Pachter: Microsoft Probably Paid $10 Million Or More For Rise of the Tomb Raider Xbox Exclusivity

“Microsoft continues to use that trick to pay up for limited time exclusives,” says Wedbush Securities’ Michael Pachter.

Posted By | On 25th, Feb. 2015 Under News | Follow This Author @GamingBoltTweet

Rise of the Tomb Raider (12)

When one speaks about the exclusives that Microsoft has, one of those big exclusives is Rise of the Tomb Raider, and everyone’s debated about how this is actually going to make a difference in sales. In a recent interview with Michael Pachter, GamingBolt asked him the reason behind Square Enix’s decision to make it a timed exclusive to Xbox One, given that it’s still playing catch up with the PS4, as far as sales go.

“Back in 2007-09, when Rob Dyer was the head of third-party relations at Sony. He told me that Microsoft was paying publishers for these one month exclusives, and the most famous was the Call of Duty map packs that always came out 30 days early on the Xbox 360. And Rob said the amounts they were paying were ridiculous and Sony wasn’t able to match and get them the same day. Sony had to outbid Microsoft to get thirty days early, and he said it wasn’t worth it.”

“I think he turned out to be wrong. He’s not there anymore, but I think he turned out to be wrong, and I think Microsoft continues to use that trick to pay up for limited time exclusives, and so whatever they payed Square Enix, I’m sure Square Enix did the math and feels that they’re whole.”

“They’re going to sell, probably, a few less units on the PlayStation and a few more units on the Xbox, but the amount of money they got up front offsets whatever the net loss in sales is. And Microsoft is probably paying millions of dollars. Probably not hundreds of millions of dollars, but probably as much as ten million dollars, maybe more.”

Rise of the Tomb Raider comes out exclusively for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 later this year. Stay tuned for our full interview with Pachter in the coming days.

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  • freddy_uk

    i dont like this guy but i agree.

    • Starman

      So then you feel the same way about towards Sony then … they started this practice….

  • My heart aches every time I see someone spell the word “payed”…

    • spideynut71

      They did it to make sure their readers “paid” attention, LOL. :p Then again, if you think about it, MS sort of threw SE a lifeline, to help finance the game, since TR struggled to make a profit. In that sense, “payed” could work…just not with the monetary connection. 😉

    • tplarkin7

      Developers need to be paid. If they’re not paid, we don’t get games.

    • Logical Reason

      They are paid…by the gamers…that buy their games.

      Though I don’t know if this is sarcasm or not…

    • agreed!

    • Compay Segundo

      How is it spelt?

    • Starman

      “Spelt” to have spilled something… “Spelled” is the word you were looking for ..

    • Jecht_Sin

      Maybe in American. In English (from England) “spelt” is correct.

    • Mark


    • Compay Segundo

      That’s right i’m french and i only learn the Queen’s English

    • Starman

      Mine was is from the oxford SON…

    • Mark

      Aww man Compay, u put ur foot right in ur hole man lol. Why not just delete it? Haha. Anyway just messin with u.

    • Compay Segundo

      This was a total mix up.. i don’t know if i was just tired but i really thought he was talking about pronounciation : |

    • Mark

      Man I’m playin around. I always mispell stuff, actually by intent. Really just havin fun where I can. Atleast ur honest about it. Better a laugh, than true troll attempts on here.

    • paid lol

  • Starman

    Sony did it for years ….. but no one , I mean no one ever said a damn thing about it …
    Pachter is an A**HOLE … but people agree with this guy…
    You have to wonder why this man , after all the xbox love he used to give this complete turn around … SALTY for something…

    • spideynut71

      Still do.

    • Logical Reason

      Where and for what?

    • Geoffrey Davey

      I’m not doubting you, just curious… Which dlc/ exclusives did Sony pay for?

    • jayflow

      I hear crickets…LOL!!! Not sure you’ll get an answer on that question.

    • Don Rodie

      he might just trying to damage control because he loves what ever ms does

    • Starman

      Crash … ND wasn’t in-house at the time … ‘R AND C’…they weren’t in-house at the time either … I can sit here all night with exclusives..

    • Geoffrey Davey

      Try to understand the difference between 1st party, 3rd party, and 2nd party development.

      Sony doesn’t own Ready at Dawn, but The Order is a 1st party exclusive (made by a 2nd party) Sony paid for Crash, R&C, The Order, and even Bloodborne from the first paycheck to the last. These were all made by 2nd parties but they are Sony IPs. They were pitched a game, they bought the pitch, and funded the devs. That’s why they own those IPs.

