Sacked Tomb Raider Creative Director speaks
Monday, January 12, 2009 1:58 PM
Eric Lindstrom, Creative Director of Tomb Raider Underworld, confirms that he was one of the staff laid-off from Crystal Dynamics.
Following a reduced revenue forecast, Eidos went on to sack thirty employees from Crystal Dynamics, the development team behind modern iterations of the Tomb Raider series.
Eidos is looking to overhaul the series for its next release, since it has yet to set the world on fire like it did back in the day. Robert Brent, Eidos' Chief Financial Officer, told The Times;
"We need to look at everything, as we develop the next game. Look at how Batman changed successfully, from the rather sad character of the Michael Keaton era to the noire style of The Dark Knight."
While Eidos sit in comfy chairs and discuss the virtues of Lara Croft, others have lost their jobs, including Eric Lindstrom. He reveals his identity on the Tomb Raider forums;
"Because I am no longer an employee of Crystal Dynamics (yes, I was one of the 30) I am now free to post. as long as I don't break any of the usual confidentiality agreements, which I won't."
Lindstrom feels he has a few misconceptions to clear up; "I wasn't going to post, but there is too much being said that I don't feel is right to go unanswered."
Firstly, on the rumour that content was cut from Underworld in order to create the Xbox 360's exclusive downloadable content;
"I can tell you without doubt that the content of DLC was absolutely not held back from Underworld for the purpose of selling later down the road. I am one of only three people who knows this for sure, because not only were there only three of us in the room at the time the decision was made, I was the one who made it.
"We had a production issue that was going to make us miss our ship date -- which we could not do -- and I needed to find a way to cut enough days from the schedule in a manner that would not rip a hole in the game that would take time to sew up. It was my idea to cut what was cut, and I did hope that it would one day be made available as a download mission, because there was great content already conceived and half completed, but on the day we made the cut, it was made purely for Underworld production reasons.
"Even if I was told on that day that we would never ever make a downloabable level, I still would have had to cut it. Anyone who says otherwise is speculating or heard someone else speculating, and is incorrect."
Sounds a bit like Eidos made Crystal Dynamics rush the game out and Lindstrom further comments on the accused lack of polish in Underworld;
"I absolutely wish we could have spent more time polishing Underworld." However, publisher Eidos wasn't only to blame; "I take my share of responsibility of aiming so high that we had a reduced ability to spend time on polish."