It’s no secret that when Microsoft announced Rise of the Tomb Raider‘s timed Xbox exclusivity, the gaming world was floored. It was easily the biggest news of Gamescom 2014 (sorry Capy and Housemarque), spawning a great deal of industry backlash and fan uproar. The fan controversy grew to such epic proportions that the sheer brilliance of Microsoft’s move seemed to be lost amongst all the Square Enix lambasting. One of the individuals most affected by the announcement, Sony Computer Entertainment President Shuhei Yoshida, has finally offered his perspective in an interview with Eurogamer:
What did you think [about Microsoft's Press Conference]?
Shuhei Yoshida: I was like, ah yeah, they’re going deeper into the games already announced, you know, same kind of lineup, until they talked about Tomb Raider being exclusive. It’s very interesting the way Phil Spencer said, what we are saying is, in holiday 2015 Tomb Raider is exclusive to Xbox. So it’s open to interpretation. But still, we didn’t anticipate something like this would happen.
You didn’t know that would be announced?
Shuhei Yoshida: How could we know?
After revealing that the announcement of Rise of the Tomb Raider‘s timed Xbox exclusivity was news to him as well (perhaps indicating that competition between Microsoft and Sony is alive and well), Yoshida seemed to suggest that he is unsure of Crystal Dynamics’ upcoming title’s future on PS4:
Do you think [Rise of the Tomb Raider] will eventually come out on PS4?
Shuhei Yoshida: That question has to be asked to Square Enix and Microsoft. I hope the game will come out eventually on PS4. But how can I tell? Other than that cryptic message by Phil Spencer.
There was a feeling that major third-party exclusives were dying out, because third party publishers, we thought, couldn’t afford not to release their games on all platforms.
Shuhei Yoshida: Right, other than DLC or beta or some other bundle. These days even marketing has exclusivity. If you’re a marketing person at Square Enix and projecting your sales for the game, if it doesn’t come out on PS4, it must be lots of units that have to be covered by some means.
It’s safe to say this isn’t the last we’ve heard about Rise of the Tomb Raider, as the next fifteen or so months should provide some interesting insight into the future of third-party console exclusives.