Home > Brand Views > Casino & games > Slots > A new dawn: Games Global returns with TOMB RAIDER branded slots release Lara Croft®: Tomb of the Sun™

A new dawn: Games Global returns with TOMB RAIDER branded slots release Lara Croft®: Tomb of the Sun™

| By Laura Gumbrell | Reading Time: 7 minutes
Slots supplier Games Global is set to release its latest slot game, Lara Croft®: Tomb of the Sun™, based on the TOMB RAIDER franchise from game developer Crystal Dynamics. Building on its success with Lara Croft®: Temple and Tombs™, Games Global has partnered with Triple Edge Studios on another adventure with the famous TOMB RAIDER series.

Andrew Booth, chief product officer at Games Global, takes iGB through the catacombs to discover what Lara Croft®: Tomb of the Sun™ has in store for a fanbase more loyal than any other.

Lara Croft: the world-famous adventurer we all love

The first Lara Croft video game appeared in the 1990s and became a cult classic. From the original action-adventure video games to the big screen and into arcade games, our titular hero has expanded into many different forms of media since her inception. It’s clear the franchise has a proven track record of popularity – so how is the character still so successful in the ultra-competitive world of slot games? 

Booth says it’s the protagonist we all love that sits central to the fandom. “When the first Tomb Raider video game was released in the 90s, there was a distinct lack of strong, powerful women portrayed in games – and other forms of entertainment for that matter.”

And he’s right. With the likes of Marvel, DC, Indiana Jones and even Super Mario, it’s usually men who have been the heroes saving the day while the women sat on the sidelines. 

That was until Croft swan dived onto our screens and changed the game forever. A far cry from the ‘damsel in distress’ story players have been used to for so long, Croft has grown to become one of the world’s most famous heroines, amassing lifetime game sales of over 95 million units since her arrival. 

“Then there was a cultural shift across entertainment and Lara Croft brought a freshness that was unlike any game character that came before her,” says Booth. “Her intelligence, athleticism and no-nonsense style resonated with players all around the world, and the Tomb Raider feature films in the early 2000s ensured that her legacy will be long-lasting.”

TOMB RAIDER: Building on from a smash hit

Triple Edge Studios was behind both Tomb Raider’s latest slots outing in 2019, as well as the upcoming release of Lara Croft®: Tomb of the Sun™, and Games Global is excited by what they have achieved. “The team have taken great heart in their ability to create the next instalment of this game without changing any of the classic elements,” Booth says.

The game is played on a five-reel, four-row grid matrix with 1,024 ways to win. When picking a bet, the options start at 20p or cents, rising to €100 per spin. Four Aztec-inspired carvings represent the lowest symbols (a compass and a map) with Lara representing the four highest (Lara with blades, with a pistol, a bow, and looking soulful). Hitting a five-of-a-kind win pays 0.8 to three times the bet for the non-Lara symbols or 3.5 to 10 times the bet for the Lara symbols. 

Wilds, or as they are called here, power wilds, help by replacing any regular pay symbol and land in three forms. Triple wilds become doubles, double wilds become singles, and singles are removed from the reels when used in a win.

“The first edition of the newest Lara Croft slots series, Lara Croft®: Temple and Tombs™, performed incredibly well, and maintained the themes of previous games and other pieces of content within the franchise that made it so popular,” Booth says, before explaining some of the reasoning behind the changes made in Lara Croft®: Tomb of the Sun™.

“Despite the great performance of Lara Croft®: Temple and Tombs™, with its stunning and traditional visuals, we realised that there was an opportunity to improve on the previous game. Providing more ways to win resonates with players and complements the gameplay.”

What’s new for Lara Croft fans?

On paper, much of the gameplay follows the success of the slot that preceded it. With a high-volatility level and hit rate of 32.57%, Lara Croft®: Tomb of the Sun™ thrives on a variety of return-to-player (RTP) models. The original Lara Croft®: Temple and Tombs™ contained 243 paylines whereas Lara Croft®: Tomb of the Sun™ has over four times as many, boasting 1,024 ways to win.

When players win, it triggers the Rolling Reels™ feature, removing winning symbols and single wilds from the reels, while dropping in symbols to promote consecutive wins. 

Offering a far more immersive environment for players, the new game sets the scene in a lush green jungle boasting intricate Aztec surroundings, waterfalls and ancient ruins – a mystical setting that is sure to appeal to previous players and new fans alike. As Booth says, “There’s no denying that the same player base will want to play this game and see how it compares to its predecessors, that natural curiosity will play a big part in the success of this release.

“We believe the game captures the classic gameplay and aesthetics of the Tomb Raider franchise. It features a variety of gameplay mechanics including the high-energy, tumbling block Rolling Reels™, the exciting and visceral power wilds mechanic that contributes to longer cascades and bigger wins, and the highly varied and visually impactful ‘artefact of the sun’ jackpot puzzle feature. The mechanics harmonise well, and the introduction of singular to triple wilds adds an appealing dimension.”

