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New Witcher and Tomb Raider Games Are in The Same Boat

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  • Posted on 09th Apr, 2022 00:20 AM
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The new Witcher and Tomb Raider games don't have much in common, but their recent announcements put both of these games in the same boat.

p>Crystal Dynamics has a full plate. On top of assisting The Initiative with the upcoming Perfect Dark Reboot, it’s still working on content for its live-service Marvel’s Avengers game. So, it was a bit of a shock when the company confirmed it was working on a new Tomb Raider game on Unreal Engine 5. Many are looking forward to the advancements of this new engine, and Tomb Raider is far from the first to make this announcement.

Recently, CD Projekt Red announced it was working on a new Witcher game on Unreal Engine 5, moving away from its in-house REDengine. Aside from their development on Unreal Engine 5, The Witcher and Tomb Raider don’t necessarily have too much in common. One is an open-world fantasy RPG, and the other is more of an action-adventure game after all. However, these recent announcements draw an interesting parallel between the two games.

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New Witcher and Tomb Raider Game Announcements

Namely, it appears that both CD Projekt Red and Crystal Dynamics are going back to their more popular franchises after their latest mishaps. Both Marvel's Avengers and Cyberpunk 2077 were heavily criticized at launch, and while both games have improved and added new content since then, many may not have as much faith in these two developers as before. It would be a stretch to say it’s intentional, but on the surface, it appears that CD Projekt Red and Crystal Dynamics are making these announcements because they are guaranteed successes.

A successful new Witcher and Tomb Raider game on Unreal Engine 5 would do a lot to gain back fans lost by Cyberpunk 2077 or Avengers. It could have always been the plan to go back to the Witcher and to Tomb Raider after their predecessors—that would be more than understandable—but it certainly looks more along the lines of a “last game was not great, so let’s use this franchise power in this announcement.”

Announcing new titles on Unreal Engine 5 is also likely just to sell the idea of UE5, not that it's especially needed, but there’s also the idea that these games are still likely years away, adding to this overall appearance.

Witcher, Tomb Raider, and the Nature of Video Game Announcements

It’s not the first time a tactic like this has been seemingly used. Video game announcements, even brief confirmations, build a lot of hype and improve the perception of a developer—that’s true. Just as video game delays, however needed or good they are, tend to have a negative reaction, announcements tend to have a positive reaction. Using that hype for more than just the new game, but to bring some positivity back, isn’t altogether uncommon.

For example, many postulate that the Elder Scroll 6's announcement was to pull away from the negativity surrounding Fallout 76’s announcement and launch. While this cannot be proved, the fact that Elder Scrolls 6 is STILL years away says something. Another good example is the recent Grand Theft Auto 6 announcement, which followed a rare rocky road for Rockstar Games, and all announcements like these have the benefit of detracting from existing negativity.

It's not the perfect 1:1 comparison, but Anthem’s cancellation means that BioWare is sticking to its guns, with the company focusing on the next Dragon Age and Mass Effect games. Absolutely, even after Anthem’s downfall, many are looking forward to these two games. The short of it is that, many times, companies have returned to a more reliable, high profile IP after a new one doesn’t hit the mark it needs.

The problem with this is that new video game IPs breathe new life into the industry. For all of their shortcomings, Anthem, Cyberpunk 2077, and a big Marvel’s Avengers live-service game were something new for fans. Sequels are great, needed, and popular for a reason, but hopefully, this doesn’t happen enough that the idea of new IPs in the gaming industry becomes even more daunting.

New Witcher and Tomb Raider games are in development.

MORE: There Are 'No Plans' to Make The Witcher 4 An Epic Games Store Exclusive

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