Bugs may delay ‘Tomb’ again

Game was supposed to ship more than a year ago

The much-delayed latest installment to Eidos’ hugely popular “Tomb Raider” vidgame franchise could get pushed back again, possibly past Eidos’ fiscal year-end June 30, keeping the blockbuster’s revenues from being included in the struggling publisher’s earnings for the quarter.

Eidos execs said at a London conference that the company is still chasing down last-minute bugs in “Lara Croft: The Angel of Darkness,” which may cause it to miss this week’s planned ship date by a couple of weeks. The title originally was supposed to ship more than a year ago, but repeated holdups have sparked much industry speculation about production problems.

The “Tomb Raider” franchise has been one of the most successful in game history, shipping more than 28 million units and spawning Paramount’s “Tomb Raider” films. When the latest game is finally ready, Eidos execs said they plan to ship 1.5 million to 2.5 million copies, which would generate a retail “box office” of $75 million to $125 million if all sold. The second movie, “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life,” debuts July 25.