Why Making Rise of the Tomb Raider an Xbox Exclusive Is An Awful Idea + Back Pedal Update

Rise of the Tomb Raider 2

I’m fairly certain you had the same ‘WTF’ reaction that I did when you read about the announcement. During Xbox’s panel at Gamescon, they revealed that the sequel to the highly successful Tomb Raider reboot will be released ONLY on Xbox. In order to quell fans anger, Crystal Dynamics – the game’s developer – published a message of why they are going with this choice. Though rather than explain things, this ‘explanation’ only makes this reveal more random and counter productive.


Above you can find a link to the full reveal; but if you read all that and still don’t understand why they’re making this change, then join the club. Either this release is just very poorly worded or they actually just shot themselves in the foot with it. I will now break down their reasoning and show why it’s basically a load of BS – or just really uninformed.

Because Microsoft Supported Us In The Past:

For example, when they say:

Our friends at Microsoft have always seen huge potential in Tomb Raider and have believed in our vision since our first unveil with them on their stage at E3 2011. We know they will get behind this game more than any support we have had from them in the past

They aren’t saying Microsoft supported them more than other game consoles. What they said was that this year they will get behind this game more than any other game THEY have supported in the past. Either Crystal Dynamics has to work on their antecedents or they are literally doing this because it would make Microsoft supprt (pay) them more than they have in past year.

Notice something in common?

Notice something in common?

Though wait a moment. The Tomb Raider franchise didn’t start with last year’s game, but decades ago on – what was it? oh yes – the Playstation One. To turn this exclusive game into a multiplatform game was a great move to widening its horizons; but by making it exclusive for another unrelated system is completely ridiculous. It would be like if Super Mario suddenly became a Playstation exclusive. It makes no sense and alienates the fan base that brought it success for decades.

Desire To Be A Bigger Brand:

we believe this will be a step to really forging the Tomb Raider brand as one of the biggest in gaming, with the help, belief and backing of a major partner like Microsoft.

Again, backing equals ‘lots of money’; but everything else here is actually a step backwards. If they wanted to make Tomb Raider one of the biggest brands in gaming, too late! It already is an established and powerful brand that was brought back. Though when a brand gets more powerful, it is given across multiple platforms. Now yes, some big names are console exclusive (Halo, Super Mario, etc); but none of them were multiplatform to exclusives. They all began as exclusives. To make Tomb Raider a platform specific game for a platform that wasn’t even its original platform is a huge step backwards and cuts out a lot of fans. At least release a version for computer consoles.


This doesn’t mean that we’re walking away from our fans who only play on PlayStation or on PC. Those are great systems, with great partners, and amazing communities. We have Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris coming to those platforms this December, and Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition is available on PS4.

Actually, it kind of does mean that. The other Tomb Raider games they mention aren’t related to the 2013 Tomb Raider – or are just rereleases. It’s the new strain of Tomb Raider games people fell in love with for its amazing quality and storytelling. To be completely honest it’s the best Tomb Raider game yet. So to tell fans of the home system that they can play games that share the name but not the quality is kind of empty sentiment.

Rise of the Tomb Raider 3

I am absolutely sure some die hard Xbox fans are going to read this article and call me an upset PS user. Well I might be upset; but that doesn’t make these claims wrong. From a business and gaming standpoint, turning this open platform game into a console specific game is an awfully limiting move. Also, using phrases like ‘support’ when it is actually turning its back on the system that made it a household name, is just insulting. This isn’t some new franchise, it’s been here for years.

So don’t think of this as a new Halo or a Super Mario; think of this as if one of those games suddenly became a PS exclusive. In all honesty, I would be up here making the same exact points. Hopefully something will change and Crystal Dynamics will realize the corner they just backed themselves into. Then again, maybe Microsoft really did pay them off THAT much. Either way, this IS NOT the way to create a huge name in gaming from … a preexisting huge name in gaming.

Either way, this whole fiasco is a huge win for the Xbox One; but a huge loss for gamers. Toddwick Fossetta summed this up best: “They claimed the first one “underperformed” even though it sold 4 million copies, so they put the sequel on an underperforming console”. Let’s face it. If we don’t get to hear how big of a check Microsoft wrote them, I’m going to use Todd’s reasoning to at least make me laugh through it.


