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[ January 12th 2009 ]

London-based publisher Eidos plc has confirmed 30 employees - including creative director Eric Lindstrom - were dismissed on Friday amid disappointing sales of Tomb Raider Underworld and fresh speculation on the future of the company.

In a statement released by Eidos: "We have increased the focus on the Tomb Raider franchise at Crystal Dynamics, regrettably this has resulted in the reduction in headcount."

Speaking on the future direction of Tomb Raider, chief financial officer Robert Brent told The Times that another rejuvenation of the Lara Croft brand was looking likely. "We need to look at everything, as we develop the next game. Look at how Batman changed successfully, from the rather sad character of the Michael Keaton era to the noir style of The Dark Knight."

Eidos downgraded forecast projections on Friday blaming a precarious North America economy which has seen retailers restricting inventory levels and triple-A products being price discounted above expectation. At close of trade on Friday, shares were down 30% to 13.00.

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