Square Enix has chimed in on the news about the first three Tomb Raider games being remastered and re-released for PC. After the port house realtech VR publicly demonstrated the remasters and announced that they were working on them, Square Enix sent out an official press statement stating that the project won’t be moving forward because it was never officially sanctioned.
VideoGamer.com has a short article about the conundrum, with a statement from Square Enix that reads…
‘While we always welcome passion and excitement for the Tomb Raider franchise, the remasters in question were initiated and advertised without seeking approval. As such, they were never officially sanctioned”
The French Canadian developer, realtech VR, says it’s more “complicated” than that, mentioning in a tweet that they were “already working” for Square Enix. Others retorted that just because realtech VR was working for Square Enix doesn’t mean that they would sign off on a remastered series of the original trilogy of Tomb Raider games.
In a deleted tweet captured by some gamers on the Steam forums, it appears that realtech VR were in the process of pitching the games to Square but Square didn’t bite. The deleted tweet allegedly stated…
“We’ve received an official letter from Square Enix. TR3 Mobile, and PC ports is cancelled. The demos we’ve sent was not good interesting enough for them. All our Youtube video has been taken down,”
This obviously isn’t a very PR friendly message, which is likely why it was deleted.
Realtech VR posted a more neutral tweet explaining that they are now focusing on AR and VR titles for mobile devices and VR and that they are no longer going to be committed to third-party licensed property.
After this episode, we are refocusing on new projects involving Augmented Reality on iOS and VR on PC. We are not more committed on third party license anymore.
— realtech VR (@realtech_VR) March 21, 2018
So the moral of the story is that if you’re contracted by a publisher to do work for them, don’t take on a project on your own and hope that by gaining some semblance of public support you’ll be able to do with the property whatever it is you want. Chances are if the publisher didn’t sign off on it in full, you shouldn’t take any initiatives with the property in question.
As is typical with most cancellations, the gaming community did not take it well, and in the Twitter thread from realtech VR announcing that they weren’t going to be remastering the first three Tomb Raider games, someone linked to a Change.org petition begging Square Enix to move forward with the remasters.
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