Rise of the Tomb Raider Unveiled as an Xbox One Exclusive
Say it isn't so! During Microsoft's Gamescom Conference, the company dropped the bombshell that Rise of the Tomb Raider, coming Holiday 2015, is an Xbox One exclusive. Yes, Tomb Raider, a franchise that got its start on PC and the original PlayStation; a franchise that, when Crystal Dynamics took over development duties in 2006, was multi-platform (some games even appearing on Nintendo consoles); a franchise that was rebooted last year on PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 along with ports to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Yet somehow, this long-standing, third-party franchise that has always been multi-platform is now an exclusive to a single console? In a blog post to the "Tomb Raider Community", Darrell Gallagher, Crystal Dynamics Head of Studios, confirmed the news:
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.
So one has to wonder how much Microsoft paid for this exclusivity. Publisher Square Enix was initially disappointed with the sales performance of the 2013 Tomb Raider before it finally became profitable after almost ten months. Then in March of this year, a year after release, Crystal Dynamics reported that the Tomb Raider reboot was on course to become the best-selling game in the history of the franchise, surpassing six million units sold. What's Square Enix going to think when sales of the sequel are undoubtedly far less? Very odd decision indeed.
Unsurprisingly, this announcement is not sitting well with fans. Gallagher acts like having Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris on PC and PlayStation 4 shows that the studio isn't walking away from those consoles; but as fun as that game looks, it shares nothing with the Tomb Raider games other than a protagonist. And now the question is, will this Tomb Raider exclusivity announcement actually affect sales of the Lara Croft game? Why should angered PC and PS4 fans give Square Enix their money? Odds are that Rise of the Tomb Raider is merely a timed exclusive, but that's never actually stated; nor would that appease irate fans even if it was. I'd tell Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics, and Microsoft to prepare for the shitstorm that's about to ensue...but it's already begun.
Source: Press Release and Tomb Raider Blog