Born in Derby, Tomb Raider Lara's working in California
A NEW video game featuring Derby-born Lara Croft is set to hit the shelves today following a "reboot" of the Tomb Raider franchise.
But the city which brought the world the gun-toting "cyberbabe" will have played no part in the new release.
Seventeen years ago, the first Tomb Raider game, created by Derby developer Core Design, took the gaming world by storm.
The release, along with several sequels, went on to sell in their millions.
But the latest incarnation has been put together by Crystal Dynamics, an American games developer based in Redwood City, California, and published by Japanese firm Square Enix.
That is because Core Design, which would have celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, no longer exists.
Following the success of the first Tomb Raider games – which spawned a feature film starring Angelina Jolie – the firm was absorbed into a larger developer called Eidos. Eidos then handed responsibility for the Tomb Raider franchise to Crystal Dynamics – and Core was sold off and absorbed into another company called Rebellion, which closed its Derby office in 2010.
But Anton Odisho, manager of Derby games retailer Mobile Games Exchange, in London Road, said people should always remember Tomb Raider came from Derby. He said: "Lara Croft is a name that is known all around the world.
"It is amazing to see how far an artistic creation from Derby has gone."
Lara Croft was conceived at Core's Ashbourne Road offices in the early 1990s and, today, a section of the city's inner ring road is named after her.
Core's former offices are called Croft House.
John Forkin, managing director of Marketing Derby, believes Lara Croft has left a lasting legacy for the city.
He said: "The success of Lara sent a message to talented individuals that this was an industry that was no longer confined to computer programming in their bedroom.
"And the city is still home to many talented companies and individuals working within this sector."