[Updated] Rise of the Tomb Raider Will Be a Timed Xbox Exclusive for Holiday 2015

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[Update] As we predicted, Rise of the Tomb Raider will not be exclusive to Xbox forever. Eurogamer has reported a conversation with Microsoft’s Phil Spencer confirming that the agreement to launch the game exclusively on Xbox 360 and Xbox One (yes, the 360 version is confirmed as well) has a limited duration. Meaning whenever the timed exclusivity deal ends, Square Enix will be free to put the game on any platform it chooses. While this does not confirm with 100% certainty the game will be on other platforms, does anyone really think Square Enix won’t want to put the game out on as many other platforms as possible once the deal ends?

Original Story:

For a series that amassed its popularity on PlayStation consoles and PC, today’s news from Gamescom that Crystal Dynamics has signed up with Microsoft to release Rise of the Tomb Raider as an Xbox One (and possibly Xbox 360) exclusive comes as a major shock to the system. The snarky social media driven fanboy internet is reacting (or overreacting) accordingly.

I understand the immediate uproar, especially given the fact that Rise of the Tomb Raider is a direct sequel to the excellent 2013 Tomb Raider reboot, which again seemed to grow much of its fanbase on PC, PS3 and more recently PS4 in the Definitive Edition. But I would still caution against getting too worked up over the news, because I seriously doubt the game will be forever exclusive to Xbox. The announcement seems carefully worded to only allude to the game’s holiday season 2015 launch, which leads me to believe this is a timed exclusive deal. And if that’s the case Microsoft’s agreement probably limits Crystal Dynamics from answering questions about the game’s potential future on other platforms. There’s also the fact that Square Enix, as far as I know, is still the game’s publisher.

I see it taking a similar path as Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, which launched on Xbox, eventually came to PC, and soon will be on PlayStation. So I would cool down a bit and wait to see how things go. Rise of the Tomb Raider is still more than a year away after all. I’m betting that once the 2015 Xbox launch passes we’ll be hearing about PC and PS4 versions coming out by mid- to late-2016 (as long as development remains on schedule without any delays).

Of course, I could be completely wrong in my assessment, and Rise of the Tomb Raider may ultimately turn out to be exclusive to Xbox forever. I’m choosing to remain optimistic about it rather than jumping to outrage, but we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

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Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!