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Oh hun, such a drama queen.

Valenka

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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.

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iamnsuperman682d ago (Edited 682d ago )

I just do not get the logic behind the move. The re-release sold twice as much on the PS4 than the One. The PS4 is over 10 million units where the Xbox One is pushing 5 million. There is a potential loss for square enix of well over 50%. The majority of the fans moved to the PS4. They basically ignored those loyal customers in favour of the minority.

Talk about turning your backs on a loyal fanbase. I don't blame Microsoft in all of this as they could throw around cash if they wanted to as it is business (though I would rather see that cash being pumped into studios but that is a separate issue). The developers and Square Enix are solely responsible for this. I mean they complained about not selling enough units on the last generation so to rectify this they went exclusive. That doesn't make sense especially when the reason why they could make a sequel is the loyal fans who bought the current gen definite edition.

Number-Nine682d ago (Edited 682d ago )

Since it sold more on the PS4, MS is trying to bring that fan base over. It's risky for SE with Crystal Dynamics blowing in the wind (I don't think they had much to do with this), but something had to make that deal enticing because it can backfire.

It is weird since SE wasn't happy with the sales (although it sold very well) and now might sell less copies by excluding a major console. I am wondering if it had something to do with Sony selling their SE shares. Maybe?

If this is indeed an exclusive, and it increases XB1 units sold, MS will come out as a winner. I'm not sure if Tomb Raider is a system seller though. I loved TR but I dunno if I would buy an XB1 to play it.

A timed exclusive would be in the best interest of SE and CD. Hopefully that's what it is.

MightyNoX682d ago

Replying here so you get the notification.

1) TR2013 was considered a failure by SE when it sold 3.6 million. They had to remaster it to break even.

2) SE is probably thinking "well, this game is gonna underperform anyway" and we pissed money via the luminous engine, might as well get paid now. Theyre in pretty bad shape.

Im not saying its a good decision, Im just saying that in lieu of clinically insane behavior we've seen from Square enix this gen (3 Lightning games, Bravely default selling 2:1 in the region they did not want to sell it in) this shouldn't come as a surprise.

Number-Nine681d ago (Edited 681d ago )

Last I heard TR was closing in on 6 million copies. That is not a failure in any way. It was a failure to SE because they set ridiculously high standards.

Blacklash93682d ago (Edited 682d ago )

They were bought out. As long as console exclusives exist, this is obviously going to happen sometimes. Consequently, there's going to be some disappointment every now and then. It's not like Sony hasn't recruited their own exclusives.

Am I a bit disappointed? Sure, since PS4 is the superior hardware and I'd like any game to be on it. However, this kind of thing is inevitable and all I can do is accept it. No need to be a drama queen about it, like everyone else has apparently decided. I'm just wishing best for the sequel right now, since I really liked the reboot. No matter what system it's on.

All you can really do is hope that the X1 will have a library worth buying the system for, including Tomb Raider. As it stands, neither system currently has a substantial library and that won't change until 2015.

Christopher682d ago

***but some believe it was a decision on the developer's part alone. ***

No one believes this. Developers don't make these decisions. Publishers, read: upper management suits, make these arrangements. This is all the decision of SquareEnix, not the people who make the game.

Valenka682d ago

I agree completely, however some people have stated that they're considering a possibility of this being Square Enix's decision without Microsoft funding. I entertained the idea for a minute but ultimately, it all comes down to Microsoft and their money.

MightyNoX682d ago

This.

The decision came from SE. Just like With EA when it came to Titanfall.

iamnsuperman682d ago

At least that one made sense. EA thought Microsoft would crush the competition this generation (they even said this publicly). What SE is doing is just bizarre

Kayant682d ago

"What SE is doing is just bizarre" especially given again like TF the deal was only completely made recently.

http://www.neogaf.com/forum...

It's free money for a delay to other platforms which the people who are not upset with their decisions will support. Although it's a somewhat dangerous decision to make to harm a reboot of an established franchise so early on.

And if anyone is thinking it's not a timed exclusive. Not one person from MS has said it's a lifetime exclusive. Phil Spencer also said
We’re saying what we said on stage. In Holiday 2015, Rise of the Tomb Raider will be exclusive to Xbox. That’s the comment. We had a lot of similar questions around Titanfall and the structure of our deal is a business relationship that’s frankly between us and Square Enix. I know Crystal Dynamics has issued a statement and we’re going to stand by that. Xbox fans are going to be able to play Tomb Raider next holiday exclusive on Xbox.”
http://www.computerandvideo...

Then there is press people like Geoff and Andy from gameinformer that can't get a clear answer not even adding the speaks from "insiders" with one having very good recent track record.

Godmars290682d ago (Edited 682d ago )

@iamnsuperman:
Unless some JP exec is setting up CD to fail. If the game doesn't make a profit use it as an excuse to shut the studio.

What EA is doing with EA Access makes more sense, and even there its Sony fault for turning it down.

@Kayant:
"It's free money for a delay to other platforms"

No. It less day one sales, the key motivator for publishers. A later PC/PS4 release could come sell as well on XB1, but that would be over time. With now quick measure which would effect stock prices. It could twice as well and anything.

Tetsujin682d ago

I don't understand this move either; and this is coming from a NON fan of the series. I tried Tomb Raider when it was on the PS1 back in the day, and yes I did try the free plus overhead version, however no I did not play the reboot nor had any intention to. My reasons are not important, what is important is why MS and SE agree to this, and what it means for future game(s) of any genre and/or series.

I know a lot of Tomb Raider fans are probably upset, and some will probably talk of boycotting the series; my concern starts if this becomes a normal practice of any game/series, not just Tomb Raider. I know a lot of people argue MGS4 however from Kojima himself there were certain technology in the PS3 the system could do the 360 couldn't, so that made sense. With Gears of War there were certain things 360 had the PS3 lacked, that made sense. This move however makes no sense what so ever; and lately SE has been making some stupid decisions.

I honestly wouldn't be surprised if MS is trying like they did with the 360; (try to) buy their way to victory instead of actually using the money to build up studios and release newer experiences/games. Since they can't win through console sales now they want to buy up big multiplat names and advertise "Play X game only on the One" which we can all agree is stupid, and will bite them later where it hurts the most.

Aclay682d ago

The news of the game being Xbox exclusive doesn't really phase me, as I've had very little experience with the franchise with the exception of playing a demo of one of the PS1 versions a very long time ago and I haven't played the 2013 Reboot yet. However I still plan to get the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot later this year on PS4.

I just find it interesting that the game wasn't announced as Xbox exclusive when it was first announced at this years E3. I mean, you would think something that important would've been announced along with the announcement of the game. It's pretty obvious Microsoft threw some money at it. Microsoft see's Sony with so much momentum with the PS4, so I can't really blame them for trying to get whatever advantages they can, especially with the recent news PS4 has surpassed 10 million.

Microsoft has flirted with various Tomb Raider timed exclusivity in the past-- Tomb Raider Guardian of Light was released a little over one month before the PS3 version, and the past few Tomb Raider games have been showcased at MS's E3 Press Conferences, so it's not that surprising to me that they have some deal in place for this next game.

As far as it being exclusive, I'll only believe it if it's been over a year after the XB1 release and a PS4 version hasn't been announced. There's just been so many other times when something was billed as Xbox Exclusive but eventually went multiplat., so I'm just not sold on it's exclusivity right now.

Although this news has very little impact on me, I can definitely understand the frustration others may have because if it had been something else that I'm more of a fan of like Fallout 4 or the next Red Dead game from Rockstar I wouldn't be happy either.

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