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RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER: Lara Croft Goes Xbox-exclusive

Well, Microsoft nabbed the first “WTF” announcement out of Gamescom. Next holiday, if you want to play Rise of the Tomb Raider, you’re going to have to play it on an Xbox, with the sequel going platform-exclusive. The use of the term “timed exclusive” has been completely omitted, leaving many to believe this is a straight-up Xbox One, according to the Gamescom presentation and a followup press release.

It’s a strange move for Square Enix given the challenges in getting the first Tomb Raider reboot out there. While the reviews were largely positive and sales solid, Square had projected crazy Madden-like numbers for a new game in a franchise that had kind of been pushed to the background for the last console generation.

While they might not have to pay quite so many development costs this time out (I’m assuming they’re reusing the Tomb Raider engine for Rise), it’s still a AAA release for a console that doesn’t quite have a huge install base yet. There is precedent, though: after Dead Rising went multiplatform with Dead Rising 2, Capcom went platform-exclusive with Dead Rising 3 for the Xbox One launch.

The Tomb Raider sequel just had its coming-out party during E3, but at that point, neither the Square Enix nor Microsoft camps were saying anything about exclusivity, so it looks like all of the “i’s” were getting dotted while the “t’s” were busy getting crossed in the last month and a half.

Oh, and it’s not clear if “Xbox-exclusive” extends to both the current and previous-gen consoles, but I’m sure we’ll hear more about it as the different SKUs start showing up at retailers.

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  1. This will do nothing more than cut their profits. They got big with the last game since they made money off both major consoles and PC. Now they will only get a fraction of the money. Simple as that. 

  2. Phil Spencer has since clarified that the exclusivity deal has a duration. It will be on other platforms as well.

  3. Nico says:

    To be fair, the game sold much better on Xbox then it did on ps3. And maybe they realize realising around the same time as Uncharted 4 means being lost in the shuffle for their poor Lara

  4. Orionsangel says:

    Xbox Fanboys are selfish and have no problem bowing to corporate greed as long as it serves their needs. There’s really no arguing with them. They’re getting what they want and enjoying the fact that they can rub it in he faces of nonXbox owners. They’re essentially corporate slaves.

  5. Danielle says:

    So bummed! I LOVED Tomb Raider and was eagerly awaiting the sequel but I have no intention of buying an Xbox One. I hope this is just a timed exclusive. 

  6. I thought the first one was great. I thought the first one was the best game available for Xbox One being tired of nothing but FPS. I am looking forward to this.

  7. Colin says:

    Ah that’s fantastic!  Good for Tomb Raider and Microsoft, first Titanfall and now this. 

  8. SayntMykl says:

    That is some serious b.s. Square Enix just lost half of their fanbase. Nice going.

    • PP says:

      I would say even more than that.

      Not only are the ps4 and PC a larger install base (separately, never mind combined), but when I think Squeenix, I don’t typically think ‘xbox user.’

      I mean, Halo/COD dudebros (generalizing why many have an xbox) are just lining up waiting for Kingdom Hearts 3 and FFXV, right?

      No, no they are not.

      I understand going from Nintendo to Sony.  I understand going from Sony to cross-platform.  I do not in any way understand going xbox exclusive, barring some deal that makes SE benefit more than Microsoft ever could.  

      That all said, somewhere in the back of my mind I hope they are tuning it for the xbox1 first (as a baseline), and then will go back (or continue, with said money and extra time) to tune and scale for a GOTY ps4/pc release.  IE, xbox 720p/30 generic version first…Prettier version on PS4 with higher rez textures for PC later (So, essentially slightly different games).   You know, kind of like Titanfall 1 -> Titanfall 2, where the first game them a baseline (which they will probably carry over to TF2 on xbox) where-as now they know they have time to focus the engine toward better hardware for the next version…only this would be the same game.