A PS4 Owner’s Response To Crystal Dynamics Regarding Tomb Raider’s Exclusivity

Tuff raider.

Rise of the Tomb Raider is coming exclusively to Xbox One. This upsets Tuffcub a bit, naturally, and he’s not too pleased with the reasoning from Crystal Dynamics detailing why the game isn’t going to be on PS4 and exactly what you can do about it.

So, with Tuffcub being Tuffcub he’s taken that post and, with his of mix tongue-in-cheek humour and biting sarcasm, left a line-by-line response.

Dear Tomb Raider Community,

Hello there Darrell Gallagher, Crystal Dynamics Head of Studios!

As you may have seen, we’ve just announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider, coming Holiday 2015, is exclusively on Xbox.

Yes, that was a bit of a shock, wasn’t it?

We consider all of you to be the lifeblood of Tomb Raider and –

Wait. Stop. You consider us all “to be the lifeblood of Tomb Raider”? So why having you stopped the majority of next gen console owners from playing the game? That makes no sense, if you considered us all to be the lifeblood then the game should be on all systems, surely?

I’d like to give you some insight into this decision, and why we feel this is the very best thing for the Tomb Raider sequel we’re creating at the studio.

Go ahead, I’m listening.

Tomb Raider in 2013 was a success due in large part to your continued support.

Yes, the majority of which – especially on new generation consoles – came from PlayStation gamers, if I’m not mistaken. But carry on.

Our goal has always been to deliver something truly special with Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Well, you’ve certainly done that. Perhaps not special in the way you envisaged, but special nonetheless.

Today’s announcement with Microsoft is one step to help us put Tomb Raider on top of action adventure gaming.

So you’ve signed up with the current generation manufacturer in second place, and back in March last year the PS3 overtook the Xbox 360 in sales. The console has a lower user base, so it is impossible you can be “on top of action adventure gaming,” the numbers just don’t add up.

Our friends at Microsoft have always seen huge potential in Tomb Raider and have believed in our vision since our first unveil with them on their stage at E3 2011.

Look, let’s put the cards on the table; if someone is going to offer you a truck load of money your vision gets a bit blurred. Square Enix have shareholders to pay, and if Microsoft want to give you cash in exchange for Lara, that’s fine. But don’t try and tell us you signed with them due to your “vision”, perhaps if you said “Hey, MS gave us a billionty dollars and a unicorn so we gave them Lara!” you might gain a little more respect from gamers for being honest.

We know they will get behind this game more than any support we have had from them in the past.

Well, I should hope so.

We believe this will be a step to really forging the Tomb Raider brand as one of the biggest in gaming, with the help, belief and backing of a major partner like Microsoft.

No. Stop. Wait… what? You want to forge Tomb Raider – one of the biggest brands in gaming – into one of the biggest brands in gaming? Lara Croft is a genuine cultural icon, up there with Mario and Sonic, it’s not like Tomb Raider is some itsy bitsy game that no one has heard of.

This doesn’t mean that we’re walking away from our fans who only play on PlayStation or on PC.

Well yes, you are.

Those are great systems, with great partners, and amazing communities.

Well thanks, I am sure the amazing communities are pretty amazed right now.

We have Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris coming to those platforms this December, and Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition is available on PS4.

You really think flogging the current PS4 game is a good idea at present? “Hey, you can’t have the new game, have the old game with slightly better graphics from last year.” That’s not going to win you any fans.

We know that there are probably many more questions and concerns. Please do send them to us, and we’ll answer to the best of our ability.

Not really.

Meanwhile we’re going all out to try and make something truly special – the most ambitious Tomb Raider game ever built.

Well good luck, it’s a shame a lot of us wont be able to play game. 


  1. Church!

  2. Perfectly agree with every line of the response. Am currently somewhere in the Alps and can’t follow things too closely, but was quite disappointed by this.
    Still, I don’t find it too surprising. MS desperately needs exclusives, given they’re lagging behind, and a new IP doesn’t help them as much, it needs to be something well established. I expect it to be a timed exclusive, as e.g. Mass Effect was. Of course, MS won’t allow them to communicate that, as it’ll be part of the contract.
    That being said, the majority of us gamers in the market got reason to be pissed off, so let’s better be vocal about it.

  3. Yep Square Enix/Crystal Dynamics can go phuck themselves as far as I’m concerned. I won’t support a company that does this to their fans. Temple of Osiris pre-order cancelled. Sleeping Dogs Definitive edition pre-order cancelled. If I want to play these games, or any games made/published by these sell-outs, I’ll buy them pre-owned. Disgraceful way to treat your fans.

    I wouldn’t mind as much if this was a new IP but it’s a sequel to one of the biggest games last year and we were told this was multiplat a few months ago. They even have the nerve to release the Definitive version on the PS4 (which sold 70/30 in favour of the PS4) and now we’re being told we can’t play the sequel. Screw you.

    I hoped Microsoft had learned from their mistakes at E3 last year but they’re still screwing gamers over. Why not invest this money into a new IP instead of trying to win a pissing match with Sony? And pissing on all of the fans/potential customers in the process. Good job guys! They can spin their corporate bullshit all they want but this isn’t for the benefit of the gaming community, not when you exclude 95% of it. The only people who potentially benefit from this bonehead decision is MS and I hope it blows up in their face.

