Gamescom 2014: Xbox Head Confirms Rise of the Tomb Raider Is Only A Timed-Exclusive

A lot of anger and hate was thrown around yesterday by the PlayStation and PC communities over Rise of the Tomb Raider, the second entry in Crystal Dynamics’ rebooted Tomb Raider franchise.  Microsoft, Square Enix, and Crystal Dynamics announced that it would be coming exclusively to Xbox Holiday 2015.  The wording of the announcement was confusing, and people were not happy that a multi-platform franchise had suddenly gone exclusive.  Thankfully, we have Xbox Head Phil Spencer to explain everything.

Speaking with Eurogamer, Spencer confirmed that Square Enix still owns the IP and can bring it to other platforms.  So yes, Rise of the Tomb Raider is a timed-exclusive for Holiday 2015, but Spencer wouldn’t divulge how long it would be exclusive.

“I get the reaction I see. If I’m a PlayStation person all of a sudden I feel like, the franchise has gone. 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 or Ryse, we’ll see what happens with the game. I don’t own every iteration of Tomb Raider.

“I don’t own them building Tomb Raider on other platforms. I can’t talk about the franchise that way. I can talk about the deal I have.”

Eurogamer tried to push him further about details of the deal between Microsoft and Square Enix, but Spencer wouldn’t have it.

“I have Tomb Raider shipping next holiday exclusively on Xbox. It is Xbox 360 and Xbox One. I’m not trying to fake anybody out in terms of where this thing is. What they do with the franchise in the long run is not mine. I don’t control it. So all I can talk about is the deal I have. I don’t know where else Tomb Raider goes.”

So, what are the takeaways from this?  Rise of the Tomb Raider will eventually make its way to PS4 and PC.  We’ve also learned that Rise of the Tomb Raider is a cross-gen game and is being developed for Xbox 360, which also means that a PS3 version is most likely in the works.  What we don’t know is how long the exclusivity deal will last, but we’re sure we’ll find out soon enough.