      This is different from the MS situation on Halo, Tomb raider 2, and others… where they visit a developer who is already making a game and say “here’s a bag of cash to kill your other versions”

      Now, MS does have real 1st party devs who make real exclusives like 343, Rare, ect… and I have no beef with that. And Something like Scalebound is a more legit 2nd party exclusive deal that I’m excited to see.

      But please, try to understand the nuance here.

    • Mark

      Again Geoffrey, Sony just scooped up SF V! Even Ultra SF4 for current gen! C’mon ma man.

    • Geoffrey Davey

      I disagree that it’s the same. situation… but if it turns out to be… then i’ll agree it’s a rotten practice no matter what.

      I firmly believe Tomb Raider 2 was in development for multiplat and MS paid money to either kill or stall other versions. Capcom have said this was not the case with SFV… if we take them at their word. Meanwhile the PR from MS on this situation has been flimsy and shady.

      Look, you talk at me like I’m choosing a side in a 2-way war… no dude. I’m a grown man not a fanboy. If I honestly thought Sony was doing the same thing I’d gripe at them too.

    • Mark

      Geoff I have no choice to think ur choosin sides when u yourself is saying “I believe”, or an “insider”. I could go that route too. It means zilch. We simply shouldn’t shovel around unconfirmed stuff. That keeps the fanboys in their place, to use facts. U agree? Hope u don’t read Tidux’s “leaks”…….that’s exactly how disinfo spreads.

    • Geoffrey Davey

      Yeah, I read the story. They’ve “been in talks” since ’09 but not about this deal. That would have been 6 years of talking about a deal! lol.

      I don’t need Tidus, I can read between the lines on PR. I work as a writer for film/tv/games and understand the entertainment biz. If this game had been funded by MS from the beginning they would have said EXCLUSIVE in huge letters at the first ’13 reveal. They didn’t… because the deal wasn’t in place yet…

      What that tells me is that it was probably going to be a Destiny style marketing exclusive deal, then MS doubled down with some cash to get a full fledged timed exclusive.

      Believe what you want, no sweat off my back. But I’m pretty unbiased and it seems clear as day. Cognitive dissonance is a powerful thing though.

    • Mark

      Firstly, it wasn’t “talking for 6 years”. CD was in production with the new Tomb Raider reboot for a piece of that time, which makes sense since RoTTR’s now launching this year (since 2012/2013 production) right? The original reboot would hit last gen and this gen. While the sequel’s built ground up on current gen. What’s strange about that? 2009-2015 sounds about right to get 2 games out imo. So MS had dubs on the sequel for X1, seeing as they lack a game in this genre in their profile. U see, all that sounds reasonable to me that they’d plan that out. No need for a conspiracy with this……atleast for me. No dissonance here.

      Second, if ur main basis to argue this stems from the E3 omission of EXCLUSIVE on the title, why didn’t u just say that? I start to smell a funk when people inject insiders into their arguments (which u did). And Tidux is a Sony bandana wearing fanboy lol. Not saying it was def him u believe him, but nonetheless, we can all introduce insiders here.

      Now when it comes to that omission of exclusive, I hear u. That def causes suspicion why they didn’t mention it. However, it doesn’t make ur specific theory right. Consider the fact Gamescom is only 2-3 months after E3, that MS and CD’s deal, just happen to go thru? They couldn’t announce exclusivity at E3, because the deal needed a mere 2-3 more months of being finalized? U believe that?

    • Mark

      Also, u say SF V and this is different right? Why? Because Capcom and Sony never had an Xbox version, and CD did have a PS4 version right?

      Well what’s the actual difference if, in both cases, both studios took the money?! So Capcom agreed with Sony that they’d produce only a PS4 version for console. While CD were producing an X1 and PS4 version, but dropped the PS4 (supposedly). Either way, cash was the root motivator to keep Xbox players from SF, and PS4 owners from RoTTR.

      Statement of fact; both Sony and Microsoft will finance the games, thus being the prime motivation behind exclusive access. Even if, if, if, CD dropped the PS4 version for TR, Capcom not making an X1 version at all, was for theee same reason. Same philosophy to success; “U finance it, u get a locked version”.

      Unless people think Capcom woulda made SF V exclusive to PS4 anyway, because they’re both Japanese? Nah, woulda been on the Xbox also. Both studios agreed to keep their game away from 1 other platform. U differ with this?

