It looks like Crystal Dynamics, the folks who bring us the Tomb Raider games (except for the upcoming Shadow of the Tomb Raider, which is being worked on by Eidos Montreal), is expanding greatly. They have opened up a brand new studio in Seattle (Crystal Northwest), in the Bellevue, Washington area.
The new studio is also being accompanied by new hires, including Vincent Napoli, who joins the studio as Lead Combat Designer at Crystal Dynamics. Other talent they’ve recruited comes from EA Visceral, 343 Industries, Naughty Dog, Disney, and Pixar- so they’ve got some really high grade folks working for them over there.
“We’re aggressively scaling up our teams and adding a new studio with spectacular talent to deliver the ultimate gaming experiences for our players,” said Scot Amos, Co-Head of Studio at Crystal Dynamics. “We have assembled a team of industry veterans and leaders in order to create gaming experiences that surpass the expectations of our passionate community.”
Presumably, a lot of this hiring is happening for the upcoming Avengers game from Square Enix, which Crystal Dynamics is supposed to be working on. In fact, in their statement, while not actually naming the game, Crystal Dynamics does confirm the expansion is because of its new, “most ambitious” project yet.
“Our new studio in Bellevue, and the new hires in Redwood Shores, represent our continued commitment to the most ambitious project we’ve ever created,” said Ron Rosenberg, Co-Head of Studio at Crystal Dynamics. Notably, he did go on to explicitly mention The Avengers. “We’ll keep building on the exciting growth Crystal Dynamics has experienced over the last several years, and are eager to deliver a world-class Avengers experience for fans around the world.”
Hopefully, all of this talent can come together and deliver something truly special with this new game, whatever it is and whenever it comes out.