Square Enix’s Tomb Raider Studio Hit By Lay-Offs

By Ishaan . August 13, 2013 . 10:00am

The latest in Square Enix’s ongoing troubles involve lay-offs at Tomb Raider studio Crystal Dynamics, Kotaku are reporting. The staff that were laid off were not working on Tomb Raider, but on a new IP instead.


“We’ve made some decisions at Crystal Dynamics last week around the second project we’re working on, which has resulted in a small number of roles (roughly 12) becoming redundant as we re-scope the project,” Square Enix confirmed in a statement to Kotaku.


“This doesn’t affect the Tomb Raider development team, who as confirmed last week are well into production on a next-generation sequel. We’re a close-knit team at Crystal and wouldn’t be making these changes if we didn’t feel it was absolutely necessary.”


Square went on to mention that they would do their best to assist those affected, and encourages other developers looking to hire the laid off talent to get in touch at: [email protected].


This news comes following the reveal that Cory Barlog, who directed God of War II at Sony, and then joined Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raider team, is no longer with the studio, and is now back at Sony Santa Monica.


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  • Slayven19

    Well at least they gave them a good send off without just laying them off. Still they are facing troubles like capcom.

  • NintendoPSX

    Oh Square you’ll never seem to learn from these troubles.

  • Pockystix

    I really hope console gaming finds a happy medium between all the sink or float strategies of AAA gaming, and crappy iOS cash-ins that pander to people who think of gaming as some kind of disposable toy. . .

    otherwise; we’ll just keep hearing stories like this, a long with the cringe-inducing news of the mobile scene gaining even more ground. . .

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    >Game sells millions
    >Still does lay-offs
    Square pls

    • KuroNathan

      curse of the AAA budget. Even if you sell millions you still lose money

      • Arcana Wiz

        and i wonder what they expect of sales to FFXV….. Siliconera in 2015: FFXV sold most than any title of FF!, but Square Enixs reported heavy losses….. more focus on social gaming.

        • KuroNathan

          Apparently for SE social games have are much much higher ROI compared to their AAA games, so more like 2019 SE announces a new plan where the main series are just giving fuel for their social games

      • Samuel

        Square needs to learn how to budget games and set realistic sales expectations. Tomb Raider did not need a multiplayer and could have saved the company a lot of time and money. The multiplayer isn’t that great either I played it for a day and then stopped.

    • serverny

      They wasted on production and marketing 3 times more than makes sence for any sane person.

      Fail management + game that is a worse version of Uncharted can go only so far.

    • Brion Valkerion

      At the same time, this always happens because its simply the nature of the game industry. A lot of jobs are not permanent sadly. You get hired for a project, once its done, you’re done. Sites just now started reporting on it the last 2-3 years but its always been how it works.

      Testers, artists, lower level stuff ect. all get the boot while a new project gets worked out. If they are still open when a new one starts, a lot of people get hired back if they did quality work :/

      Its a big reason why I decided to not go into the games industry personally.

    • Kai2591

      yeah I know right?
      Squeenix pls!

  • z_merquise

    At least those affected with the lay-offs are still receiving help from Square and have them find new work in another company. Best of luck to those people.

  • Arcana Wiz

    So probably Cory didn’t resign, he was laid off, well glad that he found a job quickly and i wish good luck for the others.

  • Warboss Aohd

    so ya lay off da team dat made a game dat sold over 3 million.


    Not one o’ da teamz dat had lackluster salez?

    • Arcana Wiz

      Square used so much money in the game that even with 3 million they had losses, will release a sequel that reuses resources (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing) and made cut in the team, this why graphics of AAA games are a delicate matter.

      • $36598391

        This is why games are going downhill, why can’t companies make a game that doesn’t have so much money poured into it, they could use Final Fantasy 1,2 and 4 PSP as basis for a Final Fantasy V and VI remake, just because it’s a powerful piece of hardware doesn’t mean they have to make a 3D game
        Look at what Square did to the Final Fantasy III remake on NDS
        It was way harder then the original
        The Final Fantasy V on iOS looked like crap
        I didn’t even bother playing That Tomb Raider game because the people who made the first couple games in the TR series didn’t make it
        They need to stop with so many social games as well
        I bet anything there will be Chrono Trigger and Xenogear social games before too long

        • Suicunesol

          Companies do make games that don’t have so much money poured into them.

          They’re called mobile/social games. You know–the ones we love so much.

          • $36598391

            you know that’s not what I mean
            the original Final Fantasy for the NES/Famicom didn’t have millions invested into it and it was very successful

          • Suicunesol

            That was a long time ago. The industry is not the same. Certain companies nowadays have certain expectations and need to make a certain amount of cash in order to function. You can’t release low-budget games like the ones you mentioned and expect to make the same profit unless you’re very lucky and very smart. 2D games generally aren’t mainstream, so you can’t make as much profit with those.

          • $36598391

            True, the times are changing and because of that there are less and less games coming out that I’m interested in
            I’m not getting Final Fantasy XIV because it’s not called Versus XIII anymore and isn’t coming out on PS3
            I’ve been waiting since 2006 for that game and SquareEnix turns around and does this
            It’s a huge slap in the face to everyone who was looking forward to it all these years

            Square Enix doesn’t even bring over the good games they release in Japan like the Saga 2 and 3 remakes for NDS or the Front Mission NDS games
            NA didn’t get that Final Fantasy Collection with all the games in it
            NA needs English releases of Front Mission 2 and 5 and all 5 Front Mission games should be released in an Anthology

      • Warboss Aohd

        easy solution, don’t pour an absolute crap ton o’ money into graphics an’ budget da game better.

        Xenoblade did it, so can Square Enix.

  • FetusZero

    They keep making more Final Fantasy XIII sequels and they still try to push FFXIV, but they lay off Crystal Dynamics people.. hmm.. makes sense I guess.

    • $36598391

      Yea, they are buying companies just to use them and run them into the ground afterwards

  • serverny

    Rightfully so.
    When you copy-past from Uncharted series try to bring at least 1-2 ideas of your own.

    • Samuel

      I can’t lie its almost identical to uncharted gameplay wise, but I think the game did enough like salvaging and upgrading and creating an open area to differentiate itself.

  • Kai2591

    hitman studio, and now this?

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