Rise of the Tomb Raider is one of the most highly anticipated games of the year. After Tomb Raider (2013)‘s fantastic (but flawed) reboot of Lara Croft’s epic, globetrotting adventures, fans were ecstatic when it was announced that a sequel would be released in 2015.
But right after that initial excitement came a huge announcement that upset many fans, and even caused some irate players to threaten to boycott the game; Rise of the Tomb Raider would be an Xbox exclusive. Publisher Square Enix and developer Crystal Dynamics did explain that it was only a timed exclusive on Xbox 360 and Xbox One (meaning that it would eventually be out on PC and PS4 at a later date) but some fans were still unhappy.
Last week, however, Square Enix revealed that Rise of the Tomb Raider will be released on PC and PS4 in 2016. And following that release date announcement, Square Enix Americas CEO Phil Rogers, has revealed that the company knew that Rise of the Tomb Raider‘s Xbox exclusivity would disappoint fans.
Rise of the Tomb Raider‘s ‘Disappointing’ Xbox Exclusivity
In an interview with Examiner, Rogers explained that:
“I hope fans know that it wasn’t an easy decision. I think any sort of partnership at this level is a decision that took a long time for us to get to. The decision at a studio level, we took very, very seriously. We knew it would, in the short-term, disappoint fans.”
And although there have been rumours that Microsoft paid Square Enix around $10 million for Rise of the Tomb Raider‘s Xbox exclusivity (Microsoft is also publishing the game on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, which should have a financial impact), Rogers revealed that the partnership is just down to Microsoft’s “passion” for the series:
“Having been working with us on previous games in a lesser sense, they’ve been supportive. For Rise of the Tomb Raider, they’ve just brought this passion and belief that has really enabled us to blow people away. People should feel that about Microsoft. Their commitment to Tomb Raider is just amazing for us.”
While Rogers is perhaps correct in saying that gamers’ disappointment may only be short-term, that could turn into full on fury if Rise of the Tomb Raider is unable to deliver on its promises. One key argument in favour of the Microsoft deal is that the company’s support will somehow help Rise of the Tomb Raider become the best game possible, so if that doesn’t happen, it’s quite likely that Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics will face further backlash.
Rise of the Tomb Raider will be released on November 10, 2015 on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The game will be released on PC in early 2016 and on PS4 in holiday 2016.