Crystal Dynamics, the Square Enix owned studio responsible for the Tomb Raider reboot, has announced the opening of a new studio called “Crystal Northwest,” in Bellevue, Washington. The studio posted an update on their official website today with the announcement, where they also announced that they’ve hired more talent and added onto their headquarters in Redwood Shores, California.
Crystal Dynamics is best known for developing the Tomb Raider games since Tomb Raider: Legend, but they were also responsible for Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and the Gex series.
Crystal Northwest is up and running as of today, and apparently they’ll be assisting with development on the ambitious new Avengers Project announced in 2017. Scott Amos, co-head of Crystal Dynamics commented on the new studio saying “We’re aggressively scaling up our teams and adding a new studio with spectacular talent to deliver the ultimate gaming experiences for our players. We have assembled a team of industry veterans and leaders in order to create gaming experiences that surpass the expectations of our passionate community.”
Outside of Crystal Northwest, there is some serious talent the studio has added to their headquarters in Redwood Shores. This includes Vincent Napoli who recently worked on God of War and is now the lead combat designer at Crystal Dynamics, Ben Wanat the co-founder of the Dead Space series, and David Fifield who’s worked in roles at 343 Industries on Halo and at Raven Software on Call of Duty.
It definitely seems like this expansion is themed around gearing up for the Avengers Project, as it’s mentioned multiple times throughout the post. With a final thought from Ron Rosenberg, co-head of Crystal Dynamics, reading “We’ll keep building on the exciting growth Crystal Dynamics has experienced over the last several years, and are eager to deliver a world-class Avengers experience for fans around the world.”
There is currently no release window or indication on when we could see the first title from the Avengers Project. All we know so far is that the project is a multi-year, multi-title agreement between Marvel and Square Enix. The first game will be developed by Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal.