Eidos announced on their community forums today that they have decided to keep Tomb Raider in the incubator until an undetermined time in the first quarter of 2013. It was originally scheduled for release in Fall 2012.
"We’re doing things that are completely new to Tomb Raider in this game and the additional development time will allow us to put the finishing touches into the game and polish it to a level that you deserve," said Darrell Gallagher, head of Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics. "We believe this is the right choice and I guarantee it will be worth the wait. The game is looking amazing and we can't wait to show it to everyone at E3 in a few weeks."
As mega-behemoth releases have turned into annual best-sellers (Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed) it's no surprise to see game makers fleeing those months entirely. These days there's home for maybe two or three other games in those months, but not much else. And with the departure of Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider, we're hoping this could mean greater success for less-well-known (but no less interesting) games like Dishonored, similar to the success of Borderlands in 2009.
Ultimately, this move should be great for everyone involved. The gamers get a big title to look forward to in the - ordinarily barren - first quarter of the year, Crystal Dynamics gets a chance to polish its baby, Eidos gets a better chance to make a profit, and the 2012 holiday gaming season gets more breathing room. Not to mention the game will be even better. Nobody loses here.