Lara Croft's Entry into the Console War
Since the beginning of time, there was always a central conflict in between both sides of the proverbial coin. With one grand spectrum at both ends of every cord, there was always one side versus another; man and woman, right and wrong, pro-life and pro-choice, Republican and Democrat, religion and atheist and the list goes on. However, those spectra are typically categorized into life itself, with moral standards, principles and general beliefs. With technology, these central conflicts have branched out to cell phone and computer operating systems, video game franchises and most importantly, video game consoles.
The infamous console war between Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's Playstation has been alive for the past thirteen years, when Microsoft launched their first console after Sony's Playstation 2 made its début. Over a decade later, the console war shows no signs of white flags or cease-fires. The latest shot fired in the console war is arguably the shot heard round the world and Lady Lara Croft has joined the battlefield...on Microsoft's side.
Since the official announcement for Lara Croft's next adventure, Rise of the Tomb Raider, the Tomb Raider community was whispering amongst itself, with speculations and skepticisms about platform availability. Some were convinced that in lieu of last year's Tomb Raider instalment being available on both generations' consoles (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One) that Rise of the Tomb Raider would follow suit. However, some remained skeptical and concerned that Rise of the Tomb Raider would be a next-gen (or current-gen, rather) exclusive.
We have our answer. It was announced today at Gamescom in Germany that Rise of the Tomb Raider is not only next-gen/current-gen exclusive, but that it is exclusive to the Xbox One.
Crystal Dynamics' Darrell Gallagher explained, "we believe this will be a step to really forging the Tomb Raider brand as one of the biggest in gaming, with the help, belief and backing of a major partner like Microsoft." He continued, "This doesn’t mean that we’re walking away from our fans who only play on PlayStation or on PC. Those are great systems, with great partners, and amazing communities. We have Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris coming to those platforms this December, and Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition is available on PS4."
"In the next chapter of her journey, Lara must use her survival skills and wits, learn to trust new friends, and ultimately accept her destiny as the Tomb Raider," Microsoft said during Rise of the Tomb Raider's E3 announcement. "Featuring epic, high-octane action moments, Rise of the Tomb Raider will take gamers to multiple locations around the world filled with exploration spaces that are some of the most beautifully hostile places on earth. In addition, after hearing the cry from fans loud and clear, the game will put the tombs back into “Tomb Raider" all in the franchise’s gritty Survival-Action style."
With this shocking news, the Tomb Raider community is understandably in a state of chaos; talks of a boycott is in the works and a petition is already well under way with over 60% of the 'required' signatures, calling for Square Enix to rescind their arrangement for exclusivity to Microsoft. Fans are threatening to rid themselves of their Tomb Raider merchandise and refuse to support the franchise if Rise of the Tomb Raider does launch as an Xbox One exclusive. It is speculated that Microsoft, once again, paid Square Enix for this, but some believe it was a decision on the developer's part alone.
Within the community, there is also some talk about the exclusivity being timed; where it will launch on other platforms after an undisclosed amount of time. However, a percentage of the community is convinced the exclusive arrangement is permanent.
I, a Tomb Raider fan for the past seventeen years, am incredibly disappointed with the company's decision to essentially alienate a large part of their community and fan base. I can't properly comprehend this decision at all, given the fact that not everyone can afford or even want to get an Xbox One. Regardless, I'm grateful to have an Xbox One and I will be picking up Rise of the Tomb Raider at launch, but my heart goes out to all the Tomb Raider fans who won't be able to experience it properly.
Chime in with your thoughts and let me know what you think about this whole escapade.
Rise of the Tomb Raider launches Holiday 2015, exclusively on the Xbox One, with hopes from many that it is simply a timed exclusive.