The Senior Community Manager at Crystal Dynamics, Meagan Marie, has given an interview to Gadgets360 in which she reflects on the way the studio tries to keep Tomb Raider fans engaged in the development of each title, how they interpret what the public expects of them and that the good response to side-missions like Endurance Mode will likely make them expand them in the next entry.
Marie considers her field a vital position in the success of a game, since she acts as a link between the fanbase and the developers. The Community Manager needs to keep fans interested, but they also have to read the general opinion correctly so the developers can have it in mind and apply changes to the project if necessary.
That desire to keep fans engaged with the games resulted in the creation of the Endurance Mode for Rise of the Tomb Raider. This special mode out of the main adventure puts players in randomly-generated scenarios in which they need to reach a series of artifacts before they fall in the wrong hands, while also picking up a series of items needed to survive. It also made possible that two players could co-operate online to complete each mission.
This kind of experience out of the main adventure is something that they will keep exploring in future entries: “[We] can confirm that as a studio we continue to look for opportunities that extend gameplay experiences beyond the main campaign, similar to our Expedition Mode in Rise of the Tomb Raider.”
While the next main game, rumored to be titled Shadow of the Tomb Raider, is being developed by Eidos Montreal without the lead writer of the last two entries, Marie says the original concept of the 2013 reboot already envisioned the evolution of the main character in the upcoming games: “There was certainly a long-lead vision for where Lara would start, and how she would grow through each adventure, and we’re eager for fans to experience it alongside her.”
Finally, asked about the similarities of the series with the Uncharted games and how they can both coexist in the market, Marie says the survival focus that the 2013 reboot introduced and Rise expanded sets the series apart from Naughty Dog’s creation.