One of the gaming world’s first leading ladies, Lara Croft has entered her silver year. The main protagonist of the video game franchise Tomb Raider, Lara carved a glorious path through 90s gaming – making the jump from niche character to pop culture icon. Originally developed by Core Design and published by Eidos, the original games released in the 1990s follow the adventures of Croft, an English archaeologist who explores hazardous ruins around the world. For two decades, the games have sold over 85 million copies worldwide.

“She was iconic from the jump because we hadn’t seen a lot of female heroes in video games,” says Dallas Dickinson, Crystal Dynamics’ franchise executive producer for Tomb Raider. The original movies – starring Angelina Jolie – introduced Croft to the larger masses. But Dallas thinks it’s the series’ latter initiative to create an “origin” story for the character that has made her so much more accessible to many people. The franchise’s latest three games – Tomb Raider, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, released in 2013, 2015, and 2018 respectively – explore the adventures of a younger, less experienced Lara.

What’s next for Tomb Raider? According to Dallas, Crystal Dynamics has not yet talked about any details of what the next games might contain. The important thing for the video game developer is to preserve Lara Croft’s pioneering legacy.