Update: Square Enix has released the first teaser trailer for Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
The third installment in Square Enix's rebooted Tomb Raider video game series, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, is confirmed to release later this year. Tomb Raider is one of the most iconic video game franchises in history - following the adventurous protagonist, Lara Croft - which was started by Core Design's first Tomb Raider game in 1996. And it continues to rage on over two decades later thanks to an enormously critically and commercially successful reboot series.
San Francisco-based developers Crystal Dynamics, who were known primarily for their Legacy of Kain titles, started developing Tomb Raider games in 2006. Then, in 2013, they fully rebooted the franchise with Tomb Raider and a new origin story for Lara Croft to boot. Its success spawned a sequel in 2015, titled Rise of the Tomb Raider. And now, Square Enix is looking to release yet another sequel. It was first (mistakenly) announced at Gamescom 2015, and not much was known about the third installment until a photo on Reddit - taken in Montreal in 2016 - revealed that the game was titled Shadow of the Tomb Raider. While that hasn't been confirmed or denied by Square Enix just yet, fans don't have to wait much longer to find out exactly what's going on with the next game.
Related: Tomb Raider Movie Review
A new splash page on the official Tomb Raider website indicates big news is coming tomorrow morning - Thursday, March 15, at 6 am PDT - though a peek at the page's HTML code reveals that the game, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, is slated to release on September 14 (via Kotaku). The hidden announcement not only confirms the release date but the title as well, not to mention the fact that this will be "the climatic finale of Lara’s origin story."
The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is not until next week, but Square Enix seems to have decided to announce the game tomorrow in order to coincide with this weekend's release of Warner Bros.' Tomb Raider movie reboot, directed by Roar Uthaug and starring Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft, which also happens to be based on Crystal Dynamics' rebooted video game series. Furthermore, the hidden announcement confirms that this will conclude the rebooted trilogy that follows Lara Croft's origin story, but that doesn't mean Square Enix can't take the character somewhere new after that.
While quite a bit still remains unknown about Shadow of the Tomb Raider, it's important to note that Crystal Dynamics is not working on the new title. It's the first time since 2006 that the studio is not developing a major installment in the Tomb Raider franchise. Instead, Thief and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided developer Eidos Montreal is working on the new game - that's why its title was accidentally leaked on a subway in Montreal - because Crystal Dynamics currently has their hands full developing an Avengers game (as part of Square Enix's multi-year, multi-title agreement with Marvel).
At the moment, it's unclear if Shadow of the Tomb Raider's release date is only for the Xbox One due to the publisher's longtime arrangement with Microsoft Studios, seeing as Rise of the Tomb Raider released first on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One and then a year later on PS4. Plus, the first Tomb Raider game also had timed-exclusive DLC for the Xbox 360. But that information should be revealed tomorrow during Square Enix's official announcement. Be sure to check back then for all the details.