It would seem that the recently announced Tomb Raider 1, 2, and 3 remasters from Realtech VR have been cancelled. The company initially announced that the games would be coming to Steam for free. The PC versions for Tomb Raider 1 and 2 were already completed, with work beginning on 3. The remasters were going to use a reconstructed engine using the latest OpenGL that would provide various modernized graphic options. That all sounds pretty good, right?
The only fly in the ointment was that Realtech VR appears to have had zero legal right to do this. Crystal Dynamics released the following statement today.
While we always welcome passion and excitement for the Tomb Raider franchise, the remasters in question were initiated and advertised without seeking approval. As such, they were never officially sanctioned. Ensuring fans receive high quality gaming experiences is at the heart of our mission as a company, which requires all projects to go through proper channels. We are thrilled about the future of Tomb Raider, and cannot thank fans enough for their continued support and excitement for the brand.
In order to play the Remasters, players would need to buy the official games on Steam. Realtech VR had no plans to release any game data, and would only have been making their own work available from their download. It is clear that they hoped this would allow them to skirt any legal issues. In effect, what they were releasing was more of a mod than a game itself. It is not exactly surprising that this didn’t work out for them, although it is a little sad.
The trailers for their version of the games that had been online are now gone, taken down by Square Enix. While it is a shame that the work that people put in on these will never see the light of day, it is important to remember that copyright law is no joke.