Wondering why? It is because they are two distinct franchise branches. Lara Croft is the classic Lara with shorts and pair of guns and Tomb Raider is the rebooted “origin” story. There are games still coming out for both (Lara Croft GO, Tomb Raider).
It was not easy for the creator Crystal Dynamics to introduce new franchise to its fans. It took a great effort to manage the community. Meagan Marie who is senior community manager at the company spoke about it on Game Access (What the hell is GameAccess?) conference.
When they first introduced Tomb Raider concept to the public fans were worried. To establish a community around new reboot they did the following…
Every fan is appreciated at least a bit.
Community over competition.
Recognising sub-communities and adjusting to them.
Having fans vote on DLCs, etc. Working with collectors on what merchandise would they welcome.
Inspiration by Deus Ex and their IRL prosthetic arm – real world context. For Tomb Raider archeology is a good fit.
Gear Up guides for cosplayers. Make it easier for them.
Fully embracing UCG (user generated content). Being UGC centric. It helps to fill the gap between game releases. And keep fans engaged.
Instead of having one official face (one woman), they created Official cosplay ambassadors program. Everyone can be Lara now. And when the cosplayer is skilled, they can get invited to events and even get payed! Men are welcome too 😀
Creating Official fansite program. Fan websites can get “seal of approval” when they post regularly. Good ones get exclusive free pass to events, high-res assets, etc. Here is how that “seal” looks like.
The idea, that you can have both. Both classic Lara and the new one. They held throwback retro fanart contest. On official sites, whey shown all Lara types (mix of styles).
Humanizing the dev team. Showing faces behind the game.
Treating each platform (Steam, Pinterest, Facebook, etc) differently.
Rewarding the core players. Nicknaming the tiny crab 🙂
Thats all folks!
Here are all of my posts about Game Access.
By the way, you can play Lara (OpenLara) in your browser!