Rhianna Pratchett leaves the Tomb Raider franchise

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Crystal Dynamics has announced that Rhianna Pratchett, the lead writer of the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot and the 2015 sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider, has moved on to "new adventures separate from the Tomb Raider franchise."   

"Rhianna was instrumental in helping us find Lara's voice in the 2013 origin story, and through Rise of the Tomb Raider she shaped Lara into the evolving heroine we know today," developer Crystal Dynamics wrote. "The entire team thanks Rhianna for her dedication and tireless efforts on the games. Please join us in wishing Rhianna the absolute best in her next adventure." 

Pratchett tweeted similarly good vibes, writing, "I want to thank the @CrystalDynamics team for their dedication esp. @jstafford @josefkstories & @noahmhughes. Guys, it's been emotional. But, I like to think we did some good things. Maybe shifted the gaming landscape a wee bit. And that feels damn good." 

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It sounds like an amicable parting of ways, but still has to represent a loss for the series. The reboot was strongly praised for turning Lara Croft into a real character, and Rise of the Tomb Raider was selected as the winner of the 2016 Videogame Writing Award. It wasn't a solo win—lead narrative designer John Stafford, narrative designer Cameron Suey, and additional writer Philip Gelatt also got their names engraved on the trophy—but as the lead writer, her voice was far and away the one heard the loudest. Those are some big shoes to fill. 

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.