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Microsoft secures Rise of the Tomb Raider as Xbox exclusive

Tom Morgan
13 Aug 2014
Rise of the Tomb Raider
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Crystal Dynamics has revealed its upcoming Tomb Raider sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider will be exclusive to Xbox consoles

Crystal Dynamics joined Microsoft onstage at the Xbox Gamescom press conference with some surprising news: the upcoming Tomb Raider sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider will be exclusive to Xbox.

Originally announced earlier this year at E3 in Los Angeles, Rise of the Tomb Raider will pick up where 2013's reboot left off, letting players follow Lara as she explores more undiscovered locations around the world and deals with the psychological effects of what happened to her on the island in the first game. At the time, it was expected to appear on all next-generation consoles, but now it appears it will be limited to Microsoft's Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Considering Tomb Raider reboot was a multi-platform title, developed in partnership with AMD to produce the visually impressive TressFX hair engine, it's uncertain what a partnership with Microsoft will bring to the sequel. The news will almost certainly come as a blow to Sony fans, however who only recently got their hands on Tomb Raider: the Definitive Edition for PS4.

It was initially unclear whether Microsoft had secured the game as a full exclusive, but Eurogamer clarified the matter with Xbox boss Phil Spencer on the Gamescom show floor. The Rise of the Tomb Raider exclusivity deal "has a duration", also no-one is saying how long that duration actually lasts for, with Spencer comparing the deal to that of Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome - two previously Xbox-only games that are getting PC ports later this year.

Based purely on Spencer's statement, it seems Square Enix, owner of Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics, will be able to bring the game to other platforms as soon as the exclusivity deal ends. That may mean PS4 gamers won't have an incredibly long time to wait; Rise of the Tomb Raider is a "2015 exclusive" to the Xbox consoles, but as the game won't launch until the holiday season anyway it could mean a Q1 2016 release on Sony consoles and PC.

We're still waiting for official word from Square Enix on future plans for the game, but in the meantime anyone desperate to play Lara's next adventure will seemingly have to invest in a Microsoft console.

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