Word has now leaked across the internet that the latest edition of Official Xbox Magazine will be revealing a whole new side to Tomb Raider: multiplayer. The once-solo adventure, already somewhat controversial in its tackling of mature topics, is now being fitted with a variety of multiplay modes developed by Eidos Montreal, developer of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. This is either the best idea or the worst idea, but I have no doubt it came down to one thing: money.
Here’s the thing: it’s 2012, almost 2013. You can’t release an action-adventure game these days with even the most robust single-player narrative. While I doubt Tomb Raider’s to-be-announced multiplayer modes are going to be anything revolutionary, it produces two things. First is word of mouth. If people find themselves playing the game beyond the original 8-10 hour run time (I’m just spitballing here, it may be shorter or longer), then you have greater odds of further sales. Secondly, you’re opening an entirely new venue of DLC that wasn’t available before. Consider Tomb Raider has been development for years (and is still not due until March 2013), it acts as a handsome way for Square-Enix to recoup some of their costs on the mammoth production when several of the other titles, like Hitman: Absolution and Sleeping Dogs, haven’t been blockbuster sellers.
There’s an argument about needlessly adding multiplayer modes to a historically singleplayer affair, but I think Crystal Dynamics wil do all right. It’s all about that dollar.