    • Mark

      “What doesn’t make sense is a game that clearly started out as multiplatform getting scooped up and denied to PC/PS4 people just so MS can fill gaps in their first party line-up”. Ur words from above to someone. So why doesn’t SF V exclusivity bother u?

    • Geoffrey Davey

      Because that game was never in development for other platforms. Sony funded it from the get-go. RotTR was almost certainly in development for PS4/PC (and it probably will be again in 6 months) and MS paid to stall the other versions.

      I’m not against MS, or even against exclusives per say. But to me there is a distinction between ‘funding a dev so that a game is created that otherwise wouldn’t be’ vs ‘paying off a dev to delay other versions.’

      I know eventually the money goes to the same place, but one tactic just feels more anti-consumer.

      Also, the way MS and SquareEnix PR danced around the specifics has left a bad taste in my mouth from day one. Phil got pretty snippy when journalist tried to pin down exactly HOW exclusive the game was. It feels like they were trying to trick consumers with a “fake” exclusive and then got mad once the public caught on and realized that to play RotTR on other platforms you’d simply have to wait 6-12 months.

    • Mark

      Disagree here. The only reason MS went into any, at all, specifics about the deal, being “timed”, is because there was such an outrage. Many PS4 owners r assuming it’s coming to the PS4 (I hope it does eventually), and thus, it’s a “fake exclusive”. However, the exact opposite theory is just as plausible if not more.

      Citing Phil’s statement about TR deal being “similar to DR3”, just like Ryse, the game may only go to PC afterward. Why didn’t Ryse and DR3 go to PS4 too? Was in their contract. Why would Capcom and Crytek miss out on 15+ million in sales? The deal is the most sensible reason.

      So, if the PS4 never gets a TR release, then what? It would be console exclusive to Xbox right? Then that statement made back at GamesCom makes sense. Timed exclusive, may just means, it goes to PC. In which they only stated it, because of the outrage. Wouldn’t be a “fake exclusive”.

    • Geoffrey Davey

      PS. everyone I know who read that Game informer article spotted it as BS spin-zone nonsense.

      That very article was one of the sources I was talking about when I said: “Meanwhile the PR from MS on this situation has been flimsy and shady.”

      Seriously, exclusive DLC 9 years ago is what they point to when asked why no PC/PS4… it’s flimsy and rings false. But again, that’s just my interpretation.

      I’m anything but biased though. I’ve enjoyed and recommended games from Nintendo, MS, and Sony. I’ve worked with Konami on a Contra adaptation and developed a series for Xboxtv before that went belly up.

      So I’m just a dude in the industry calling it like I see it. NOT the fanboy straw man you’re trying to make me.

      Now go in peace, bro.

    • Mark

      Geoff, lemme tell u something brotha. There is no amount of evidence that’ll convince u otherwise. What else do u want them to say? At this point David Ghallager and Microsoft will be wrong regardless of any further explanation. If they say they’ve been moving toward this since 2009 (a 6 year development) then I don’t know what will convince u. What would u prefer to hear? What didn’t make sense from Dave’s explanation? Dlc from 9 years ago? Well he’s reiterating the idea they’ve had a relationship, that was the theme of his explanation……..that’s pretty common in the game biz.

      Ultimately, ur feeling is more a hunch (or based on insider info), than anything revealing. Of course u don’t have to assimilate ur opinions here. But ur claiming MS got the PS4 port trashed, so there’s an assumption the PS4 had a port from the beginning. In all honesty, any one of us here can use the same argument when we want.

    • Geoffrey Davey

      Ok one last point, then we should really agree to disagree.

      “If they say they’ve been moving toward this since 2009 (a 6 year development) then I don’t know what will convince u.”

      Do you really think this has been in the works
      since TRHEE YEARS before Tomb Raider reboot was released in 2013? (which had ZERO MS exclusive marketing,dlc, zilch)

      Ok, if you buy that… cool. The PR was more effective than I thought it was.

      I know you think I’m biased, so feel free to believe whatever you want. Giant Bomb, 8-4, and several other leading podcast of this industry have expressed similar “suspicions” to mine. But maybe everyone is biased and crazy.

    • Mark

      Nah Geoff, the “move toward this since 2009” is about the relationship, the relationship between MS and CD since 2009, clearly being the theme of Dave’s explanation. The relationship since 2009, as was stated before, that CD (in their words) came out during Microsoft’s E3 conference, was a hotbed for a deal if both parties were interested;

      1) CD would “be able to put Tomb Raider back in the spotlight”, per Dave Ghallagher.
      2) Microsoft could have a beloved series locked in, to compete with Uncharted

      Geoff, that makes sense to me. No need for a conspiracy (although I believe in alot of them lol).

