It was quite a shocking time for gamers last night. During Microsoft’s presentation at Gamescom, it was announced that Tomb Raider: Rise of the tomb Raider would be an exclusive to Xbox One. This was a huge shock to gamers and I am sure many people jaw have not returned from the floor. Tomb Raider has an incredibly huge fan base on PlayStation and PC.
But we have just been told, after much pestering and angry rants that Xbox boss Phil Spencer has just announced to Eurogamer that Tomb Raider “has a duration” for its exclusivity. However, he did decline to confirm how long that duration is set for.
A lot of controversy has been going on over the last 24 hours and people are not happy. Mainly due to the fact that tomb Raider is becoming exclusive to one console and that the console becoming exclusive is the weaker in sales by a third! Sony is outselling Microsoft 3:1 at the moment. Tomb Raider first released on PC & PS1 back in 1996 and ever since it’s been on pretty much every console, including handheld exclusives.
It makes very little sense as Tomb Raider has no ties to becoming exclusive to a console and therefore limiting profits. Unless one major factor is introduced….money! Yes Microsoft are notorious for throwing huge bundles of cash at publishers and developers, just as Sony has done and will continue to do, but Microsoft always believes that the more cash you throw at them, the more you will get back.
Microsoft did the same with Titanfall when the Xbox One was first announced. But they’re a few differences between tomb Raider and Titanfall. There was news that Titanfall was supposed to be a timed exclusive of about 6 months, but Microsoft saw the hype building over the game and quickly threw more cash at EA and made it a permanent title for Microsoft. Titanfall was also available for PC, which mean the sales would increase exponentially and EA were convinced of Microsoft’s success. Although Respawn Entertainment did air is disappointment that it did not come to the PlayStation platform and that EA had already taken the deal with Microsoft.
Tomb Raider on the other hand, is only going to be exclusive for Xbox 360 and Xbox One, which means this is not a Microsoft exclusive, but and Xbox exclusive, so a lot of sales missing there for PC. Next is the fact that Sony are selling PS4’s to Xbox One’s 3:1 and PS3 & Xbox 360 sales are around even, which means if you look at the potential sales missed by last-gen and current-gen; a 50% potential sales decrease of last-gen and a 75% potential loss for current-gen. Also, Square Enix did make profit with the last Tomb Raider, selling over 6 million units, but were not happy with total sale figures, even though they still made a profit. Square Enix would not reduce their sales figures detrimentally to “keep Microsoft happy”. Which mean money must have come into play?
So what made it become more suspicious that Tomb Raider was a timed exclusive? Well, Phil Spencer specifically said “exclusive Holiday 2015” and would not use any other terminology or phrasing to describe the exclusive and every other representative would do exactly the same.
Also Darrell Gallagher, Crystal Dynamics Head of Studios released the following statement which has so much PR nonsense in it, I am shocked they has the ball to publish it.
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
Now, don’t get me wrong, a round of applause Microsoft because of the timed exclusivity….IF it is not too long e.g. 3 to 6 months. I think it may push a few more units if they you would have done a bundle like that of the Call of Duty/Sunset Overdrive (may come in the future) or if they really make sure that they are tight lipped about timed exclusive date it will sell quite well.
If this would have been a and many people still believe it is, then it could be just another headache for Square Enix and Microsoft with fan boys going wild.