Microsoft announced a number of things and covered plenty of games in their Gamescom Media Briefing this year, but by far the biggest news of all, and pretty much all anyone is talking about right now, is the revelation that Rise of the Tomb Raider will release next winter, exclusive to the Xbox One.
Microsoft's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb proudly announced this to the world:
Just announced… Rise of the Tomb Raider, coming holiday 2015, exclusively on Xbox.
— Larry Hryb (@majornelson) August 12, 2014
And then the internet went mad.
First there was confusion...
Surely a timed exclusive. Right?
— Dealspwn (@Dealspwn) August 12, 2014
Rise of the Tomb Raider is an XBO exclusive? That seems ... so odd. Timed and they chose not to say? Weird.
— Jim Sterling (@JimSterling) August 12, 2014
Rise of the Tomb Raider Exclusive on Xbox One forever or just holiday 2014? Was not clear to me. @aarongreenberg
— Andreas (@RacingFreak) August 12, 2014
WOW. Rise of the Tomb Raider Fall 2015, Xbox Exclusive. Huge news, but I'd bet it's a timed-exclusive.
— Marty Sliva (@McBiggitty) August 12, 2014
But then the open letter from Crystal Dynamics emerged.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is 100% exclusive to Xbox One. Details here - http:// http://t.co/MPy1dPw4xt
— Mike Adebajo (@L1keMike) August 12, 2014
For some, there was admiration for a ballsy move from Microsoft, if not necessarily endorsement.
Rise of the Tomb raider is an exclusive. First HUGE bomb of Gamescom. Good on ya, MS.
— Michael Futter (@Futterish) August 12, 2014
Wow, that Rise of the Tomb Raider exclusive news is huge. Sony need to come back with something big at their presser. #Gamescom
— Sean Molloy (@Sean_P_Molloy) August 12, 2014
Whoa Rise of the Tomb Raider an Xbox exclusive? Good get Microsoft.
— Jason Almenas (@jasonalmenas) August 12, 2014
Exclusive Tomb Raider is probably the first real blow that Microsoft has struck against the PS4 all year. And it's a big 'un.
— Keza MacDonald (@kezamacdonald) August 12, 2014
Some revelled in the anarchy...
LOL Loving the Tomb Raider Xbox exclusive meltdown...please never change internetz
— Zombie Masheen (@NotZombiereturn) August 12, 2014
Actually considering buying Rise of the Tomb Raider just because I can hate it, and can buy it, while others love it and can't.
— Electric Skeleton (@DelTorro) August 12, 2014
But most didn't take too well to the news...
NNNOOOOOOO!!!!! Rise of the Tomb Raider Is Xbox One Exclusive http://t.co/dTsje3Zrxr
— Tech Fixation (@TechFixation) August 12, 2014
Tomb Raider fans thrilled with the Xbox exclusive news, post on the Crystal Dynamics website pic.twitter.com/Q5OF7gIaI0
— Tom Orry (@VGTomO) August 12, 2014
wow @Microsoft way to disappoint millions of people. nobody wants to play hi-def tomb raider on 720p and nobody wants your xBox1
— Amber Rosepetal (@Merilwen_) August 12, 2014
Requiescat in pace, Fall of the Tomb Raider ....
— Helena Müller (@Helenu_Ki) August 12, 2014
There were calls for action...
— Rivendell (@illucifer) August 12, 2014
— domenico panacea (@domenicopanacea) August 12, 2014
Tomb Raider Exclusivity could be the turning point. Make a fuss. Shout them down. Vote with your wallet. Force a u-turn, they need to learn.
— Dan Marshall (@danthat) August 12, 2014
Some pointed out that this made no sense in terms of sales or fanbase...
Not only have you excluded more than half of your Tomb Raider "Community", you've disappointed lifelong fans of a franchise @CrystalDynamics
— HollyCooper (@SuperCooperStar) August 12, 2014
Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition on PS4 outsold the Xbox One version by a ratio of 7:3 http://t.co/R7uGzCGZIe
— Lewie Procter (@LewieP) August 12, 2014
if Rise of The Tomb Raider fails, it'll be Microsoft's fault...along with the company that sold out to them.
— Peyton Miller (@dmiltenmusic) August 12, 2014
So Tomb Raider sells under expectations and Square Enix makes Rise of the Tomb Raider an XBO exclusive. This industry.
— Jim Sterling (@JimSterling) August 12, 2014
"Hello Microsoft, this is Square Enix. We were wondering, do you know any ways we could at least halve sales of Tomb Raider? ... You DO?!"
— John Walker (@botherer) August 12, 2014
Of course, good old CEO Kaz Hirai joined in the fun, spoofing it up a treat and delivering a wonderfully bad pun...
Rise of the Tomb Raider is now exclusive to Xbox One. Square Enix clearly wants the game to be uncharted: as in, not entering the charts.
— CEO Kaz Hirai (@KazHiraiCEO) August 12, 2014
Mind you, the wording of it all is very interesting indeed. And no one seems to be able to get a straight answer out of MS.
— Aaron Greenberg (@aarongreenberg) August 12, 2014
Sensing a whole lot of dodging marketing language about the whole Tomb Raider thing. I bet it comes to PS4 early 2016, calling it now.
— Jason King (@Kuldorn) August 12, 2014
Here's what some of the regulars on the Dealspwn feed had to say about the matter...
— XpGHAX (@xpghax) August 12, 2014
@Dealspwn They basically just killed the franchise but overall, was a good conference
— Marc Goldberg (@MarcGoldberg1) August 12, 2014
@Dealspwn no definitely not no matter how much I loved the recent tomb raider
— Gary (@Lampard09_) August 12, 2014
— Adam (ImdurGaming) (@ImdurC) August 12, 2014
Our two cents: The plot is ongoing, but the operative word is still "exclusive", and Sony have shown that being first with third-parties this gen can make a difference. But, the unwillingness of Microsoft's senior management to describe the exclusivity in absolute terms is somewhat telling. Titanfall, for example, was referred as exclusive in perpetuity, but there's been no such language exhibited here. Moreover, the game is still being published by Square Enix as far as we know, not Microsoft Studios. That should give some hope to the disgruntled gamers hoping for PS4/PC versions.
Crystal Dynamics should have written an open letter saying "We could have gone multiplat but MS gave us a boat made of and filled with cash"
— Matt Gardner (@FuzzyPixels) August 12, 2014
But what are your thoughts? Dick move or system seller? Let us know what you make of it all in the box below.