Crystal Dynamics studio head Darrell Gallagher announced prior to Gamescom that Rise of the Tomb Raider, the sequel to 2013’s Tomb Raider series reboot, will be coming exclusively to the Xbox One console when it releases Holiday 2015. The announcement comes months after Rise of the Tomb Raider’s E3 2014 reveal where it was presumed to be a multi-console game like it’s predecessor.
UPDATE (08/13/2014): Xbox head Phil Spencer has confirmed to Eurogamer that the exclusivity is a timed release, but no timetable for it’s release on other consoles was given.
Coinciding with the announcement Crystal Dynamics released a statement on their Tumblr addressing the Tomb Raider community, including the fans they are surely going to alienate with the move the Xbox One exclusivity:
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.
Darrell Gallagher Crystal Dynamics Head of Studios
It is a pretty standard PR way of saying “Microsoft gave us a boatload of money”, but Crystal Dynamics are careful to point out that the upcoming Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is still coming to PS4 and PC, so the Lara Croft franchise is not completely abandoning other consoles.
On the surface, this is a giant win for Microsoft. The Xbox One desperately needs some kind of big upcoming exclusive outside of Halo and the niche-at-best Sunset Overdrive, and having Tomb Raider directly competes with PlayStation’s own Uncharted franchise. What it will do to Rise of the Tomb Raider sales (hint: probably nothing good) and that of the PS4 is yet to be seen and there have been no signs of the game ever coming to other consoles.
What do you think? Are you a PS4 or PC owner and feel like you’re shafted by the lack of Rise of the Tomb Raider? Will it make you buy an Xbox One or will you just not bother playing the newest game in the series?