      And yes I do think there’s a pretty nasty hypocrisy in the media, seeing how SF V AND Ultra, is exclusive to PS4. And the MAIN cry, is about, in your words “What doesn’t make sense is a game that clearly started out as multiplatform getting scooped up and denied to PC/PS4 people just so MS can fill gaps in their first party line-up”……….no Capcom backlash rage?

    • Starman

      You hear crickets ??? makes sense when you’re empty up top ..

    • jayflow

      And yet you still fail to answer his question! Which proves who is truly empty up top, but by all means continue on showing everyone how smart you are loser.

    • GHz

      games from the metal gear solid, tomb raider & final fantasy series just to name a few. Currently street fighter, deep down & probably bloodborne. And that list is just to start up convo. there were and will be plenty more. keep in mind that some of the games that are mentioned were paid for exclusive and never ended up on any other traditional console during their respected times. The time frame of the deals differ. Some going back as far as the ps1 days. Back in the day when sony was the richest console manufacturer, they wisely used their money the same way MS is doing today, by securing big franchises to appear only on their ps platform. Sony in turn became the most popular brand in console gaming which las until this day. Console gamers didn’t complain back then, we shouldn’t start now. Not saying you’re complaining.

    • Starman

      Thank you …

    • GHz

      Don’t mention it. I love gaming as a whole and every time i decide to browse this site, the Slantedness that goes on on this site still boggles my mind.

    • Geoffrey Davey

      To my understanding, Tomb Raider wasn’t exclusive, Saturn and PC had it also.

      FF moved to Playstation because Nintendo 64 used super-expensive carts which lacked the memory capacity Sony’s new CD format offered.

      Regarding exclusivity in the past… It does makes more sense that Japanese companies like Konami would develop for say PS2 over Xbox (original) considering the disparity in install base (especially in JP where the OG Xbox sold nothing) Sega was the biggest Japanese advocate of the OG Xbox and it’s clear that was because they were still sore about losing the console market and didn’t want to release games on their old competitors platforms out of pride.

      What doesn’t make sense is a game that clearly started out as multiplatform getting scooped up and denied to PC/PS4 people just so MS can fill gaps in their first party line-up.

    • Mark

      Dude. C’mon. Sony just grabbed SF V! SF4 had a huge community on both X360 and PS3! If u can criticize MS, do it also to Sony. Otherwise u look biased. No disrespect

    • Geoffrey Davey

      Insiders say they approached Capcom to make that game and funded it from the inception. There has been zero confusion about its status as an exclusive. In my mind that is completely different than Tomb Raider and far less anti-consumer.

      SFV was like the Bayonetta situation… we would not have that game if Nintendo hadn’t funded.

      Try to understand. I have no beef with either company, but there IS a huge difference.

    • Mark

      The fuc*? Insider? C’mon bro, ur a pro at this. Ur goin from “a true multiplat across consoles, going to exclusivity” to “well it’s anti-consumer because it’s timed and it’s a confusing publishing deal”. Lmao. What? How does that change the fact SF V went was a “true multiplat” last gen?! And, ur assuming RoTTR’s comin to the PS4. Ur speakin without facts bruh, and ur moving the goal posts. C’mon Geoff

    • Geoffrey Davey

      There is a difference between a franchise switching exclusivity and a company trashing their ports to other systems.

      It’s in that nuance that my beef lies. Try to wrap your head around this and stop being condescending.

      You’re kinda turing our conversation unpleasant by being rude.

    • Mark

      Never called u out of ur name. I said, ur a pro at this. That isn’t condescending, I’m reading ur comments to everyone, and I can tell this isn’t ur first time arguing about this. Simple. My feeling is your being biased. I myself, am trying to wrap my head around this theory of yours.

      Where’s the proof? An insider? See I’m attacking the basis of your reasoning. When I hear these theorys of “big bully Microsoft money-hatting”, I immediately start to think that person is a Sony damage control specialist, perhaps I’m wrong about u. Anyway, go check out the latest Crystal Dynamics interview concerning the deal, it’s more reasonable than Microsoft paying for trashed ports. Dave Ghallager says they were in talks with Microsoft since 2009.

