The biggest news out of Gamescom 2014 has no doubt been the shocking announcement that Rise of the Tomb Raider, the sequel to the hugely popular 2013 Tomb Raider reboot from developer Crystal Dynamics, would be an Xbox One exclusive release. This was totally unexpected, and Sony fans excited for the game even started petitions to change the arrangement, that’s how angered the masses were.
But never fear, word has now come from Xbox head Phil Spencer that the game will not be an Xbox exclusive after all…though there’s still some question as to what exactly that means, and how long you’ll have to wait to see it on another platform. Continue below to see what he had to say.
Speaking to Eurogamer, Spencer said:
“When people want me to say, can you tell us when or if it’s coming to other platforms, it’s not my job. My job is not to talk about games I don’t own. I have a certain relationship on this version of Tomb Raider, which we announced, and I feel really good about our long term relationship with Crystal and Square.
I get the reaction I see. If I’m a PlayStation person all of a sudden I feel like, the franchise has gone. 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.
I don’t own them building Tomb Raider on other platforms. I can’t talk about the franchise that way. I can talk about the deal I have.
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 went on to elaborate that there is an exclusivity deal and that deal does have a duration, that he didn’t purchase the property in perpetuity, but that he cannot disclose the length of the exclusivity deal or how much was paid because it’s a business arrangement between the two companies and that’s not something he would talk about.
It will be very interesting to see this play out. While it looks a lot better that Rise of the Tomb Raider will be released on all platforms eventually, Spencer was still pretty cryptic in his response and all of the dirty details of Microsoft’s arrangement with publisher Square Enix are still unknown. When he mentions Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome, those games were Xbox One exclusives, but will eventually be released on PC as well. Those games were launch titles in November of 2013, so you can see why there’s still plenty up in the air for Tomb Raider.
Another thing worth mention is the fact that Spencer says the Tomb Raider sequel will be released on Xbox 360 as well as Xbox One. Releasing on both consoles right now makes sense because many haven’t upgraded yet, and you want to get the game in as many hands as possible. On the negative side of that, the developer is restricted in making the game because it also has to run on the older hardware. When this game is released during the 2015 holiday season, the new consoles will have been on the market for two full years, and one would hope that by that time we’d be getting games made to the full potential of the new systems and without the restrictions of last-gen compatibility.
Tomb Raider was so impressive it already felt almost like an early next-gen game on the previous consoles, and the Definitive Edition made it even more incredible looking, but it’s hard to not be a little skeptical knowing the next game will be made for both. Let’s hope it doesn’t hold the final product back from being as big as it could and should be.