Lara Croft creator rejoining Tomb Raider team

Designer Toby Gard hired by Eidos to "complement" development staff of Lara Croft's seventh adventure.

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Galleon designer Toby Gard has jumped ship--again. Seven years ago, Gard summarily departed Core Design, where he was the lead designer behind the original Tomb Raider game, and founded Confounding Factor, developer of Galleon.

With that title just released in North America, Gard has taken flight anew--dissolving Confounding Factor and bedding back down with Lara Croft, the character he and Paul Douglas created almost 10 years ago.

In a casual but precise e-mail to the industry, Eidos PR director Michelle Seebach Curran said Gard has joined the Eidos-owned Crystal Dynamics studio in Menlo Park, California, as a senior designer on the seventh Tomb Raider game. "Toby will complement the existing talented team creating the next Tomb Raider title," she said, describing Gard as one who "brings a unique perspective to the development process."

Based on a number of disparate sources, including comments from Eidos itself, Tomb Raider VII is commonly believed to have a summer 2005 launch window.

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