Head Microsoft’s Xbox Phil Spencer stated in an interview with Eurogamer that Square Enix’s deal with Microsoft concerning Rise of the Tomb Raider is only going last for a “duration” of time. Spencer stated this in the interview;
I have Tomb Raider shipping next holiday exclusively on Xbox. It is Xbox 360 and Xbox One. I’m not trying to fake anybody out in terms of where this thing is. What they do with the franchise in the long run is not mine. I don’t control it. So all I can talk about is the deal I have. I don’t know where else Tomb Raider goes.
He later stated more clearly that this is a timed deal by saying “Obviously the deal does have a duration. I didn’t buy the IP in perpetuity.”
This is good news for fans of the series like myself. What I said previously in the original article still stands, and this isn’t a perfect situation, but it is much better than a permanent exclusive. There are still going to be fans that can’t play the game when it comes out and I think that sales-wise this is still and awful decision considering the Xbox One is being outsold by the PS4 and the PC community is also large. Newer fans will no doubt lose interest in the series considering they most likely wont be able to play it when it initially releases, which is the worst part of this whole situation in my opinion.
Very few, if any, people are going to buy and Xbox One for this game. It’s not a big enough series, this isn’t Call of Duty or Fallout, this is a series which only recently made waves in the gaming community and sadly the waves just weren’t big enough to make it so interesting that people will buy a console for it. I hate that games which were previously on all or multiple platforms release sequels that are timed or permanent exclusives to one platform. It’s so exclusive to the community and honestly it’s a low blow to fans. I’ve already seen folks stating that they are so upset that they still wont buy it even if it releases to other platforms later on.
As a side not, it looks like Rise of the Tomb Raider will also be coming to last gen consoles since Spencer stated that the game will be released on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, so that’s interesting. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for any more news on this situation and this game in general, so stay tuned!
Crystal Dynamics’ head of studio Darrell Gallagher made a statement in regards to the announcement which you can find here, or below.
Dear Tomb Raider Community,
As you may have seen, we’ve just announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider, coming Holiday 2015, is exclusively on Xbox. We consider all of you to be the lifeblood of Tomb Raider and the work we do at Crystal. I’d like to give you some insight into this decision, and why we feel this is the very best thing for the Tomb Raider sequel we’re creating at the studio.
Tomb Raider in 2013 was a success due in large part to your continued support. Our goal has always been to deliver something truly special with Rise of the Tomb Raider. Today’s announcement with Microsoft is one step to help us put Tomb Raider on top of action adventure gaming. Our friends at Microsoft have always seen huge potential in Tomb Raider and have believed in our vision since our first unveil with them on their stage at E3 2011. We know they will get behind this game more than any support we have had from them in the past – we believe this will be a step to really forging the Tomb Raider brand as one of the biggest in gaming, with the help, belief and backing of a major partner like Microsoft.
This doesn’t mean that we’re walking away from our fans who only play on PlayStation or on PC. Those are great systems, with great partners, and amazing communities. We have Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris coming to those platforms this December, and Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition is available on PS4.
We know that there are probably many more questions and concerns. Please do send them to us, and we’ll answer to the best of our ability. Meanwhile we’re going all out to try and make something truly special – the most ambitious Tomb Raider game ever built.
Crystal Dynamics Head of Studios
There is no mention of timed exclusivity, a PC version or a later release on any other platforms which indicates that this is a solid deal for the time being. Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris will still be a multiplatform game, but Rise of the Tomb Raider – the sequel to the hit 2013 revision of Tomb Raider – will only be available on the Xbox One.
For me, this is awful news. It’s not that I hate the Xbox One or that I’m being selfish and wanted it to be exclusive on the PlayStation 4, I just dislike that it’s exclusive to any platform. A big part of Tomb Raider’s (2013) success was that it was multiplatform and everyone who wanted to play it had the opportunity. Now fans either have to go buy and Xbox One, if they didn’t already have one, or not play the game. This limits a lot of people and will make the community smaller. Tomb Raider was a series that a lot of people didn’t care about before the most recent Tomb Raider game was released. That game opened a lot of people’s eyes to the series and created a lot of new fans. I fear this announcement will segregate the series again which is outrageously disappointing.
I was personally planning on buying the game on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC so it was never a matter of only wanting it on one platform for me. As it stands, I am extremely disappointed as a huge fan that Rise of the Tomb Raider is to be an exclusive to the Xbox One platform. I suppose it all makes sense now that the E3 trailer was shown at the Microsoft press conference.
Check out the E3 2014 trailer for Rise of the Tomb Raider and be sure to leave any thoughts you may have on this announcement in the comment section below.