The Summer of Arcade is almost upon us. As usual, Microsoft's month long celebration of selling us downloadable games is stocked with some great looking titles. But what about gamers who don't have an Xbox 360, but who would still like to play some of these games? Well, in the case of Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, they are in luck -- as long as they don't mind waiting.
Microsoft requires Summer of Arcade titles to feature at least limited Xbox 360 exclusivity. So how will that exclusivity affect the newest Lara Croft adventure, which is also in development for PS3 and PC -- how long, exactly, will these players have to wait? Karl Stewart of Guardian of Light developer Crystal Dynamics lays it out:
"Well, for exactly four weeks, really. The agreement with Microsoft is, in order to participate in their hugely successful Summer of Arcade promotion there is a window of exclusivity. That window of exclusivity is a set four weeks."
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is scheduled to hit Xbox 360 on August 18th, which means the game's Xbox 360 exclusivity would expire Wednesday, September 15th. While that date would seem to be fine for PC, PSN titles always release on Tuesday. So, either Microsoft relaxes its exclusivity arrangement by a day (which I somehow doubt), or the PS3 finally gets Guardian of Light the following Tuesday, September 21st.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is a fresh take on the Tomb Raider series, featuring an isometric view and cooperative gameplay. Crystal Dynamics is also currently developing a separate, presumably disc-based game believed to be Tomb Raider 9.
Timed exclusivity arrangements are highly sought after and touted by console makers these days. Perhaps the most famous of these arrangements, Xbox 360's exclusivity window for all Call of Duty DLC over the next two years, was announced onstage at E3 2010. The jury is out, however, on whether such arrangements are actually good for either the games, or the gamers who want to play them.
How do you feel about console exclusivity windows? Are you looking forward to Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light?
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light comes to Xbox Live Arcade on August 18th as part of the Summer of Arcade promotion. Though the game is expected to release for the PS3 and PC one month later, specific dates have not been revealed.