Announced back in June at E3, Rise of the Tomb Raider looked to be a bold sequel to the emotional events of Tomb Raider (2013). But as fans began to get excited for the new title, some were let down when it was revealed at Gamescom in August that it would be an Xbox exclusive.
Furthermore, Tomb Raider fans on PC and PlayStation were angry, especially as Tomb Raider debuted on PC and PlayStation in 1996. It also didn't help that there was a huge amount of confusion around the announcement due to the wording (Microsoft called the game a 'holiday exclusive' and not just an exclusive through and through) as well as mixed messages from the Microsoft PR team.
Following the backlash, all three parties then confirmed that Rise of the Tomb Raider would be a 'timed' exclusive, meaning that the game would likely come to PC and PlayStation sometime after the Xbox release. However, after yesterday's reveal that Microsoft would be publishing the game on Xbox platforms, Square Enix has been forced to clarify Rise of the Tomb Raider's exclusivity once more.
Speaking to Game Informer, Square Enix said the following:
"Yes, Microsoft will be publishing ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’ on Xbox, Microsoft has always seen huge potential in ‘Tomb Raider’ and they will get behind this game with more support across development, marketing and retail than ever before, which we believe will be a step in continuing to build the ‘Tomb Raider’ franchise as one of the biggest in gaming."
While it's unclear as to what that development and marketing support entails, it does add fuel to the rumors that Square Enix couldn't afford to finance Rise of the Tomb Raider's development on their own. The idea was speculated after Square Enix sad that Tomb Raider (2013)'s sales led to an "extraordinary loss" and it wasn't until the release of Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition (the 2013 game but with better graphics and all of the DLC) on PS4 and Xbox One earlier this year that the game became profitable.
Square Enix also added:
“Our partnership with Microsoft on ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’ does have a duration, but we aren’t discussing those details at this time and are focused on collaborating to deliver a great game on Xbox One and Xbox 360.”
While that is incredibly vague (which seems to be a running theme with these statements), it does offer Tomb Raider fans on PC and PlayStation a bit of hope. So although it's unclear who will be publishing Rise of the Tomb Raider to PC and PlayStation, when that release will happen or even if the PC and PlayStation versions of Rise of the Tomb Raider will suffer without Microsoft support, this can be considered as good news. Maybe it's better to wait for Rise of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition on all platforms anyway...
Source: Game Informer