Rise of the Tomb Raider Confirmed as a “Timed” Xbox Exclusive


When Rise of the Tomb Raider was announced as “exclusively on Xbox in holiday 2015” during their Gamescom conference, the internet went ballistic. However, it appears that it was just a cleaver (read: deceptive) use of words.

Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, confirmed earlier today that their exclusivity contract with publisher Square Enixhas a duration“.

In an interview with Eurogamer, Spencer addressed the Playstation fans’ concerns, saying “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.

He then went on to confirm “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 Playstation fans can somewhat rejoice, but just how long will they have to wait before seeing their favorite archaeologist on their console of choice? If Microsoft has a stranglehold on the game’s holiday release next year, will the damage be done in terms of sales figures?

*Part of me feels that if things went the other way and Sony announced this as a Playstation exclusive, the internet would have reacted differently. That’s just a personal assumption, as it seems that Xbox has this sort of stigma. When Bloodborne was announced as a Playstation exclusive, even though Dark Souls had a huge fan base on the 360, Playstation fans rejoiced and Xbox fans just accepted it. Is it because Tomb Raider started off on a Playstation console that got the fans all juiced up, or is it just more accepting when Sony nabs an exclusive over Microsoft?

Bio Card Brad

Bradley Keene is the Executive Editor here at What’s Your Tag?, generally handling reviews, public relations, and our social media communications. He’s an aspiring video game journalist, Baltimore native, and on again/off again WoW player that favors roguelikes, horror games, and point-and-click adventures. His favorite console is the Dreamcast, favorite game is the original Metroid, and he could watch The Goonies for the rest of his life. Contact him by e-mail at the address above, or follow his insanity on Twitter.


  1. There would have been different reactions I think, for a few reasons. One is that, yes, it was mainly a PS console exclusive in the beginning, so most of the fanbase is on PS. Xbox Owners only really experinced it with the reboot, which sold more copies on PS anyway.
    The second reason is that more PS4 consoles have been sold, so it’s not a good business strategy to block off most of your existing fanbase, and face lacklustre sales.
    I’m glad it’s a timed exclusive though.

    1. True, but to be fair, every Tomb Raider ever has released on the Windows platform, which is Microsoft. Console-wise, only Legend and Guardian of Light hit an Xbox system. Even the original was on the Saturn, so it hasn’t always been a Sony-only series, but more people definitely experienced it on a Playstation product.

      I’m assuming Microsoft offered them a ridiculous amount of money to offset any lack of sales before it reaches the PC, PS3 and PS4 audience. I’m personally not a fan of pissing contest exclusives though, because the only ones benefiting are the ones making money.

  2. I think the difference with the Bloodborne example is that it’s a completely new IP, whereas Tomb Raider is part of an existing cross-platform series; if it was Dark Souls 3 going exclusive to PS4, the point may have more weight. It’s sort of like how I don’t care too much that Insomniac are only developing Sunset Overdrive for Xbone, because that’s a completely new IP, whereas if they took Ratchet & Clank over there, exclusively, I’d be pissed.

    With RotTR’s exclusivity though, my biggest problem isn’t the exclusivity itself -because I wasn’t that impressed with the original reboot, so I have no personal stake in it’s sequel- but more that it feels like a pathetically desperate move on Microsoft’s part to clutch at absolutely any straw that might bring people round to Xbone.

    If it had been confirmed exclusive from the beginning, timed or otherwise, I don’t think the reaction would have been nearly as toxic, (no one seemed as bothered about Dead Rising 3, after all,) but doing it months later just feels like Microsoft throwing money at their problems, something that they are, historically, quite infamous for doing and which generally never goes over well with the community, as a whole.

    1. In retrospect, I know Bloodborne wasn’t the ideal example for what I was trying to get at, as no matter just how Dark Souls it looks, it is, in fact, a brand new IP.

      With Microsoft drastically behind the PS4 in terms of sales, I suppose it’s up to them to lure people in with games that you can’t get anywhere else. It’s a smart business move, but one I’m personally not a fan of. The only people benefiting from this are the one’s that own the Xbox and the ones making money, and there’s no telling if the amount of money Square Enix earned from Microsoft for going the timed exclusive route will ever outweigh the damage done to their fanbase in doing so.

      1. I think my only real problem is the cloak and daggerness of it all. I know business is business, but in a digital age where a company’s every single move can be put online and held under rigorous scrutiny, surely it’s in their best interests to be as open as possible, at all times.

        I think everyone knew this was going to be a timed exclusive, including Microsoft, and if they had said that off the bat I’d have been fine with it, but it’s the twisting of words and marketing speak –even in that interview, Spencer snaked his way around flatout admitting it wasn’t completely exclusive– that irks me, and I think it’s what is alienating a lot of people from Microsoft, while their competitors have adopted a far more plain-speaking approach presumably because they’ve caught on that, in 2014, if you lie you will be found out.

        Whatever merits the Xbone may have had, Microsoft have lied and backpedaled since day one, and now I find it really hard to believe a single word they say.

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