Microsoft Admits Xbox's Rise of the Tomb Raider Exclusive Won't Last Forever

Next year's Tomb Raider game isn't a full-on exclusive for Xbox One and Xbox 360.

When it was announced at Gamescom yesterday that Rise of the Tomb Raider would be exclusive to Xbox One and Xbox 360, some fans were angry and upset. But there was some question as to whether this was merely a timed exclusive, which would allow the game to come to other platforms (namely, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC) sometime following its release on Xbox One/360. After all, why wouldn't Microsoft come out and say the only place you'll ever play Rise of the Tomb Raider is on an Xbox if that's the case?

"Obviously the deal does have a duration. I didn't buy the IP in perpetuity." -- Phil Spencer

Now, thankfully for those worried they'll never get a chance to play the game without owning one of Microsoft's consoles, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has admitted to Eurogamer that this exclusivity won't last forever. Asked if there is a limited period of time covered by the deal between Microsoft and Square Enix, Spencer replied, "Yes, the deal has a duration. I didn't buy it. I don't own the franchise."

What he wouldn't say is how long the game will remain Xbox-only. "It's not because I'm trying to be a headfake on anybody," Spencer said. "It's a deal between us and the partner. People ask me how much did we pay. There are certain things I'm just not going to talk about because it's a business deal between us and then. Obviously the deal does have a duration. I didn't buy the IP in perpetuity."

Rise of the Tomb Raider concept art

Frustrating as it is, it's understandable that Spencer wouldn't be forthcoming with those details--that is what Microsoft (and Sony, in similar cases) has effectively paid to keep secret for now. At least we now have confirmation that this is a timed-exclusive deal. The original language around the announcement was worded in such a way as to prevent us from understanding what kind of deal Microsoft had actually struck.

A Microsoft press release sent out after the company's Gamescom press conference stated Rise of the Tomb Raider "will launch in holiday 2015, exclusively on Xbox." A message to fans from developer Crystal Dynamics said, "[W]e've just announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider, coming holiday 2015, is exclusively on Xbox." These lines left room for interpretation.

Spencer also said he understands fans' negative reaction to the news. "If I'm a PlayStation person all of a sudden I feel like, the franchise has gone," he said. "I didn't buy the IP. I didn't buy the studio. It's not mine. Where this thing will go over time, just like Dead Rising [3] or Ryse, we'll see what happens with the game. I don't own every iteration of Tomb Raider." Dead Rising 3 and Ryse, two Xbox One launch games, are each coming to PC later this year.

Does knowing that Rise of the Tomb Raider is only a timed exclusive change your feelings on this situation at all? Let us know in the comments.

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com
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Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider

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2115 comments
razor_rj
razor_rj

Yeah obviously, all exclusives are time gated, but consoles market die fast,and previously xbox exclusivity lasted 3-5 years, a game is pretty much dead by then

mokalid
mokalid

WTF is that?

Tomb Raider games began it Journey with PS and Pc. and even if not exklusive this games has always had the same release date for all platforms. for an old tomb raider fan you guys had fucked me in the ass now.

americanista458
americanista458

wow so then this game is coming out for the PS4 after they have said it was gonna be a xbot exclusive? well I'm not gonna buy this game new I'm just gonna buy it used and not give CD any  of my money that they could have gotten in the first place because I was excited for the next installment after the first reboot but now I'll either buy it used or not buy it at all.

