Toby Gard, known for designing Lara Croft and being closely associated with the Tomb Raider series in many incarnations, has left Crystal Dynamics this month, according to his LinkedIn page (as originally spotted by UK site Develop Online).
Gard was the original character designer for Lara Croft, leaving the company after the first game to pursue an independent career, forming a Bristol-based developer by the name of Confounding Factor.
Galleon, his long-delayed project, eventually made its way to the original Xbox after attempts to complete on the PlayStation 1 and Sega's Dreamcast.
Thereafter, Gard returned to Eidos, consulting on the Tomb Raider series for Eidos, and eventually joining Crystal Dynamics full time in 2007.
Gard was nominated for a Writers Guild of America award for his co-writing of the critically polarizing Tomb Raider Underworld story. For the last nine months, he had been leading design on an undisclosed project at the Bay Area-based Crystal Dynamics -- which is now owned by Square Enix following the firm's takeover of Eidos.
Gard's TRU co-writer and designer Eric Lindstrom had already left the company some months prior, and as of this month, Gard is consulting independently.