It says a lot about how quickly technology and the gaming world have evolved that a character which first hit our screens just over 20 years ago can be placed in the pantheon of much-loved retro gaming icons. However, the adventures of everyone’s favorite Tomb Raider Lara Croft have been such an important part of modern console gaming that she deserves to be treated with a huge amount of respect.
The character has had her ups and downs over the years, from a string of classic action adventure console titles to a sadly less-than-classic couple of big screen outings with Angelina Jolie performing all manner of acrobatics. However her popularity remains as high as ever in a range of different ways, whether it is people enjoying old-school action and her early adventures through the Open Lara project, gamers heading to sites like lotto.net to play the Tomb Raider: Secret of the Sword online slot or younger generations discovering the character in her rebooted form.
The latter has been an interesting development for the character, with Square Enix taking the step to give her a grittier makeover and a hard-hitting origin story with 2013’s Tomb Raider. In hindsight, you can see why the developer would take the step, with the character lacking the edge and realism which had become a trend following the success of the likes of The Dark Knight Trilogy and Daniel Craig’s James Bond outings. Incredibly, the revamped version of Tomb Raider proved a big hit on release, with it becoming the series’ biggest selling title. Despite this, the story goes that Square Enix felt the game still failed to meet its own sales expectations. Well, the developer’s CEO Yosuke Matsuda has now set the record straight on the issue and also revealed that the series remains a key part of its work.
He admitted to GamesIndustry.biz that the internal target set for the 2013 game was “extremely high” and it did not ultimately meet the level which had been hoped for. However, he added that the game has now sold more than 11 million copies worldwide, while its 2015 sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider also has healthy sales figures of almost seven million.
When viewed on their own, such statistics would be more than enough to assure fans that Lara Croft remains in rude health. However, when you factor in an upcoming big screen reboot too, it is clear that interest in the character is showing no signs of diminishing. Oscar-winning Swedish actress Alicia Vikander is stepping into the role of a young and inexperienced Croft and it will be
interesting to see whether this new version will find a little more favor than the earlier Jolie efforts.
All in all, 20 years on from her first release, it seems that Lara Croft is probably as popular as ever. Indeed, all of the evidence seems to suggest that it is hard to bet against our much-loved Tomb Raider solving puzzles, investigating myths and swinging into action for a few more decades to come.
Feature image credit – @Changelog Twitter.