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MA DOVE ANDRA' A FINIRE LARA CROFT ? Il gioco subirà mutamenti rivoluzionari con il passaggio alla californiana Crystal Dynamics Studio o si tornerà al vecchio sistema di gioco per quanto riguarda la trama e gli enigmi ?
STAR LARA KISSES GOODBYE TO DERBY
09:30 - 31 July 2003
+Derby-born heroine Lara Croft is to abandon her birthplace in favour of the sunshine of California.
Her departure from the city where she was conceived and nurtured is imminent after her corporate parents announced yesterday that Lara's future career will now develop in America.
Lara, the scantily-clad intrepid star of the Tomb Raider computer games, took the world by storm when she was born in Core Design's modest offices in Ashbourne Road, Derby, in 1996.
Three years later, the firm moved into smart offices in Pride Park and Lara's ability to make money led to a takeover by computer game manufacturer Eidos.
But Eidos, based in Wimbledon, said yesterday that the future development of Lara will now be transferred to its Crystal Dynamics design studio in San Francisco.
The decision follows repeated delays in the development of the latest game, Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness, at Core Design. It was expected to be released before Christmas, but only arrived in the shops earlier this month.
Jonathan Kemp, European managing director for Eidos, told the Evening Telegraph yesterday: "For our industry, the area around San Francisco is the hub of games development.
"We want to breathe fresh air into the Tomb Raider brand and franchise.
"But it is well-documented that we have suffered development delays recently and we are now trying to introduce more predictability into our business."
The announcement to move development to America has meant a question mark over the future of the 90 staff employed at Core Design in Derby, but Eidos was non-committal on the issue yesterday.
Mr Kemp said: "Tomb Raider was the largest project at Core Design, but we also have other projects there, and we are now undertaking a major review.
"We do want to keep a development presence in Derby, but we will now have to see how we move forward. We have not yet made any final decisions."
Richard Williams, head of city development and tourism at Derby City Council, expressed his disappointment that the city was about to lose one of its most famous residents.
He said after he heard the news yesterday: "It will be very sad to see Lara Croft go to the United States.
"But we live in a global market and we have little influence on some of these decisions.
"People are aware that Lara originated in Derby and she has brought publicity to the city.
"We have frequently referred to Lara in presentations to investors and businesses thinking of coming to Derby."
The announcement also comes just two weeks after Jeremy Heath-Smith, co-founder of Core Design, resigned as managing director of the Derby firm as well as worldwide development director of Eidos.
Core Design yesterday referred all inquiries to Eidos.
Heroine will always be a Derby girl at heart
Despite her rise to international fame - virtual heroine Lara Croft has always been considered a Derby-born lass.
Her maker, Core Design, was originally started in 1988, when Jeremy Heath-Smith borrowed £16,000 from his wife to get the business off the ground with brother Adrian.
Things started to take off in 1996 with the launch of the Tomb Raider games.
Lara, the star of the game, was originally the creation of Toby Gard when Core was still a little-known company in Ashbourne Road, Derby.
But he left the company two months before the first Tomb Raider game was released in October, 1996.
Mr Gard was given £50,000 in lieu of future royalties - if he had stayed on he would now be a multi-millionaire.
The gun-toting archaeologist went to the top of the games charts and spawned several sequels and two movies - one which is due for release in August. To date, 28 million Tomb Raider games have been sold worldwide.
<small>[ 02.08.2003, 11:18: Message edited by: Roberto web ]</small>