Tomb Raider, Hitman: Blood Money, and 25 to Life delayed

Three of Eidos' heaviest hitters won't see store shelves until July--at the earliest.

Today, Eidos issued one of the dreariest financial reports in its history. After the UK-based publisher reported a six-month loss of 26.5 million pounds ($51 million), its stock plummeted to a record low, at one point scraping the bottom at a meager 40p ($0.77) per share.

As bad as Eidos' dismal earnings were, the news got worse: The company also revealed that the next installments in two of its marquee franchises--Hitman: Blood Money and the seventh Tomb Raider--won't be propping up its balance sheet anytime soon. Besides citing financing and development reasons, Eidos said the delay was made because of the "desire to optimize the timing of release of certain key franchises."

The Eidos statement said that its "board has decided to move the scheduled next iteration release of Lara Croft Tomb Raider (name to be shortly announced) and Hitman: Blood Money, together with 25 to Life and Just Cause (both new IP), out of the last quarter of this financial year."

Because Eidos' financial year ends on June 30, all four games mentioned won't appear until July 2005 on the regular calendar--at the earliest. Previously, Hitman: Blood Money was scheduled for a spring 2005 release, retailers had listed 25 to Life with a tentative May ship date, and Just Cause had a release date of 2005. Eidos has made a point of keeping the next Tomb Raider's release date a secret, but the publisher of a comic book based on the game said it was due this coming summer.

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