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Crystal Dynamics is an American video game developer that was founded in 1992 by Judy Lang, Madaline Canepa and Dave Morris. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, it was acquired by Eidos Interactive in 1998. After Square Enix's acquisition of Eidos in 2009, it became a subsidiary of Square Enix. Crystal was the first licensed developer for 3DO.
Crystal Dynamics was formed in mid-1992 by Sega veterans Judy Lang, Madeline Canepa, and Dave Morse. Crystal was the first licensed developer for 3DO, a gaming hardware platform simultaneously funded by Kleiner Perkins. In 1993, Strauss Zelnick, president of 20th Century Fox's film studio, was hired to run Crystal Dynamics. This made national news and helped to touch off the frenzy of multimedia investments of the mid-1990s.
Crystal Dynamics headquarters in Redwood City
Crystal Dynamics had been most known for developing Legacy of Kain and Gex, but in 2003, the studio was entrusted the development of the best-selling Tomb Raider franchise after original developer Core Design failed to gain critical or commercial success with their later Tomb Raider games, and released its first game in the series in 2006, Tomb Raider: Legend, which was the fastest selling game in the entire series, selling 4.5 million units worldwide. Crystal Dynamics recently co-developed Tomb Raider: Anniversary with developer Buzz Monkey Software. Tomb Raider: Anniversary, a remake of the first Tomb Raider game, was released in June 2007. The next installment, Tomb Raider Underworld, was released on November 2008 on next-generation consoles.
From January 2009 to June 2009, Crystal Dynamics laid off over 30 employees to refocus their efforts on the Tomb Raider series only. On January 3, 2012, studio community manager Meagan Marie said that the studio will be revealing a new IP in 2012. In a podcast, released on 23 June 2012, executive producer Scot Amos said Crystal Dynamics new IP will be "fresh and familiar" and offer a similar experience to the new Tomb Raider game.