Four months after its acquisition (opens in new tab) by sleeper videogame behemoth Embracer Group, Crystal Dynamics has formally announced that it once again owns Tomb Raider.
Crystal Dynamics didn't create the Tomb Raider series—that honor goes to Core Design—but it put its stamp on the series more than a decade ago with Tomb Raider: Legend and then followed up with several more successful additions to the series, including the 2013 reboot (opens in new tab) and the 2016 follow-up Rise of the Tomb Raider (opens in new tab). Square Enix handed the series off to Eidos Montreal in 2018 for Shadow of the Tomb Raider (opens in new tab), but now that Embracer owns all of it, it's officially putting things back in place.
"We are excited to inform you that Crystal Dynamics has taken control of several game franchises—including Tomb Raider and Legacy of Kain—from the games’ previous owner, Square Enix Limited," Crystal Dynamics announced (opens in new tab). "As a result of this change, Crystal Dynamics (or its affiliate) is now the owner of these games and the controller of the gameplay and personal data related to them."
"We look forward to taking this new and exciting journey with you!"
In a separate statement, Eidos Montreal (opens in new tab) said that it too "is now the owner of the games it developed, like the Deus Ex and Thief games."
The actual point of both messages is to announce, as I'm sure is required by law, changes to the terms and conditions and privacy policies of all impacted games that switches your partner in these legal pacts from Square Enix to Crystal Dynamics or Eidos Montreal. But even though Crystal Dynamics, Tomb Raider, and all the rest were already contained under one roof, there's an undeniably sentimental aspect to the idea of games returning to their rightful homes.
Whether that will add up to better games remains to be seen, but the process has already begun: Crystal Dynamics announced in April, before the Embracer acquisition, that it had begun development on a new Tomb Raider game (opens in new tab) in Unreal Engine 5. Now if we can just convince Eidos Montreal to get rolling on a new Deus Ex, all will once again be well with the world.