Rise of The Tomb Raider: Problems With Exclusivity - PodcastvsPlayer.com

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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Rise of The Tomb Raider: Problems With Exclusivity

With the Microsoft Gamescom announcement that Rise of The Tomb Raider will be 'exclusive' to Xbox One, the internet erupted into a cesspool of venomous rage. And why the fuck not. 

The game was announced at E3 earlier in the year, but no exclusive was mentioned and with the previous installment being multi-platform, everyone assumed the sequel (you know, the next part of the story!) would be the same.

This is where it gets me, for if it was intended to be an Xbox One exclusive, this would have been mentioned at E3, where Microsoft really needed to get the gamers back after the massive fuck up they presented at the reveal event last year, so Tomb Raider would have most certainly made some of the tarnish disappear. But they didn't. Which leads me to believe that this is a somewhat recent agreement.

What was also never stated, was that this would be a '100% exclusive forever' line, instead, Phil Harrison only came with "play it first holiday 2015, only on Xbox". 

After a few different takes on the whole shibang went all over the internet, then Aaron Greenberg took to twitter with:

You'll note the link that Aaron points to is that belonging to Crystal Dynamics official Tumblr page. Crystal Dynamics, you know, the guys who made the game, who had this to say:

Dear Tomb Raider Community,
As you may have seen, we've just announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider, coming Holiday 2015, is exclusively on Xbox. We consider all of you to be the lifeblood of Tomb Raider and the work we do at Crystal. I'd like to give you some insight into this decision, and why we feel this is the very best thing for the Tomb Raider sequel we're creating at the studio.
Tomb Raider in 2013 was a success due in large part to your continued support. Our goal has always been to deliver something truly special with Rise of the Tomb Raider. Today's announcement with Microsoft is one step to help us put Tomb Raider on top of action adventure gaming. 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 - 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.
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.
We know that there are probably many more questions and concerns. Please do send them to us, and we'll answer to the best of our ability. Meanwhile we're going all out to try and make something truly special - the most ambitious Tomb Raider game ever built.
Darrell Gallagher
Crystal Dynamics Head of Studios

Whilst Aaron said nothing to change peoples minds that this was a timed exclusive, CD gave a pretty mixed answer, but, if it is a timed exclusive, Microsoft wouldn't obviously say otherwise, as it diminishes any money they've poured into it, but both Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix would also have signed a contract in which, basically, they have to keep their mouths shut until the timed exclusivity is over.

As a business decision, this makes total sense for Microsoft, Tomb Raider is a huge AAA title, and with Uncharted 4 around the corner for Playstation 4, it's kind of a counter move.

However, it's also completely retarded.

Tomb Raider didn't make anywhere near the sales Square Enix expected when it released in 2013, and even worse, it sold more on Playstation 3 and PC than it did on Xbox 360. Then, when the 'remastered' version was released, it sold 69% more on Playstation 4 than it did on Xbox One. I'm no Tony Stark, but an Xbox Exclusive for a series that sold the worst on the Xbox platform seems, well, stupid.

On the other hand, seeing as Tomb Raider sold so poorly (even though it really was an excellent game), with the release of Uncharted 4 looming around the same time, it makes sense that they'd prefer not to put Rise of The Tomb Raider in direct competition with Sonys flagship title, because, whether you like Uncharted or not, we all know how that battles going to end. 

On my other hand (the first hand was my left) Sony have sold far more Playstation 4's than Microsoft has Xbox One, so with over 10 million Playstations 4 units sold compared to Xbox Ones' 5 million, that's still far fewer copies of Tomb Raider to be sold than if it were to be released on Playstation 4, plus even more copies on PC. That being said, Tomb Raider is a brilliant game, but isn't a system seller like Uncharted or Halo, so, my guess is when Uncharted 4 is released, more Playstation 4's will be sold. 

The same could be said for Halo, but after playing Destiny, I honestly prefer the latter. But each to their own.

So, Tomb Raider or Uncharted? Xbox One or Playstation 4? Jam or Peanut Butter? Who the fuck knows.

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