Update: It seems Rise of the Tomb Raider might be a timed-exclusive after all. In an interview with Eurogamer, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer admitted that Microsoft’s controversial deal “has a duration.”
Reporter Wesley Yin-Poole posed the question: “Is there a time limit on the exclusivity period?” To which the Head of Xbox replied: “Yes, the deal has a duration. I didn’t buy it. I don’t own the franchise.”
It still isn’t clear whether Spencer was referring to Rise of the Tomb Raider specifically, or the Tomb Raider franchise as a whole. We’ve reached out for further clarification and will update this article if we hear back.
Original: Rise of the Tomb Raider, the next entry in the long-running adventure franchise featuring Lara Croft, will be an Xbox exclusive next year.
The move was announced at Microsoft’s Gamescom press conference with a tentative release date of Holiday 2015. Darrell Gallagher, Head of Studios for Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics, explained the move on Tumblr:
“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: Definitive Edition is available on PS4.”
The reference to “Xbox,” rather than Xbox One, suggests the team may also be developing an Xbox 360 version. Many have wondered whether the deal is for timed exclusivity, however, which would mean the game could be released at a later date on other platforms, such as the PlayStation 4 and PC.
However, Dom Carey, a PR representative for Xbox, gave the following response to GamesTM magazine on Twitter:
@gamesTMmag nope, just exclusive
— Dom Carey (@DomCarey) August 12, 2014
Although it still isn’t clear, it would seem Rise of the Tomb Raider is a fully fledged exclusive for Xbox One. Sorry PC and PlayStation 4 fans.
Featured image credit: GLENN CHAPMAN/AFP/Getty Images