Microsoft caused quite the stir during its Gamescom 2014 press conference when it revealed that Rise of the Tomb Raider, the sequel to Tomb Raider 2013, would be releasing exclusively for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 in Holiday 2015. Of course, given the death of exclusives, especially with so-called exclusives like Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome (which are both heading to PC this year), this meant even more questions.
Xbox division head Phil Spencer finally clarified all this to Eurogamer by stating that though Rise of the Tomb Raider will be exclusive to Xbox platforms, it will only be so for a fixed duration of time. After that, Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix is free to do whatever they want with the franchise.
“When people want me to say, can you tell us when or if it’s coming to other platforms, it’s not my job. My job is not to talk about games I don’t own. I have a certain relationship on this version of Tomb Raider, which we announced, and I feel really good about our long term relationship with Crystal and Square.
“I get the reaction I see. 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.
“I don’t own them building Tomb Raider on other platforms. I can’t talk about the franchise that way. I can talk about the deal I have.
“I have Tomb Raider shipping next holiday exclusively on Xbox. It is Xbox 360 and Xbox One. I’m not trying to fake anybody out in terms of where this thing is. What they do with the franchise in the long run is not mine. I don’t control it. So all I can talk about is the deal I have. I don’t know where else Tomb Raider goes.
“Yes, the [exclusivity] deal has a duration. I didn’t buy it. I don’t own the franchise.” Spencer wouldn’t reveal how long this duration would be though. “It’s not because I’m trying to be a headfake on anybody. 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 then. Obviously the deal does have a duration. I didn’t buy the IP in perpetuity.”
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