A candid photo taken on the subway in Montreal, Canada has leaked the likely title for the upcoming follow-up to Crystal Dynamics' Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Mark this news down as a lesson to game developers. A candid photo taken on the subway in Montreal, Quebec appears to have leaked the title of the next Tomb Raider game. A Redditor going by the name of Tripleh280 glimpsed the laptop screen of a fellow subway rider this morning, then quickly snapped a photo without alarming the laptop's owner. Inspection of the photo revealed a PowerPoint slide with a title in the upper-right corner: Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
Moving past the ethical issues related to snapping candid photos of subway passengers' laptop screens, the veracity of the Tomb Raider https://gamerant.com/tag/tomb-raider/photo should obviously be immediately suspect. The Internet has been through enough photoshop scams to know that trusting just any blurry photo taken on the subway is likely to lead to disappointment and embarrassment. However, this case might be an exception. Jason Schreier of Kotaku is reporting that he not only heard about Shadow of the Tomb Raider earlier via a source, but also that he's now been able to confirm the title with another source.
Tomb Raider, which was rebooted in 2013 by Crystal Dynamics, saw the launch of its sequel in 2015. Rise of the Tomb Raider and its predecessor were both well received and a third game in the series is almost certain, which was semi-confirmed by Square Enix at Gamescom 2015. Shadow of the Tomb Raider fits the naming style of the rebooted franchise, going by the sequel's title. It perhaps implies a dark turn for Lara Croft, something that the Tomb Raider franchise has gone through before.
One other question should be apparent going off of the modicum of information provided with the leak. Why is this leak coming out of Canada, when Crystal Dynamics is a California-based developer? According to Kotaku's sources, the newest Tomb Raider game is not being developed by Crystal Dynamics, but Eidos Montreal, the studio behind the Deus Ex franchise, is taking over.
While Rise of the Tomb Raider was developed primarily by Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal is cited as a supporting developer on the project - likely to help the game release only two years after Tomb Raider's launch. It's entirely possible that Eidos Montreal has overtaken the series entirely, with Crystal Dynamics now supporting. Or there's always the possibility that Tomb Raider has grown to a point where two studios could each be working on their own Tomb Raider projects, like Activision's strategy with Call of Duty.
If Square Enix maintains its publishing schedule of one Tomb Raider game every two years, a new Tomb Raider could arrive in 2017. Though by this time in 2014, Rise of the Tomb Raider had already been announced. If Shadow of the Tomb Raider is truly not too far off, an announcement could be very close - perhaps look towards the Game Awards 2016 in November?