Square-Enix’s promising-looking Lara Croft reboot has been pushed back to Q1 2013, developer Crystal Dynamics has announced.

Community Manager Meagan Marie took to the developer’s forums to post a message from Crystal Dynamics’ studio head Darrell Gallagher. The message is reproduced below:

A Message to the Tomb Raider Community

When Crystal Dynamics first set out to reboot the Tomb Raider franchise, there were two goals that we were extremely passionate about. The first was to create a modern Tomb Raider game that would surprise and excite gamers. The second was to make this the best game of our careers, something we would be really proud to be a part of. We truly believe that we have something very special on our hands and we can’t wait to share it with you.

Our priority now is to make sure we fully deliver the very highest quality game. In order to do this, we have decided to move the game’s release date by a few months, from Fall 2012 to the first quarter of 2013.

We’re doing things that are completely new to Tomb Raider in this game and the additional development time will allow us to put the finishing touches into the game and polish it to a level that you deserve. We believe this is the right choice and I guarantee it will be worth the wait. The game is looking amazing and we can’t wait to show it to everyone at E3 in a few weeks.

Darrell Gallagher

Personally, I think this is a good idea. The game is an unknown quantity at this point; sure, it looks impressive – in fact, I can’t wait to get my mitts on it – but whether it’ll sell or not is another story. It may be the ninth entry in a highly recognisable series, but everything we’ve seen so far appears to be pretty far removed from the Tomb Raider we’ve known since its inception.

Pushing the game to next year suggests Crystal Dynamics and publisher Square-Enix may feel the same. By taking it out of the end-of-year release madness and releasing it in the generally sparse early months of the year (when there will likely be far less competition) will no doubt give it a chance of greater sales.

In other Square-Enix news, the publisher today announced they were back to profitability, after posting a 12 billion yen loss last year. The publisher pointed to strong sales of both Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Final Fantasy XIII-2, helping the company to post a profit of six billion yen for the financial year.

I do wonder if this will influence what we’ll see at E3 next month. Will we get some announcements we might otherwise have lost out on? We’ll have to see, but seeing as 2012 is the 25th anniversary of the Final Fantasy franchise, I’m expecting something big. 





Maybe I’ll even get that IV DS-style remake of Final Fantasy VI I’ve been clamouring for…