Rhianna Pratchett, veteran video game writer behind the Tomb Raider reboot, has moved on from developer Crystal Dynamics. The developer confirmed the departure on Tomb Raider's official tumblr after Pratchett herself shared the news on Twitter:
Tomb Raider approached the long-standing franchise as an actual reboot when, in the entertainment industry, reboot is shorthand for retread more often than not. Rather than yet again producing a game with the posh action hero/sex symbol Lara Croft circa 1996, the franchise reboot delivered a Lara Croft stepping into her first adventures and learning who she could be. We were able to see Lara Croft become a badass rather than badass being her default state of being.
There certainly was a time when pre-reboot Lara Croft was considered progressive — she was the major feminine icon in gaming of her time — but the thing about being progressive is progress. For Lara Croft to continue fulfilling that necessary role, she couldn't remain stagnant and be Lara circa 1996 forever. Rhianna Pratchett, among others at Crystal Dynamics, ensured Lara Croft evolved and delivered a different sort of story, relevant and (hopefully) relatable to her modern audience.
Through Tomb Raider's Lara Croft and Faith of Mirror's Edge, Rhianna Pratchett's work has no doubt both brought more women into gaming and pushed the gaming industry to be more accepting of the women in their audience. Everyone needs heroes and Pratchett provided some of the best.
In addition to Tomb Raider and Mirror's Edge, Pratchett has previously written for Heavenly Sword, Prince of Persia, and other titles. Given her career thus far, it would come as a shock if she left the games industry entirely. However, Pratchett has also dabbled in comics with Mirror's Edge and Tomb Raider tie-ins, and given her background in publishing, she could end up just about anywhere. Only time will tell.
What do you think of the new Lara Croft? What will Rhianna Pratchett tackle next?