right for selling out to Microsoft when they know full well that most of their fan-base is on PlayStation.

  • Will pick this game up only below a$40 price tag.

  • Shouldn’t this game be free for PS4 owners? I mean y’all didn’t need our money when the game launched a year ago so why do you want it now? I’ll wait to buy this used on the cheap…I’d much rather support a company that supports the console I own.

  • I’m getting it. The game is supposed to be awesome and there was a ton of DLC. Life is too short to deprive myself of some great experience because of a corporate entities decision making process.

  • F**k Square Enix. I will not pay $ 60 for an year old game. I will wait for price to drop or buy used

  • No thank you sellouts

  • I see that many people here feel the same way I did when I learned a year ago that this game will not be coming to PS4 anytime soon.
    I’m not mad or have anything against Square Enix but they made the wrong choice last year, and I’m deciding the right choice.
    The right choice not to buy this game until it reaches around $20, even better if it becomes an IGC game for PS+ subscribers.
    This game, it doesn’t deserve the $60 price with just a bunch of DLC and a useless co-op with little to no graphical improvement over XB1? Just some content to make it “new”.
    Its also not a deal breaker for me since I already played this on PC and got 100% on all maps already in one playthrough.

  • Rise of the Tomb Raider was one the games I was most looking forward to this year and now it’s out. $60 for Day One availability on my particular console of by all accounts an Awesome Game with a ton of extras included? Easy choice!

    In fact, when I bought the ROTR from PSN they included Tomb Raider Definitive Edition free of charge! $60 for TWO Awesome games one of which is completely new TO ME? Buyers Remorse who?

    • Hope you enjoy the game plus all the new 20 Year Celebration content!

    • Look, a square enix employee…

    • Its not a huge deal by any means, but I wish there was a way to turn off or “hide” all the DLC weapons and outfits from appearing in my campsite menus. I’d like to experience the “Rise of Lara” on my first play through as it was originally intended. In preserve the original experience as much as possible, I decided to compare weapon lists and such online to make sure I avoid the added DLC arsenal. Which is not ideal.

      On the other hand I loved how well integrated the Baba Yaga add-on was. I happened upon it naturally. It just seemed part of the experience. That makes my 20th Anniversary edition seem extra special. Like I’m getting the Director’s Cut or Complete Edition for having waited a year. I only wish the extended arsenal was as well integrated as the new missions.

    • Its not a huge deal by any means, but I wish there was a way to turn off or “hide” all the DLC weapons and outfits from appearing in my campsite menus. I’d like to experience the “Rise of Lara” on my first play through as it was originally intended. In preserve the original experience as much as possible, I decided to compare weapon lists and such online to make sure I avoid the added DLC arsenal. Which is not ideal.

      On the other hand I loved how well integrated the Baba Yaga add-on was. I happened upon it naturally. It just seemed part of the experience. That makes my 20th Anniversary edition seem extra special. Like I’m getting the Direyctor’s Cut or Complete Edition for having waited a year. I only wish the extended arsenal was as well integrated as the new missions.

  • Lol, they couldn’t even be bothered to fix the input lag from the XB1 version and they’re asking for $60?

  • A lot of these people are complaining about the game being on xbone for a year, GTF over it. It’s a sweet game that every tomb raider fan should experience no matter what.

    • Well I just don’t wish to support a company that shuns it’s fan base, just to get more money. It’s a slap in the face to those players that have supported the series. Multiplat games should stay that way.

      Would you happily be passive about GTA, Fallout, TES, or Mass Effect being Sony exclusive for a year? I don’t think you, or anyone would.

      I’m over it, it may be a good game but I’ve waited a year, so I’m fine with waiting another, while being content playing Uncharted 4, Fallout, soon Watch dogs 2, and Horizon and Mass Effect Andromeda next year.

  • I don’t plan to buy this until at least a year in the market when the price gets cheaper.

    This year old game should not be priced at $60.

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