    • GHz

      Good points. Maybe true for ff7 but wat about ff8 -ff10. Tomb Raider AOD was exclusive to the ps2 console despite having 2 other consoles releasing around the same time with it. PS2 march 2000, gamecube was released a year later and Sega Dreamcast ws out already @ the time. Sony locked both out from FF, MGS, games. Both games were the biggest 3rd party franchises of their time. Sony paid big cash to shut down their japanese competitors.they got Sega because sega had less cash to burn. Dreamcast just couldn’t afford to not have those big titles. Nintendo persevered because they are rich somewhat. It was only when MS started to gain traction that we started to see FF, MGS on other major consoles other than the PS4. And what MS have in common with the old Sony is cash to burn.

    • Mark

      U know why people hate MS? Because they’re the symbol of a mega wealthy company who keeps getting richer. So for those people, the inclination to claim MS moneyhats, is just too strong. That doesn’t mean MS hasn’t lied and bullied in the past. But it shows how, if that one big company does it, they get special treatment, even if others have done so long before them. It’s the symbol they represent to people imo. Draconian DRM policies! Lol

    • Starman

      DLC ? FF series was with them for over 10 yrs … or maybe you think SE loved the system so much they had to have it on jus PS… when it started on NES , SNES… and that’s just one big huge game..

    • Geoffrey Davey

      So was Nintendo paying them back when it was NES/SNES exclusive?

  • Kfal Balli

    This guy is wrong a lot. Somewhat annoying.

  • Truthhurts24

    Microsoft was the only company to offer funding to Crystal Dynamics to create a better Tomb Raider and even took it a step further by helping with development so they deserve to have this game exclusive. There is no way this game will see a Ps4 next year maybe in 5yrs because Microsoft wants this game to stay on their brand for awhile and there is no way they will give this game to the competition quickly that will be foolish of them.

    • Don Rodie

      It doesn’t matter, no one would care about this game, I didn’t even buy the last tombraider because I wasn’t interested and it was on PS4 and PS3

    • Truthhurts24

      Lol someone believes he speaks for every gamer definitely fanboy logic here

    • Goodacre

      they’re already fools to paying that kind of money to a game that was headed to all platforms in the first place. all MS did was pay 10million to keep it off Playstation and PC.

    • Truthhurts24

      Its called competition for a reason you think Sony would not have done the same thing if they had the resources like Microsoft does please take the fanboy logic out and think maturely. Sony already did the same thing with Destiny and it paid off lovely so why is it a problem when Microsoft is doing it crazy and no that 10million was also funded to make Tomb Raider the best damn game it could be because without Microsoft resources Crystal Dynamics would have not been able to produce this game at the high quality they wanted.

    • Jecht_Sin

      Really? I thought Crystal Dynamics was owned by Square Enix. And $10 million would be nothing to keep Tomb Raider far away from its first user base, which is on the PlayStation. That can pay only for a timed exclusive. Unless SE is suicidal, that’s it.

    • Jax Teller

      Square Enix is known for unorthodox approaches to business… And Pachters estimate is towards the exclusivity deal and publishing deal.

      Obviously that doesn’t count the money MS is pouring into funding the project.

      Are you new to Square Enix? Masters of trolling, their most recent troll was PSX… FF7 port like it was the biggest favor to gamers, when the port does nothing to the game.

    • Truthhurts24

      Another delusional fanboy look Microsoft is working directly with Crystal Dynamics not Square Enix they are publishing,co developing and also funding this game so Ps fans will not see this game for about 5yrs time like Mass Effect. The suicidal talk is asinine because the 10 million front profits that Microsoft gave Crystal is already more than they made last year which was about 7 million total sales and when the game drops on X1 they will receive more profits from the back end so Crystal Dynamics are set.

  • ImOnaDrugCalledSheen

    I’d gladly pay ten million for Pachter to shut the F up.

    • Jecht_Sin

      Deal. Gimmi the money and I’ll manage. ^_^

  • Dominic Shzl

    why x360 tho? when is this going to stop?

  • Mark

    Ok ok

  • Pops

    They probly just paid there weekly salaries.As if it was a first party game

  • Mark

    It’s crazy how Sony was treating Destiny like an exclusive or first party; they grabbed DLC and Japan full exclusivity! Wow lol. But I know, Microsoft the bully.

    Look, we all chose our console at launch, so we’ll lose certain exclusives, NATURALLY. I mean I luv Street Fighter, hope u guys have mad fun with V. But it happens, and will continue to happen…….and it’s probably THEE same reason u bought ur system of choice. Boom

  • Section8

    I can’t stand this guy. Why don’t people wake up and realize that in the gaming industry, he’s rarely accurate. Also, it’s pretty sad when a company like ms has to pay to win. Son’y sales speak for themselves.


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