Tomb Raider, a reboot to famous protagonist Lara Croft’s franchise, released earlier this year to multiple millions of sales, a number which most would see as profitable, but which was not due to what most now see as its ludicrous sales expectation of 5 million. Even now,Tomb Raider still has yet to cross the 5 million unit mark, but according to a recent Gamasutra article written by Square Enix’s Darrell Gallagher, it has now passed 4 million.
While Square Enix may have labeled the game a financial failure, it will be getting a next-gen sequel, and in his Gamasutra article, Darrell Gallagher also dropped a few hints as to the kind of changes it might be undergoing. Gallagher made mention that the idea of persistent worlds, a term denoting a game world which changes and is added to over the course of multiple years post-release, would be significant in the future of the games which he will be overseeing, and since Gallagher is Square Enix’s “Head of product development and studios across America and Europe,” that’ll be quite a few, including games made by Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal, and more.
Gallagher never gives any specifics on which projects will be seeing persistent worlds in the future—he even makes a note in his article that no one idea fits every game—but it’s always fun to speculate. So the question I pose to you is this: which European and American developer Square Enix franchises do you think might be getting persistent worlds in their next generation iterations, or will they perhaps crop up in all-new franchises? Sound off in the comments!
“Overall as a games business – studios and publishing – we have walked away too early from some of the worlds that we have invested so much time and energy in. If we were to ask people that loved our games whether they would enjoy new content or deeper experiences in these digital playgrounds the answer would overwhelmingly be ‘yes’.
And for me, this is where the future starts. We see the opportunity for some of our games continuing beyond a traditional beginning, middle, and end. We can have them become extendable and more persistent – with an opportunity to build and grow across games. To design in a way to keep our games alive for years instead of weeks. I’m not talking about an MMORPG – although the concept is similar – I’m talking about creating persistent online experiences built on the foundations of the games we are well known for. Now, this doesn’t apply to every game, there is no one solution that works in every case, but as a wider goal it’s certainly something which some of our franchises are incredibly well suited to and something I want to explore further.” — David Gallagher