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Rhianna Pratchett parts ways with Tomb Raider

Crystal Dynamics' resurgent franchise needs a new writer after Pratchett's award-winning five year run

Rhianna Pratchett will step away from Tomb Raider franchise, after almost five years in which her contributions as writer were key to its reinvention.

In a post on Twitter, Crystal Dynamics said Pratchett was "instrumental in helping us find Lara's voice" in its highly regarded 2013 reboot, and continued in that vein for its 2015 sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Later, Pratchett also used Twitter to mark her departure from the franchise, adding that the way Lara Croft's character evolved across the two games "maybe shifted the gaming landscape a wee bit."

Crystal Dynamics will certainly struggle to fill the gap. Tomb Raider was nominated for a Writer's Guild award in 2013, and Rise of the Tomb Raider won that same honour two years later.

Commercially, the first game was a major hit, selling 8.5 million units across two console generations. Rise of the Tomb Raider's fortunes are less clear, largely because it was exclusive to the struggling Xbox One at the time of its release in November 2015. Microsoft said that the game sold more than 1 million units by the end of December - the same amount, it should be noted, that the first game sold in less than 48 hours. However, that figure is likely to be significantly higher now, as Rise of the Tomb Raider has since launched on PC in January 2016 and PlayStation 4 in October 2016.

At the time of writing, Crystal Dynamics hadn't announced any plans for another Tomb Raider game, though a poorly supervised laptop may have provided a glimpse at an official pitch for something called Shadow of the Tomb Raider - see Polygon. Certainly, the time between Rise of the Tomb Raider shipping and Pratchett's announced departure would have allowed plenty of time for her to contribute to the story and writing for any future games.

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Matthew Handrahan

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Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.

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