Xbox later ‘back pedaled’ – I mean flushed out all the aspects of their exclusivity – for Rise of the Tomb Raider being a console exclusive. Apparently, Rise of the Tomb Raider will be an Xbox exclusive for a certain amount of time and then it’ll be released on all other consoles. When asked about why the sudden change, Microsoft said that these details were always in place; but weren’t revealed at Gamescon because Gamescon is a venue to simply “preview” material. Pardon my French; but BULLSH*T!

Yes, Gamescon is a venue to preview/announce new games; but saying “Rise of the Tomb Raider is a console exclusive” isn’t giving fans a ‘taste’ of something. It’s actually not finishing a sentence. It would have taken perhaps 3 more seconds to say “Rise of the Tomb Raider will be a multi console game; but debut first on XBox One!”. See, that’s not so hard. Once again this is just Microsoft backpedaling with their Xbox One system – just like they did when it was announced to have 0 backward compatibility, and only play games and nothing else.

Though let’s play devil’s advocate for a second. Let’s say this was all known from the start. Well then that means Microsoft was either too lazy to say 10 more words; or they purposefully omitted information to make themselves seem special at the risk of SEVERELY hurting Crystal Dynamics – the company Microsoft was apparently “so helpful to” in the development process. So is Microsoft backpedaling again or just knowingly leaving out info? You decide. Though when you consider that the original full Press Release from Crystal Dynamics described this as a ‘console exclusive’ as well. . . Yah, if it looks like a back pedal, sounds like a back pedal and makes just as much laughable sense as a back pedal – it’s a back pedal.

6 thoughts on “Why Making Rise of the Tomb Raider an Xbox Exclusive Is An Awful Idea + Back Pedal Update

  1. Yeah, it’s a terrible move and Microsoft must have offered them some big incentives program. Maybe the devs get a 40% extra money increase if they went exclusive or something. I agree that it had to be for the money, but it must have been a lot if they are willing to sacrifice the big sales that they would have made from the PS4. They will likely regret this move.

  2. Also, using phrases like ‘support’ when it is actually turning its back on the system that made it a household name, is just insulting.

    What was it that you guys said about Destiny when xbox fans got upset about being a third wheel? Didn’t you say grow up and that we disn’t make Bungie who they are but their hard work did that? Well is it a double standrard now with TombRaider?

      • I was generaly talking about PS fans. Destiny is .5 new franchise lots of it is Halo. I was just reffering to that quote that I made though as so much double standard work is going around internet journalists.
        EA Access =bad value $30/year many games
        PS Now=Great thing $2 gets you 4hours gameplay of last gen games

        Microsoft media features=bad, makes it not a gaming console
        Sony media features=next best thing

        Xbox fans made bungie famous and microsoft built them a building and gave them money to go on their own =Bungie doesn’t own anything to xbox fans they disn’t make them special it was Bungie on their own

        Sony invests 0 money into tomb raider (assumption didn’t research) except TR is released on their console for years= they own everything to PS fans.

        Those are kind of things that are not fair.

        I agree that MS/Sony shouldn’t be doing these exclusives with third party studios, but please at least someone treat them both as equal dirty money hungry corporations. Not everything microsoft is terrible and everything sony is peaches and cream

      • Well plenty of games come out for all systems; but its not the responsibility of the system to really financially back the game – unless its a start up game maybe. Microsoft probably did give a ton of money to Tomb Raiders new game development; but no one was expected to since its an established franchise. And to have that ‘seed money’ be used to make a game exclusive is more about ‘screwing over’ competition than making an awesome game for all.

        Though I do absolutely agree with you that everything should be balanced. Which is why when I reported on the EA Access/PS Now thing I didn’t say PS was better than EA. EA Access does have an awfully limited selection of games; but PS Nows payment plan is horrific. Both systems have their perks; but both also have their drawbacks – which a lot of other online journalists pointed out as well. Honestly, all these game politics just hurt us, the gamers. No exclusives – unless you’re nintendo cause that’s their thing – and just work together. Imagine the amazing games and stream systems we’d have it PS and Microsoft worked together? Now THAT I think we’d all love to see 😀

        Thanks for your comment Marcel!

  3. I own an xbox one but i won’t be buying rise of the tomb raider for that crappy console i was specting to play this on both ps and pc buut noo. us gamers made this new tomb raider what it is today yet they dare say they’re not turning their backs on us bullshit that check must’ve been huh? Assholes. new tittle down fall of the tomb raider hehe

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