Crystal Dynamics staffing up for 'AAA franchise'

Following two rounds of headcount cuts, Tomb Raider: Underworld dev posts job req for Senior Art Director to work on "one of the most prestigious" series.

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As of Eidos' last public accounting in February, the Crystal Dynamics-developed Tomb Raider: Underworld had sold 1.5 million units worldwide. And while that tally is respectable, Eidos expressed open disappointment at the sales, trimming some $30 million from its full fiscal-year revenue projections in the process.

Lara looks to be landing on her feet.
Lara looks to be landing on her feet.

Crystal Dynamics has subsequently seen two rounds of layoffs since the game launched in November. The first came in January, with a reported 30 staff members served their walking papers, and then again earlier this month when about 25 more were reportedly let go. In confirming the layoffs, Eidos said, "We have increased the focus on the Tomb Raider franchise at Crystal Dynamics; regrettably, this has resulted in the reduction in headcount."

Though Crystal Dynamics may be operating with a leaner crew, the Eidos subsidiary remains at work. Crystal Dynamics recently put out the call for a Senior Art Director to work "on one of the most prestigious AAA franchises in the industry." Though no specific project was indicated, the AAA franchise is presumably Tomb Raider, which Crystal Dynamics assumed control of with the successful 2006 series reboot, Tomb Raider: Legend.

As a result of Underworld's seemingly tepid reception, Eidos has indicated that it may revisit the game's action adventure formula once more. In January, Eidos chief financial officer Robert Brent told the Financial Times, "We need to look at everything, as we develop the next game. Look at how Batman changed successfully, from the rather sad character of the Michael Keaton era to the noir style of The Dark Knight."

Following Square Enix's acquisition of Eidos in April, the Japanese publisher commented that the Tomb Raider franchise has sold more than 30 million units since 1996.

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