Together with a multiplier trail, Rolling Reels™, free spins and jackpots, the new edition takes everything its original players love, but goes one step further with the design and execution. 

However, with a slot game that had such success, Booth understands that sometimes the best things don’t need fiddling with too much. Instead, what’s called for is a little added excitement. “At the same time, we believe that engaging elements run throughout this title, meaning players who have little to no interest or affinity for the franchise will still enjoy it,” he explains. “With multipliers, free spins and a Rising Reward™ jackpot there is more than enough for keen gamers to get their teeth into.”

Game plan

With a portfolio of over 1,000 games spanning more than 50 studios, Games Global is one of the biggest forces in online gaming. Strategy and teamwork both play a huge part in its success and Booth says that while onboarding new partners is no simple feat, it is key to launching slots that can succeed in every jurisdiction. 

When it comes to the success of the Lara Croft slots games, Booth says that working closely with Triple Edge Studios and franchise owner Crystal Dynamics was paramount.

“There are a few things that we look for when we onboard new partners. We look for brands that are bold and make decisions backed by data and research. We love innovation and working on projects that will leave a positive mark on the industry. We want to work with creative and passionate people who share the same drive as we do in delivering cutting-edge content.”

With a mission to be “the one”, Games Global prides itself on being bold, remaining authentic and harnessing the power of togetherness. For Booth and his team, authenticity plays a huge part in this. “We are honest and transparent with one another, we want to remain true to ourselves, to our ethos and each other. If we all share the same vision, then we believe we can create a lasting legacy within the industry.”

“We realise there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach”

Once they collaborate with the right studios, the team at Games Global then have the ability to tap into their expertise. “With every studio and subsequently every game comes separate nuances, so the process really is game-dependent,” Booth explains. “The number of exclusive studios we collaborate with encapsulates our mission to have a diverse and innovative content offering. Having this array of content enables us to provide various themes and mechanics to keep the players engaged.

“We realise there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when creating content for operators and players across the world. Of course, some variables cross over but you can’t underestimate the importance of getting the processes behind every individual game correct. A game that appeals to players in Europe may not necessarily resonate with those in Latin America.”

Four years on from the success of the last game, the team at Games Global were keen to impress an already passionate fanbase and took care to listen to what its players really wanted. “There has been great anticipation for this release, especially after the strong performance of Lara Croft®: Temple and Tombs™. We’ve taken all feedback onboard after the release of a game, whether that be good, bad or indifferent. Lara Croft®: Tomb of the Sun™ will be measured the same way we measure any other titles that we release.”

Hitting the jackpot time and time again

Games Global’s jackpot offerings are rightly renowned and highly sought after in in the industry, with record-breaking numbers bringing players that heightened level of excitement. 

“We continue to pay out the largest jackpots in the industry with Mega Moolah paying out €6.7m earlier this year and WowPot! currently sitting at a potential record-breaking €29m,” Booth says. “We are constantly introducing new titles into our progressive jackpot network, which has seen huge success as the pots accumulate across numerous markets to offer huge prize potential.”

And with Lara Croft®: Tomb of the Sun™ the team continued to offer players jackpots bigger than ever before. A new feature in the game sees the jackpot value increase the longer you play and whenever the jackpot feature is triggered, one of five jackpots is awarded before resetting. Offering a range of mini, minor, major and mega jackpots, players can win up to 3,500 times their initial bet. 

What else can we look forward to?

Several titles are slated for release this year and one – Cat Clans 2: Mad Cats™, from Sweden-based Snowborn Games, is one that Games Global is particularly excited about. “The game is set to go live on Games Global’s platform on 25 July and has evolved from medieval castles and cat aristocrats to post-apocalyptic mayhem in the desert, making for a more interesting theme,” says Booth. 

With gameplay that offers something above and beyond anything else in the vertical, Booth is bullish about its prospects. “Players won’t be able to take a breath thanks to the high-octane action and big wins on offer,” he says.

The supplier is also enhancing its Gold Blitz™ series with more compelling content from its partners at Fortune Factory Studios. “Despite being a relatively new studio, Fortune Factory has accomplished great things and this will only continue as the Gold Blitz™ series becomes destined to become one of the most engaging in the market.”  

It’s clear that at Games Global there is no stopping the team developing slots for every audience. And with Lara Croft®: Tomb of the Sun™ hitting the scene at the end of this month, there’s only one question left to ask…

Are you ready to raid the latest tomb Games Global has to offer?

Andy Booth is Chief Product Officer for Games Global. He is a prominent leader in the iGaming industry and has consistently raised the benchmark with his drive for continuous performance improvement, a focus on data driven decisions and keen eye for strategic developments.

Leading on the overall game and product marketing strategy for the company, Andy strives to continuously inspire through his expertise and strategic direction. With over a decade of leadership in the iGaming industry and 20 years’ experience within the international finance sector, his dedication and passion for delivering the best games and entertainment experience for customers and players is captivating.

Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter