Microsoft’s Gamescom 2014 conference this week was memorable for all the wrong reasons – mainly due to the bomb it dropped regarding the new Tomb Raider title.
Rise of the Tomb Raider, scheduled to be released in 2015, is going to be an Xbox One and Xbox 360 exclusive.
According to initial reports, it was noted that this is going to be a genuine, non-timed exclusive.
Naturally, PC and PS4 gamers around the world are not too happy about it (actually, furious may be a better term), and rightly so.
Before we get into why making Tomb Raider an exclusive is a terrible idea, let’s take a look at what PlayStation and PC gamers will be missing out on.
Why do this, why?
As taken from the Tomb Raider blog, here is the reasoning behind the Microsoft deal.
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
Does not sound very convincing to me – keen readers will note that there’s no real explanation provided, just some rhetoric about the game’s “vision”, but I digress.
As one of our forum members put it, it feels like a slap in the face for the PC and PlayStation gamers who played and supported Tomb Raider all these years.
According to Sony president Kaz Hirai’s parody account on Twitter, the team behind Tomb Raider had a different motive.
PC and PS4 – united we are strong
Sony announced at Gamescom that the company has sold 10 million PS4s since the console was launched. Combine this with the PC gaming market which is valued at over $21.5 billion (±R231 billion), and Sqaure Enix and Crystal Dynamics are forsaking millions of gamers, and associated sales.
Heck, I am sure there will even be a few PS3 owners around in 2015 who will want a copy.
Surely they cannot give up the millions of sales they stand to lose through this deal? If they did, I would like to see how that investor meeting would go down.
Studio/Publisher guy: “Hey guys, we are going to make this cool new Tomb Raider game but not sell it to two-thirds of the gaming market.”
Investor guy: “Bob, you’re fired, clean out your locker at the country club. Also, you are a dumbass.”
I mean, let’s forget for a second the silliness of people boycotting a game they technically can’t buy anyway, and that internet petitions mostly do nothing – this could be a sign that PC and console gamers can actually get along. Sort of.
Relax, take it easy
According to Eurogamer, though, we don’t have to stay angry for too long.
Speaking to Xbox boss Phil Spencer, the publication learned that Microsoft’s exclusivity deal for Rise of the Tomb Raider “has a duration”.
He declined to comment on how long that duration is. The game is scheduled for a “Holiday 2015” release, which means we will be likely to get it super late next year, or in 2016 with the Rise of Tomb Raider: Super Definitive Extra Ultra Complete Edition.
Having to wait over a year for a new Tomb Raider, and then this nonsense “exclusivity period”, though, really grinds my gears and I am not in a smiling mood right now.
What platforms Rise of The Tomb Raider will come to after its phase with Microsoft comes to an end is unclear at this stage, although PC is almost a given. I don’t see Square Enix giving up PS4 sales, either.
What do you think – how long until we see the new Tomb Raider on PC and PlayStation? Let us know in the comments and forum.