[Update] It looks like there’s a time limit on the exclusivity of Rise of the Tomb Raider after all, as Phil Spencer told Eurogamer in an interview, “I didn’t buy the IP. I didn’t buy the studio. It’s not mine. Where this thing will go over time, just like Dead Rising or Ryse, we’ll see what happens with the game. I don’t own every iteration of Tomb Raider.”
He declined to specify what the time limit is on the deal, but he mentioned that his focus was on nailing down the exclusive for the holiday 2015 release window. There are still a lot of unknowns, especially considering that Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome, which he mentioned, are no longer Xbox One exclusives, but they’ve only made the jump to PC so far.
[Original Post] Microsoft is doing everything it can to regain the momentum that put the Xbox 360 in the lead last generation (albeit just barely) and announced today that Rise of the Tomb Raider will be coming exclusively to Xbox One. We’ll have to wait until the game’s holiday 2015 release window to see if it works, but Microsoft just may have a system-seller on its hands.
As it appears now, the game won’t just release earlier on Xbox One, but it looks to be a full exclusive. It’s hard to say without knowing the details of the deal whether that will remain the case forever, but it’s probably safe to assume that in the Venn diagram of early PS4 adopters and Tomb Raider fans, the middle section is “people who are pissed off.”
So why the exclusive deal? Like all things, the short version is that it probably comes down to money, which Microsoft is likely paying a lot of to Crystal Dynamics. They may sell fewer copies if the game is only on one system, but they must believe they can make a bigger profit with Microsoft’s financial backing.
For the long version, here’s Crystal Dynamics’ Tumblr post explaining the exclusivity:
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
So there you have it. Hey, you can always hope that Xbox One exclusive means “will also come to PC.” Meanwhile, PC gamers can be heard cackling over our console-exclusive pain.
- Take a look at the Rise of the Tomb Raider trailer
- Or look at some awesome Tomb Raider cosplay
- Writer Gail Simone talks about Lara’s adventures in the Tomb Raider comics