rebfaction
rebfaction

Why did SE make this deal I don't know. They know the facts Tomb Raider 2013, and definitive edition 2013 reboot soled 69% on the PlayStation. Microsoft must have shaved a-lot of money in SE face for them to limit the majority of its fan base. I just don't get get it? CD is talking about the success of Tomb Raider 2013, but say nothing about PC, PlayStation playing a huge part of that success CD is talking about. The head of CD Darrell Gallagher made things worse by not saying anything about a timed excursive, just talked about huge Microsoft support and putting Tomb Raider on top. "This does not mean that we are walking away from are fans that only play on PlayStation or on PC" What is Gallagher doing here damage control?. This is supposed to make us feel better "we have Lara Croft and the temple Of Osiris coming to these platforms". You know what Gallagher I am not interested in Lara Croft and the temple Of Osiris, and I already own Tomb Raider 2013 definitive edition for the PS4 ( stupid me right for giving SE my money ).  What I do know and I believe why Microsoft made this deal and not that they don't have an action/adventure game or to compete with Uncharted 4, this deal is an attempt to deny access the majority of the franchise. The people willing to hand Money for their own personal reasons and not for the good of the franchise, and the greedy Developer more then willing to take it, and doesn't care gamers will be hurt by this. This is a timed exclusive but the damage is done. I am not buying Rise Of the Tomb Raider when it comes to PS4, I am not supporting CD SE anymore They are dead to me    

blazko64
blazko64

its going to come to pc and ps4 with all the dlc packed with it and better visuals so i am not worried about the wait.

Snapdragon1
Snapdragon1

It doesn't matter that the exclusive won't last forever the damage is done ! They have ruined the brand and killed the franchise ! By the time (if ) PS4 and PC owners ever gets this game ( Holiday 2016 ) No one will care and that will result in lower sales which will resulted in TR dying, so in essence Square Enix killed LARA and the Tomb Raider franchise for a big bag of money.

murph85
murph85

If Square wanted to save some money on development costs then why not just cut out the previous gen consoles(Xbox 360 and PS3)? Anyone that buys Rise Of The Tomb Raider for those systems is going to get a seriously inferior product compared to PS4, Xbox One and PC.

archav3n
archav3n

PC is the definitive version. No other platforms can look and play the best except on PC. It makes me sad i have to play an average version on a console box.

Darkhol0w
Darkhol0w

Thank God this is only timed. I will wait for it to come on PC no matter how long it may take.


If I can wait 1 year for Rockstar to start giving a sht and give us a PC version of GTA5 I can wait for this one as well.

justerthought
justerthought

Crystal Dynamics have tied themselves up in an NDA legal knot and put themselves into a morally indefensible position through greed and unforgivable betrayal. MS are now trying to save face because they realise they have crossed a moral line on this one with their 'pay to deny' strategy.

Tomb Raider should never be an exclusive because it has loyal fans across multiple platforms now. Lara Croft has become an icon and Tomb Raider is ingrained into popular culture. You cannot mess with that and play dirty tricks for financial gain.

emperor_lrrr
emperor_lrrr

A better tittle would of been "Microsoft Admits Xbox's Rise of the Tomb Raider Exclusive is confusing to understand to the dimwitted."

jimrhurst
jimrhurst

Thank goodness for that.  I was really cheesed off when I saw the exclusivity deal.  I'm a big fan of the "new" Tomb Raider and quite enjoyed it on PC, my native system.  I'm not buying an XBOX One just for this, but I'll totally wait.  I don't need to play it on release day or even release year.

medievil_one
medievil_one

here's the rub.. no one knows HOW long..it could be a 2, 3, 5 year deal. People assume a few months but from all the wording, I do not get that at all...he said he does not own EVERY iteration of TR. Doesn't mean he doesn't own a huge portion of THIS iteration...and the games he compares are ONLY coming out for PC a year later, not other consoles...

so no, doesn't change my feelings one iota

Transformer214
Transformer214

Thank god it's only a timed exclusive.  I am very against buying an xBox One mainly due to my principles dealing with their initial response to concerns brought up by military gamers.  I loved the 2013 Tomb Raider and have been eagerly awaiting the next one.  It sucks to have to wait even longer now but at least I won't have to buy an xBox to enjoy it.

ijackoffpaper1
ijackoffpaper1

Well, at least ps4 owners have uncharted 4, nice to see of course that this is not going to be a permanent exclusive, hopefully everyone likes this one as much as they liked the reboot Raider game.

