Those afraid that the recently-confirmed multiplayer mode for Tomb Raider will interfere with development of the single player game can relax. Like many games before it, Square Enix has handed off online duties to another studio so the main game doesn't suffer.
"Tomb Raider will include a multiplayer offering thanks to the hard work of our sister-studio, the hugely talented Eidos Montreal," Crystal Dynamics community manager Meagan Marie confirmed in a forum thread about the multiplayer-revealing issue of OXM. "The team at Eidos Montreal has been working away at the multiplayer while we focused everything on the single-player offering."
Eidos Montreal was behind Deus Ex: Human Revolution, though the studio has multiple teams.
Though, even if the multiplayer side is given to someone else, its very existence can still be detrimental. Spec Ops: The Line lead designer Cory Davis recently complained bitterly about shoe-horning multiplayer into the Heart of Darkness 'em up.
"No one is playing it, and I don't even feel like it's part of the overall package," Davis said. "It's another game rammed onto the disk like a cancerous growth, threatening to destroy the best things about the experience that the team at Yager put their heart and souls into creating."
Not that adding multiplayer in unexpected places cannot pay off, of course. Mass Effect 3's survival mode, for example, was a wonderful surprise, given how bizarre the idea of adding co-op face-shoots to the concluding chapter of a sprawling RPG trilogy sounded when EA announced it.
Tomb Raider ventures onto PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on March 5.