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Tomb Raider Xbox exclusivity for a limited time

Tomb Raider Xbox exclusivity for a limited time

Wed 13 Aug 2014 2:57pm GMT / 10:57am EDT / 7:57am PDT
Publishing

Phil Spencer confirms game could find its way to other platforms, won't discuss length of deal

Yesterday, Microsoft announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider would be coming exclusively to Xbox platforms. Today, Xbox head Phil Spencer confirmed for Eurogamer that the exclusivity deal is only for a limited time.

Spencer said the deal had limited duration, but declined to say for how long the exclusivity had been secured.

"It's not because I'm trying to be a headfake on anybody," Spencer said. "It's a deal between us and the partner. People ask me how much did we pay. There are certain things I'm just not going to talk about because it's a business deal between us and them. Obviously the deal does have a duration. I didn't buy the IP in perpetuity."

Beyond that, Spencer also acknowledged the backlash the news received among Tomb Raider fans in the PlayStation community.

"I get the reaction I see," Spencer said. "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."

Rise of the Tomb Raider is set for a holiday 2015 release on Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

13 Comments

John Pickford Owner, Zee 3

46 152 3.3
Lead balloon

Posted:2 months ago

#1

Nick Wofford Hobbyist

180 190 1.1
Uhh, his last statement there kinda confirms that TR2 is exclusive, at least to MS platforms.

Posted:2 months ago

#2

Anastasios Hatzis Community Manager

15 40 2.7
Popular Comment
Spencer's statement is interesting, because he only mentions PlayStation users, leaving out PC and XBox users.

What he doesn't say -of course- is, that Microsoft could have used the same money to create new exclusive content for XBox, so their own customers would get the chance to enjoy a new IP and the next Tomb Raider. It looks to me as if Microsoft denied XBox owners a new exclusive IP and caused a "shitstorm" among the fanbase of Tomb Raider, and still expecting that the same fanbase will buy their console or feel more attracted to the XBox eco-system.

Quite optimistic, isn't it?

Posted:2 months ago

#3

James Prendergast Research Chemist

735 432 0.6
Popular Comment
@ Nick:

RotTR might be exclusive to Xbox nov-dec 2015 but not after that, nor is any "special edition" or whatever name they stick on these things later on. It was pretty clear from the original statement too but everyone (including myself) initially took it as plain speak rather than marketing/PR speak...

I dislike how he's framing it as an Xbox vs playstation thing when most of the outrage is coming from the actual franchise fanbase which is platform agnostic. The people who normally buy these games on PC were pretty annoyed too... and I know at least a couple of XBO owners who openly stated they didn't agree with this sort of thing either. Gamers don't like it when the platform holders (Sony or MS) buy exclusivity - nor when stores buy exclusive content sets.

Posted:2 months ago

#4

John Bye Senior Game Designer, Future Games of London

480 451 0.9
Popular Comment
This whole situation has been spectacularly bungled by all parties involved, and from the tone of Phil Spencer's replies to Eurogamer it sounds like he's sick of all the journalists asking him what's going on with Tomb Raider. What should have been a spectacular coup has turned into a PR disaster that's overshadowing everything else they announced that day.

The problem is that even now, nobody is giving a clear, straight answer. If somebody would just come out and say "it's exclusive for six months", this would blow over in a couple of days. But by refusing to give a clear answer to the question they're making things worse.

All the talk about "exclusively, holiday 2015" in the show itself left the door open for the game appearing on other platforms later. But Crystal Dynamics seemed to suggest that it was a full exclusive and, misjudging the situation, rubbed salt in the wound by essentially saying that PC and Playstation Tomb Raider fans should settle for the next gen remaster of the last game and a sequel to their isometric co-op spin-off.

Now Phil Spencer says "the deal has a duration", "I didn't buy the franchise", and that Microsoft don't own the Tomb Raider IP "in perpetuity", but still without clearly saying whether this particular game is a full or timed exclusive, and if it's timed, for how long. If you read the full story on Eurogamer, he keeps trying to avoid answering the question, and in true Jeremy Paxman style, they had to ask him the question several times before he gave anything even approaching an answer.

The fact is, we still don't know for sure when or even if RotTR will ever appear on other platforms, just that future Tomb Raider games aren't tied into this deal. And Phil Spencer apparently getting shirty with journalists asking him perfectly reasonable questions and dodging around giving any kind of clear, concise answer isn't helping the situation.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by John Bye on 14th August 2014 10:19am

Posted:2 months ago

#5

Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments

302 383 1.3
It's not quite clear if he's saying that the exclusivity is limited for the title or the franchise -

"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."

That could just mean that *future* titles may go on other platforms.

Posted:2 months ago

#6

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,577 1,432 0.9
That could just mean that *future* titles may go on other platforms.
I think people are taking that quote of Spencer's alongside SquEnix's recent "Definitive Edition" releases (Sleepy Dawgs and the first TR), and coming out with the logical (but perhaps still wrong) conclusion that Rise will have a "Definitive Edition" release on PC and PS4. It certainly makes sense - timed exclusive, followed by updated release on other platforms to make it up to the people who don't own an XBox. What's annoying is that there is no official word that this is the case, so people are playing guesswork on PR statements. Never a good situation.

Speaking of PR statements, I think CD are pig-sick that their carefully worded (probably at MS's insistence) statement has been trodden on by Phil Spencer's ineptness and bad PR. Unrelated to the consumer side, I think this has pretty badly damaged the working relationship of CD/SquEnix/Eidos and MS, since CD appear to be the bad-guys, whilst MS are saying it's none of their concern.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 14th August 2014 10:45am

Posted:2 months ago

#7

Shane Sweeney Academic

392 400 1.0
I remember when Mass Effect was announced an exclusive to Microsoft.

This reaction didn't happen.

Posted:2 months ago

#8

Andreia Quinta Creative & People Photographer, Studio52 London

224 590 2.6
I remember when Mass Effect was announced an exclusive to Microsoft.
This reaction didn't happen.
Probably because:

1. It was a new IP, so there wasn't a fan base attached yet.
What it seemed was happening to RotTR with the original Crystal Dynamics announcement was the equivalent of MS buying perma-exclusive rights for Uncharted 2 after the first one had come out on the PS3, all hell would break loose fan-wise, but with TR it might be a lot worse since the fan-base exists since 1996.

2. The dominating console in peoples homes was xbox 360 anyway, Sony was still playing catch up along with Sony fans in Europe and Japan.

3. The PC platform didn't get a flip-the-bird from MS as they had a port little time after release in May 2008.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andreia Quinta on 15th August 2014 1:31pm

Posted:2 months ago

#9

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,577 1,432 0.9
Possibly add...

4. The consumer is more mature now, and sees little gained by such exclusivity. The 20 year old who bought Mass Effect is now 26, possibly engaged/married, trying to afford a house, and sees exclusivity deals in a different light to their 20 year old self.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 15th August 2014 6:58pm

Posted:2 months ago

#10

Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game

1,254 420 0.3
For the first Mass Effect, Microsoft were the publisher. They paid for the game to be made, and when EA bought Bioware, I vaguely remember that they had to come to an agreement with MS over the IP. It was a second party game, not a third party title.

Posted:2 months ago

#11

Andreia Quinta Creative & People Photographer, Studio52 London

224 590 2.6
Morville, put a picture on, it's just weird to see you that way ;)

Posted:2 months ago

#12

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,577 1,432 0.9
Hahah! :D I was going to update my photo, but trying to find a pic I'm happy with is taking longer than I figured. :( I'll go back to my old one later, if I still can't find a decent one. :)

Posted:2 months ago

#13

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