Vodoo
Vodoo

The statement "launching exclusively on Xbox" left it open to interpretation? Seems pretty straight forward to me, unless you don't wanna believe what they're telling you. To say that statement isn't clear or leaves anything open to interpretation means you need to have your head examined.

bookworm452
bookworm452

Why they did this in the first place I have no idea, they must have have known what the outcome would be like! But if they have it for Xbox 360, they must be bringing it out for PS3, right? I don't have the money to buy an PS4! Not everyone does!! I'm not going to buy it for one game - even if it *is* Tomb Raider T_T - but they'd still be screwing people over if they didn't release it on PS3 because PS4 has only just come out. Wait a few years, then start releasing things on Xbox One and PS4 only...

Fingers crossed!

thatsmybeer
thatsmybeer

Phil Spenser- "I didn't buy it. I don't own the IP"......Yea, I wouldn't have told anybody that. I would have let people sweat a little.

eat_game_poop
eat_game_poop

Well at least I now know I will be able to play Rise of the Tomb Raider in the future. I have no idea when that may be, but at least I won't have to consider investing in another console.

BlackLense
BlackLense

Moral of the story, dont believe 3rd party Exclusive games for Microsoft.

RussellMartin
RussellMartin

Well good! Cause I have PS and I want to plus it.

gamefreak215jd
gamefreak215jd

It was quite obvious.But still I don't get the idea behind timed exclusives.

bruta
bruta

theyre gonna announce it for PC like 1-2 months after xone release, no biggie considering how many games are coming strong from october

Abdulrahman1981
Abdulrahman1981

Is this game coming to Xbox 360 and PS3 or just Xone and PS4?

ArchoNils2
ArchoNils2

Well, it was a marketing scam to act as if the game is exclusive by clever wording which just shakens my picture of Microsoft. if they have to rely on such tricks, what does that say about the company?

duerrs
duerrs

this is complete bs.  i own all the consoles but i'm going to wait till it comes out for ps4 to play it.

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

The writer for TR got harassed and assaulted by angry Sony fanboys after the exclusivity announcement. Some fanatic fanboys have no shame. 

ProtossX
ProtossX

@rebfaction if it doesn't come to playstation you cannot even buy it used...its timed FOR a PC release


i hope you have a good gaming pc and digital download cuz u won't be seeing this game on a ps3/ps4 disk to buy used

Snapdragon1
Snapdragon1

@Darkhol0w I understand that you want to play it but please buy it on Steam or Torrent. Lets NOT give SE a penny of our money or reward them for this betrayal !!!  Please all PS4 owners if we ever get a chance to play this Please buy it USED !!! Give NO money to SE !!!!

justerthought
justerthought

@emperor_lrrr 

I fully understand the words used and the words "timed exclusive" or "limited duration" were not present. Only a dimwit reads words into a statement that are not present without any justification for doing so.

justerthought
justerthought

@medievil_one 

It will be 1 year duration, possibly 2 year at most, but the fact remains it should not be exclusive at all. This is greedy corruption on a massive scale. The guys at Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics who made the deal should be sacked. They have stained the Tomb Raider brand with unforgivable betrayal and self centred greed.

deathkight
deathkight

@medievil_one It just means that they PS4 and PC users will have less bugs to contend with. I most likely get it for both the Xbox One and the PC version when it gets out if its good enough.

deathkight
deathkight

@bookworm452 Microsoft paid money, Sony does the same thing, just wait. By waiting means you may get a better deal than those buy at launch. I most of the time wait for a good deal and it about 99.9% of the time pays out big time with deals that I get through Steam.

deathkight
deathkight

@ArchoNils2 It is a business maneuver, It guarantees that those who want it bad enough will buy an Xbox to play it. Those who rush will have to deal with any of the bugs that there are, I got the Xbox One and I will still wait, let everyone find all the hidden collectables and get a better deal when a GOTY version comes out with the DLC included for less.

sonofdark18
sonofdark18

If this game was announced as a playstation exclusive. NOBODY would be complaining and if xbox players complained, the PS players would laugh and tell them to go play crappy robot first person shooters.

