Chapter 13
Chapter Select

Notes and Citations


Author’s Note

No book would be possible without the support of numerous individuals.

First, a heartfelt thank-you to Tara Bruno of Tara PR. Tara is one of the friendliest PR reps I’ve had the pleasure of working with, and I’ve been fortunate to work with lots of friendly PR reps during my career. Her availability to answer questions and eagerness to line up the interviews I needed in 2016 and 2018 made Ascendant possible.

A huge thank-you as well to the people at Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal, and other studios who took time out of their busy schedules to answer my questions. I’d also like to thank the developers I wasn’t able to talk with. Modern triple-A games are a herculean effort that requires the brainpower of dozens or hundreds of individuals. The developers quoted in Ascendant are only a fraction of the team responsible for the success of Tomb Raider projects classic and contemporary—thank you, all of you, for creating such fun and lasting experiences, and for giving this writer such a fun project to dig into.

Greg Burke, Shacknews’ video editor, deserves a thank-you as well for doing what he does best: Making the videos that accompany long reads shine. BURKLETON!!

Last but never least, thank you as always to Asif Khan, Shacknews CEO and editor-in-chief, and my friend. Asif gave me the time and space to write this project, and was excited by the idea of expanding the original long read—my first for Shacknews—to round out our deep dive into the modern Tomb Raider trilogy of games.


Ascendant includes new content from interviews with the following people: Noah Hughes, Rich Briggs, Will Kerslake, Meagan Marie, Camilla Luddington, Daniel Chayer-Bisson, Heath Smith, Jason Dazois, and Mario Chabtini. Interviews were conducted through email, Skype, and in person over 2016 and 2018.

Chapter 1

Core Design was founded in 1988 by nine friends: "“It felt like robbery”: Tomb Raider and the fall of Core Design," ArsTechnica, (Author's note: Unless notes otherwise, quotes and other information pertaining to the development of the classic Tomb Raider games comes from this excellent article, written by author, journalist, and gaming historian Richard Moss.)

Chapter 5

In late October 2016, Reddit user Tripleh280: "[Image] Saw someone working on a presentation for "Shadow of the Tomb Raider" on the subway (Possible new game?)," Reddit,

Kotaku reporter Jason Schreier learned: "Name Of Next Tomb Raider Leaks Because Guy Had It Open On Subway," Kotaku,

In 2013, Reddit user photoacoustic claimed: "Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flags," Reddit,

The news didn’t come as a surprise to enterprising: Nibel. Twitter post. March 14, 2018, 5:45 AM.

opening another development studio in Bellevue, Washington: "The Avengers Project Development Is Underway At Crystal Dynamics' New Studio," GameSpot,

Chapter 7

The problem, as perceived by some outlets: "Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s ‘Immersion Mode’ is a big missed opportunity," Polygon,

This is Lara’s moment of truth: Official "Tomb Raider" Twitter account. Twitter post. September 19, 2018, 9:44 AM.

Hello, Meet Lola