While talking with Tomb Raider’s franchise director, Rich Briggs, we learned of an entirely different name that the team considered calling Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Upon the reveal of Rise of the Tomb Raider duringMicrosoft’s E3 2014 press conference, many gamers were simultaneously excited and puzzled. While a sequel to the action-packed franchise reboot was more than a welcomed sight, its name and Xbox exclusivity were confusing to many. In the months following, the name has begun to marinate with consumers, but some still aren’t certain where it originated from. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to interview some of the developers behind the title on just that topic.
Speaking with franchise director Rich Briggs during a visit to Crystal Dynamics in San Francisco, California, I enquired about the name that the team ended up going with. Apparently it was quite a rigorous process when it came down to choosing Rise of the Tomb Raider, as both franchise creative director Noah Hughes and Briggs told me about an entire wall full of potential titles the team thought about going with – ranging from Tomb Raider 2 to a bevy of subtitled options.
Not content with just slapping a ‘2’ on the end of Tomb Raider, the team wanted something that portrayed more of what the game was actually about and the arc Lara Croft would be undertaking – hence why they opted to go with the final title. When I asked about a potential runner-up, however, Briggs revealed that the game was almost called Tomb Raider Ascension.
“That’s a good question! Well, I could probably say Tomb Raider Ascension, right? We were talking about, and that’s actually what started us into the ‘Rise’ thing, the Tomb Raider Ascension, we were gravitating towards that for a little while, but it was actually the codename for the first game.”
It seems as if the name just wasn’t fated to be used for the title, with Briggs confirming that the codename for the original reboot was also ‘Ascension’. Even then, Briggs and his team feel confident that the right decision was made in that boardroom, and that internal and external testing of it has proven positive thus far.
“Tomb Raider Ascension, it made its way through several rounds, but then it got knocked off. But, like I said, it lead to ‘Rise’, which felt like the right place to go.”