Jdzspace
Jdzspace

@bunchanumbers - yes, because even though Microsoft gamers encompasses the smallest group of gamers compared to Sony, Nintendo and PC. but it was an angry Sony fan that complained, and nobody else. 


you do realize that Tomb Raider was basically started on PC 20 years ago right? It's not a Sony issue, it's a Gamer issue. 


and nobody wants to be forced into buying an inferior console just to play a game they played on their console of choice less than 6 months ago

Deadlysyns87
Deadlysyns87

@bunchanumbers Wrong Crystal Dynamics enraged Tomb Raider fans by limiting their release and got what they deserved. An angry fan base has to show its angry or developers will do whatever they want.

rebfaction
rebfaction

@sodapoppimpski Are you angry little boy? what I said piss you off? I don't care. 

Threesixtyci
Threesixtyci

@justerthought 

It'll likely only be a few months. By the sounds of it, Microsoft is only planning on a creating a Tomb Raider XB1 bundle for the Christmas Holidays of 2015. Gonna be a 1 and a half+ year wait regardless.

Raphy_Turtle
Raphy_Turtle

@justerthought Square Enix, or any other company for that matter, would never agree to temporary exclusivity for more than a year. No other game has done that and it would make no financial sense to SE. They know the bigger market cap is PS4/PS3 and PC. Exclusivity for more than a year would just forever alienate other buyers. Really think a PS4 owner would jump at a copy of Tomb Raider 2-3 years later? It's likely between 3-6 months to a year. Microsoft wouldn't bother paying enough for Tomb Raider to skip on a huge market share, and if you were to talk about more than a year of exclusive, you'd skip right to talks about selling the franchise.

eat_game_poop
eat_game_poop

@Jdzspace Its best to ignore bunchanumbers, he just makes ignorant comments like these all the time, always bringing up/attacking Sony for no good reason because he himself is a "fanatic fanboy."

deathkight
deathkight

@Deadlysyns87 @bunchanumbers They acted like children who got told that they couldn't have a toy they saw on the shelf. It may anger them, but they need to show restraint and act in a professional manner to get taken seriously. If I was the developer and I saw that people complained that I chose to release a game I built on only one console that people were looking forward to, I would ignore them and consider them to be spoiled brats who have not control over their tempers. It is better to use reason, logic and a cool head to convince that it was the wrong decision to make instead of whining like a 3 year old.

FELIXjk007
FELIXjk007

@rebfaction you cdall HIM 'little boy'?  LMAO    you're the one crying and throwing your dolly out of the pram because your misguided devotion to a  faceless company and its plastic toy has you wound up because a 'videogame' is going to be published for a rival platform.   Hypocritical delusional PlayStation  fantard.      join the queue for your anxiety medication at the 'happy hatch' along with the rest of hypocrites 


#ForThePayers

sodapoppimpski
sodapoppimpski

You just sound like a baby. You realize Microsoft financed this and is publishing it? This will only help the franchise get the money and time it needs to flourish as a series. Sorry about you being a poor fan boy who can't afford a x1 which means you will never be able to play tomb raider :( :(:(

rebfaction
rebfaction

@sodapoppimpski You know nothing. Uncharted 4 is looking good. Tomb Raider Always  sold more on the PlayStation, so the franchise get the money and flourish as a series mostly on the PlayStation/PC. The first Tomb Raider back in 1969 on the PlayStation/PC, no Xbox. Tomb Raider Legend Was the first Tomb Raider out on the Xbox in 2007. So Tomb Raider the PlayStation and PC and it's fanbase helped make it happen. without fanbase support their would probably be no Tomb Raider.