Square Enix is the owner of developer Crystal Dynamics, and the Tomb Raider IP. However, they will not be publishing Rise of the Tomb Raider on Xbox One and Xbox 360. That task falls to Microsoft.
Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg let the cat out of the bag over on Twitter when asked who the publisher of the game was. He confirmed that it would be Microsoft, and not Square Enix.
@diosmekemeke Yes we are publishing Rise of the Tomb Raider.
— Aaron Greenberg (@aarongreenberg) December 8, 2014
Square Enix confirmed to Gamespot that Microsoft is indeed the publisher. Microsoft is providing support to Crystal Dynamics across development and publishing. As publisher, they will most likely handle marketing and distribution costs associated with the game’s release.
Yes, Microsoft will be publishing Rise of the Tomb Raider on Xbox. Microsoft has always seen huge potential in Tomb Raider and they will get behind this game with more support across development, marketing and retail than ever before, which we believe will be a step in continuing to build the Tomb Raider franchise as one of the biggest in gaming.”
This news raises the question of when Rise of the Tomb Raider will launch on PS4, PS3, and PC. We know that this is a timed-exclusive deal on Xbox One and Xbox 360, but the fact that Microsoft is publishing these versions means other platforms could be waiting a long time. For example, Ninja Gaiden 2 was published by Microsoft on the Xbox 360 June 2008. PS3 owners didn’t get Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, published by Tecmo Koei, until September 2009. Of course, PS3 owners were compensated for the long wait with additional content, a new Co-Op mode, and four playable characters.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is out holiday 2015 on Xbox One and Xbox 360. The game will go head-to-head with juggernauts Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Halo 5: Guardians, Call of Duty 12, and Star Wars: Battlefront.