One of the biggest bombs dropped at Gamescom 2014 was that Microsoft had secured Rise of the Tomb Raider, a sequel to the successful Tomb Raider reboot back in 2013, as a holiday 2015 timed exclusive for the Xbox One console. Since then, there has been speculation a plenty as to what this deal actually entails as there are two sides debating whether Rise of the Tomb Raider will only come to Xbox One and then PC or whether it will come to Xbox One and then PC and the PlayStation 4. While there is no definitive answer, there is still strong doubt among many, including myself, that this game will ever reach the PS4 due to just how much money and work Microsoft is putting into this game whether it be the marketing, the finances or even the actual development.
The main argument coming from PS4 fans is that Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics would be stupid to miss out on the larger install base the PS4 has, currently standing at roughly 22 million, as this would undoubtedly allow them to sell more of Rise of the Tomb Raider. In an interview with Eurogamer, Shuhei Yoshida was asked whether or not the game would eventually make its way to PlayStation 4, Yoshida couldn’t offer any concrete answer:
“That question has to be asked to Square Enix and Microsoft. I hope the game will come out eventually on PS4. But how can I tell?”
The fact that Yoshida is in the dark on this might point to this game not coming to ps4, despite it having a larger install base. However, I should not this is an inference and could prove to be wrong. Also, there is no official statements saying this game will ever come to PS4 so when many people claim they’ll ‘wait until it comes to PS4’ etc. Are also speculating and as such, must recognize that there is a strong chance this game won’t be coming to their platform of choice
Moving on to the fairly strong evidence that indicates that this game will only be coming to Xbox One and afterwards, PC. The main argument coming from this side of the debate is that Microsoft has invested so much money and work in to this game that it would seem very doubtful indeed they’d see it end up on the rival console, the PS4. Firstly, Microsoft themselves are publishing the game for Square Enix, as confirmed by Aaron Greenberg on twitter.
@diosmekemeke Yes we are publishing Rise of the Tomb Raider.
— Aaron Greenberg (@aarongreenberg) December 8, 2014
Microsoft’s agreement to act as publisher likely means it will handle marketing and distribution costs which will end up saving a ton of money for Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics. Square Enix later released a statement stating that:
“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.”
From this, we can infer that due to the magnitude of Microsoft’s help with Rise of the Tomb Raider, they may just secure console exclusivity for this release, with it later coming to PC. The reason I do not doubt a PC release is due to Microsoft’s new developments in ‘oneness’ with the release of Windows 10 which allows game streaming to the PC along with other features thus showing Microsoft’s greater interest in the PC side of gaming.
In an interview with Kotaku concerning Rise of the Tomb Raider’s exclusivity, Phil Spencer, head of the XBOX division at Microsoft drew parallels to games like Dead Rising, Ryse and Titanfall which all launched exclusively on Xbox One and then PC or, in the case of Titanfall, both at the same time. This is another strong hint that Rise of the Tomb Raider will be coming to Xbox One and then PC after a duration of time, not PS4. What some people fail to realize with the argument that Square Enix won’t miss out on the install base of the PS4 and use that as their argument for this game coming to the PS4 is that with Microsoft handling the publishing and playing a big role In the development of this game, Rise of the Tomb Raider will make a huge profit for Square Enix, regardless of whether it releases on the PS4 or not.
Square Enix actually said they were very disappointed with Tomb Raider sales
Veteran analyst Billy Pidgeon said “For games with development budgets approaching $100 million to be truly profitable, ratings have to be above 8.5 and sales need to be in the five to ten million unit range” Therefore, with Microsoft handling a heap of these costs, Square Enix can expect to make more profit off this sequel than the original in 2013 even if it only goes to the Xbox One and PC.
Personally, I have a very strong feeling this game will not see the light of day on the PS4 and if it does, it might be a long time, at least longer than 9 months due to just how much Microsoft has invested in Rise of the Tomb Raider so if you want to be able to enjoy this game, sooner rather than later at the least then you might just have to own an Xbox One or a decent PC capable of running this game