Rhianna Pratchett, writer for the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot and its sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider, announces that she will be no longer working on the long-running franchise.

With millions of copies sold worldwide and very positive reviews across the board from critics, it goes without saying that 2013’s Tomb Raider reboot and its sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider were both big successes for Square Enix and Crystal Dynamic. No new title has officially been announced yet but a third game in the rebooted series is expected given the success of the first two titles, and while it’s still too early to predict what shape or form this hypothetical third game could potentially be, it will likely be a different experience from its predecessors due to the recent departure of a staff member behind the new Tomb Raider entries.

Rhianna Pratchett, the lead writer behind Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider, recently announced via a series of tweets that she is “bidding a fond farewell to Lara [Croft]” and will be moving onto “new adventures” away from the long-running franchise. Shortly after Pratchett announced her departure from the series, Crystal Dynamics made its own announcement on its Tumblr page, stating that “Rhianna is off to pursue new adventures separate from the Tomb Raider franchise” before praising her work and being “instrumental in helping [Crystal Dymanics] find Lara’s voice in the 2013 origin story“.

So, I'm packing up my climbing axe plus a little venison jerky for the road, and bidding a fond farewell to Lara. Onwards to new adventures!
— Rhianna Pratchett (@rhipratchett) January 3, 2017

I want to thank the @CrystalDynamics team for their dedication esp. @jstafford @josefkstories & @noahmhughes. Guys, it's been emotional.— Rhianna Pratchett (@rhipratchett) January 3, 2017

But, I like to think we did some good things. Maybe shifted the gaming landscape a wee bit. And that feels damn good.— Rhianna Pratchett (@rhipratchett) January 3, 2017

I also want to thank TR's terrific fan community. You really are the best in the world. Constantly helping me remember why I do this job.
— Rhianna Pratchett (@rhipratchett) January 3, 2017

The writing has undoubtedly been a strong point in the rebooted Tomb Raider titles for critics and fans alike, and Pratchett’s work ultimately helped Rise of the Tomb Raider win the “Outstanding Achievement in Video Game Writing” at the 2016 Writers Guild Awards. While the franchise will continue on regardless of Pratchett’s departure, her absence from the franchise will certainly be felt in future Tomb Raider games as she is partially responsible for the recent boom of strong female characters appearing in video games.

While it is not known what Pratchett will be working on next, her departure from the franchise means that she certainly won’t be doing anything related to the upcoming Tomb Raider movie. But given her impressive body of work, which includes writing for Bioshock InfiniteMirror’s Edge, and Heavenly Sword, fans will undoubtedly be excited for whatever project Pratchett will be working on next.

In addition to her departure announcement and a heartfelt thank you to various people, Pratchett also stated in her tweets that she hoped that she and Crystal Dynamics “maybe shifted the gaming landscape a wee bit“. Given that Lara Croft has since been thrust back into the limelight as one of the best video game action heroes ever, not to mention that both Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider were considered to be among the best games of 2013 and 2015 respectively, it’s hard to disagree that Pratchett’s work most certainly succeeded in shifting the gaming landscape, even if it was just “a wee bit“.

What are your thoughts about Rhianna Pratchett leaving the Tomb Raider franchise? Let us know in the comments below.