Crystal Dynamics

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For "Crystal Dynamics" as physical-chemical process, see Crystallization.
Crystal Dynamics
Subsidiary of Square Enix
Industry Computer and video games
Interactive entertainment
Founded 1992
Founder Judy Lang
Madeline Canepa
David Morris
Headquarters Redwood City, California, United States
Area served
Key people
Scot Amos
Ron Rosenberg
Products List of Crystal Dynamics video games
Owner Square Enix Europe
Parent Square Enix

Crystal Dynamics is an American video game developer that was founded in 1992 by Judy Lang, Madeline Canepa and Dave Morse. 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.[1] Crystal was the first licensed developer for 3DO. The company's mascot was the video game character, Gex The Gecko.


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.[2] A 1993 editorial in Electronic Gaming Monthly declared that "the hottest new video game company on the upscale scene is definitely Crystal Dynamics."[3]

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.[4][5] 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 consoles. Crystal Dynamics' next release was the spin-off title Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, which did not feature the Tomb Raider branding despite utilizing the lead character. The game was released for digital distribution only. This was followed by Tomb Raider in 2013, a reboot which introduced a new back story for Lara.

In December 2015, Square Enix announced that Darrell Gallagher, the studio's head, had left the company. His role in the company was replaced by Scot Amos and Ron Rosenberg.[6]

Games developed[edit]

As of December 2012, 36 video games have been developed by Crystal Dynamics. The company was most known for its work in the Tomb Raider series and the Legacy of Kain series.


From January 2009 to June 2009, Crystal Dynamics laid off over 30 employees to refocus their efforts on the Tomb Raider series only.[7][8] On January 3, 2012, studio community manager Meagan Marie said that the studio would be revealing a new IP in 2012.[9] 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.[10]



  1. ^ Ransom, James (July 7, 2009). "Eidos dissolved into 'Square Enix Europe,' layoffs likely". Joystiq. Retrieved March 20, 2012. 
  2. ^ Fisher, Lawrence M. (February 13, 1994). "Sound Bytes; The Not-So-Silent Screen". New York Times. Retrieved June 14, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Gaming Gossip". Electronic Gaming Monthly (51) (EGM Media, LLC). October 1993. p. 54. 
  4. ^ "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". 2009-03-08. Archived from the original on 2009-03-08. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  5. ^ "SCi Entertainment Group PLC - Investor Relations - RNS Announcement". Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  6. ^ Phillips, Tom (December 16, 2015). "Crystal Dynamics boss quits after decade at Square Enix". Eurogamer. Retrieved December 16, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Lay-offs hit Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics | Game Development | News by Develop". Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  8. ^ "Further layoffs at Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics | Game Development | News by Develop". 2009-06-10. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  9. ^ Hussain, Tamoor (2012-01-03). "News: Tomb Raider dev to reveal new IP this year". Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  10. ^ Yin, Wesley (2012-06-25). "Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics discusses its new IP • News •". Retrieved 2012-07-09. 

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