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Crystal Dynamics Cuts 30 Staffers, Focuses On  Tomb Raider

Crystal Dynamics Cuts 30 Staffers, Focuses On Tomb Raider

January 12, 2009 | By Eric Caoili

January 12, 2009 | By Eric Caoili
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More: Console/PC

Redwood City-based studio Crystal Dynamics, the developer behind Eidos' recent Tomb Raider releases, laid off some 30 employees as the company looks to concentrate on the Lara Croft franchise.

"We have increased the focus on the Tomb Raider franchise at Crystal Dynamics," a company representative told gaming weblog Joystiq. "Regrettably this has resulted in the reduction in headcount."

Presumably, the studio will shift its resources away from games unrelated to Tomb Raider. While Crystal Dynamics' catalog of previous releases includes many licensed and original titles, such as its Legacy of Kain games, the company does not have any announced projects outside of the Tomb Raider series.

The layoffs follow a week after Eidos admitted lower-than-expected sales for the developer's latest shipped game, Tomb Raider: Underworld, blaming the current economic downturn and the crowded Christmas schedule.

Though Eidos says it's "pleased" with the multiplatform game's performance in key European territories, the title did not perform as well in North America, and global sell-through is currently estimated at only 1.5 million units -- below Eidos’ internal estimates.

As a result, Eidos lowered its full fiscal year revenue predictions from £180-£200 million ($273-$303 million) to £160-£180 million ($243-$273 million).

Eidos, which owns Crystal Dynamics, is currently widely speculated to be the target of buyout bids, and as such has been apparently aiming to maximize its strengths. It recently finalized a change in name; SCi, formerly the parent of Eidos, renamed itself entirely to Eidos in a move likely intended to focus on its ownership of the Tomb Raider franchise, which would be its primary asset in an acquisition.

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