Square Enix announced the expansion of one of its largest Western studios – Crystal Dynamics that created Marvel’s Avengers and is responsible for the Tomb Raider series. The Crystal Southwest office located in Austin (Texas) will help in working on all studio projects – both current and new.
The head of Crystal Southwest was appointed by the executive producer of Crystal Dynamics Dallas Dickinson (Dickinson), who joined the studio about two years ago. First, he headed the Osten QC Games (she released the role-playing action Breach and soon closed), and before that, for six years she worked in BioWare on the positions of producer and director for development. Dickinson was produced by the MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic and canceled action-RPG Shadow Realms, and even earlier, in Sony Online Entertainment, played an important role in creating Star Wars Galaxies and Planetside 2003. Square Enix characterizes it as a “industrial veteran who has more than 20 years of experience in the AAA-class games.”
Now in the new office is gaining specialists, but “the initial team has already been formed and began to work.” The current team consists of experienced Crystal Dynamics employees.
Crystal Southwest – Third Studio Office. The main operates in Redwood City (California) since 1992. The second, Crystal Northwest, opened in 2018 in Belview (Washington). The North-West division participated in the development of Marvel’s Avengers and will help in creating new games.
It is noteworthy that Square Enix decided to continue to invest in their Western studios, despite the failure of Marvel’s Avengers. Action, released in September 2020 at PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (and in March of this – on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and S), received not too high presses and players (Metacritic – 67-68 / 100, rating Steam – 66% at 14 thousand reviews) and brought losses to the publisher. Despite the high starting sales (about 3 million copies), the game could not return the cost of production (the budget allegedly exceeded $ 100 million). In November, the company reported that the sales of the militant were 40% lower than the predicted, and the loss associated with this amounted to about $ 63 million.
Crystal Dynamics continues to develop Marvel’s Avengers. In the summer, the game will receive an Operation: Black Panther – War for Wakanda with a black panther, and once later – a spider man. In January, the studio promised to return to the Tomb Raider series.