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."
But, I like to think we did some good things. Maybe shifted the gaming landscape a wee bit. And that feels damn good.— Rhianna Pratchett 🧙🏻♀️ (@rhipratchett) January 3, 2017
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.