Update (August 13): In an interview with Eurogamer, Phil Spencer from Microsoft clarified that the Tomb Raider deal is a timed exclusive, though he would not comment on the exact duration of the deal. “Obviously the deal has a certain duration. I didn’t buy the IP forever,” he said.
Spencer also said the game will be coming to both Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Original Story: Since its inception in 1996, the Tomb Raider series has proudly been cross-platform and used to launch on PlayStation, PC and Sega Saturn. So it came as a surprise this morning when Microsoft announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider coming exclusively to Xbox One in time for the 2015 holiday season.
“Our friends at Microsoft have always seen tremendous potential in Tomb Raider and have believed in our vision since our initial reveal with them on their stage at E3 2011,” developer Crystal Dynamics wrote in a blog post accompanying the announcement at Microsoft’s Gamescom press briefing. “We know they’ll be more behind this game. than any support we’ve had from them in the past – we believe this will be a step towards the Tomb Raider brand as one of the biggest in gaming, with the help, faith and support of a great partner like Microsoft.”
The wording of the announcement left it a little unclear whether the exclusivity will be time-limited, allowing other consoles and PC players to join the game at a later date. Crystal Dynamics did point out that other Tomb Raider games, like this year’s Temple of Osiriswill not be exclusive to any platform.
Rise of the Tomb Raider was first announced at Microsoft’s E3 press conference in June, with a trailer that focused on a Lara Croft struggling with the psychological stress of her traumatic early adventures.
Sales in the first month of last year’s reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise initially failed to meet Square Enix’s expectations, with 3.4 million copies sold. However, the game sold nearly 6 million copies after one year on the market, surpassing earnings expectations.
Elsewhere in the Gamescom press briefing, Microsoft announced the first Xbox One console with a 1TB hard drive. The system comes first in a bundle with a download code Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and a custom controller for $500 on November 3. Microsoft also confirmed previous rumors of a white Xbox console, which will ship with Sunset Overdrive on October 28 for $400.
The conference also included footage of a number of independent games set to see their first console release on Xbox One, including time-bending shooter Super hotstylish dungeon crawler Below and interstellar sandbox game Space Engineers.
Microsoft’s announcements come as Microsoft continues to try to differentiate the Xbox One from Sony’s PlayStation 4, which is selling slightly better globally.