    If their intention was to encourage more people to buy an XB1 they were sadly mistaken. If Titanfall can’t save that sinking ship, Tomb Raider sure wont. Horrible company. The sooner they sell off the Xbox division, the better.

  4. I get the feeling that this is only a timed exclusive to protect sales on the PS4 when the game launches. As Uncharted 4 is releasing within the same time frame I think SE are trying to protect themselves against lost sales hence Microsoft Holiday 2015 exclusive am sure we will see it early 2016.

    Cannot get behind this sort of practice, dlc is one thing but this is another. A lot of xbox fanboys keep harping on about No Mans Sky deal with Sony but that is a brand new IP and they seem to have forgotten the deal between Microsoft and Platinum for Scalenound which may I add no Sony fans have bemoaned!

  5. Well written. It’s a real shame, and it’ll do some serious harm to the Tomb Raider brand and Crystal Dynamics reputation, but I feel very confident that it’ll eventually make its way over sometime in 2016.

    • I don’t think it’s a timed exclusive, it’ll probably be like splinter cell conviction on the 360, I don’t think anyone on the ps3 missed out there? I can see why MS have gone down this route, but I think the X1 will never catch up with the ps4! So expect more of the same in a vain attempt to increase market share!

      • Perhaps, we’ll see. Personally I’ve got all current systems so it doesn’t affect me as much, but it sucks for a whole lot a people (and hadn’t Halo Collection been a thing, me too). I hope it’s timed, as the first announcement seemed to be beating around the bush on how exclusive it was. “exclusively on Xbox One for Holiday 2015”.

        I think Sony would have done the exact same thing if given the chance and if they were second in sales. Perhaps they even tried, but MS offered the better deal.

        Sqeenix is to blame though, they shouldn’t have made such a deal, and to be honest I’m surprised they did. It must be real special to make up for all the lost sales and the community backlash.

  6. This is just bad for games in general. As a lot of you said a new IP would have been a much better way to go. MS is still losing and they don’t even know why. Sony has a lot of first party studios and a lot of indie devs are siding with them. The creator of Rayman will make a game exclusive for PS4. Wow ! These things are like uppercuts.
    MS went for the safe road and threw money at a well established franchise.
    New IPs mean new worlds and experiences for us gamers. It is just sad sad sad to see entertainment companies so disconnected with what fans want.

    • Problem is a recognised brand will always win over a unknown ip, however good it is. That’s why they hyped titanfall so much.

    • To somewhat counter your argument, as I’ve got nothing better to do right now. And we need to maintain equilibrium between the Lumen Sony and the Umbran Microsoft:

      Having lots of first-party studios is very expensive. Sony has had a head start in building their set, so they’ve got more. But Microsoft seems to be expanding slowly but steadily too, just look at Black Tusk.

      Indies, sure. Microsoft haven’t treated them nicely, but with the new ID@Xbox program, we’re seeing more amd more joining in. Even studios like Just Add Water, who’ve had negative run-ins with the Americans before.

      The creators of Ratchet & Clank will make a game exclusive to Xbox. Wow!

      • ‘lumen’ vs ‘umbran’ :))

        The thing is that Sony might just have set the deck beforehand. What I mean is, that yes MS is going to bring the indies and the first party studios will start producing, but Sony is on the roll. Their first party devs are already working on stuff and these are the golden rush years, the first years of this console cycle. Sony will produce an Uncharted and The Order and who knows what other projects Guerilla Games and Santa Monica has. By the time MS starts producing those big hits Sony will be cashing in.
        I like and underdog though :)

  7. So now MS admit it’s a timed exclusive? After trying to deceive everyone yesterday. (Note how Sony were very careful to say exactly how exclusive everything was)

    How long that time is though… Could it be 6 months? A year? 4013 years? Will anyone still care by then? Will anyone ever believe any of Microsoft’s “exclusives” again? And does anyone have a reputable source to this claim that it’s definitely only a timed thing?

    • I’ve just also read the ‘exclusive’ has a duration, although no time frame is mentioned.
      If this is true, the way Microsoft advertised this as being exclusive is pretty damn deceiving, especially coming from a company who are trying to regain peoples trust. That’s unless the time frame is something stupid like7 years.

      • deceive/dɪˈsiːv/
        deliberately cause (someone) to believe something that is not true, especially for personal gain.
        Sounds like Microsoft to me.

    • http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-08-13-microsoft-confirms-rise-of-the-tomb-raider-xbox-exclusivity-deal-has-a-duration

      that’s an interview with phil spencer, here’s an excerpt.

      Is there a time limit on the exclusivity period?

      “Yes, the deal has a duration. I didn’t buy it. I don’t own the franchise.”

      Can you tell us how long the duration is?

      “No. It’s not because I’m trying to be a headfake on anybody. It’s a deal between us and the partner. People ask me how much did we pay. There are certain things I’m just not going to talk about because it’s a business deal between us and then. Obviously the deal does have a duration. I didn’t buy the IP in perpetuity.”

      maybe it’s me being cynical, but it sounds like the deal is for this game, any other games in future are still potentially multiplatform.

      not that that means much as they’ve not even finished that one, and the seventeen metric tons of dlc it’ll no doubt have, i’m sure ms will have insisted upon that.

      and they could just buy up exclusivity on that one.
      except square will have seen what a flop this one will be and will, if they’ve got any sense, unlikely, be very expensive for ms.

  8. The conference said “exclusive to xbox for holiday season 2015” they didn’t actually say flat out exclusive. Wasn’t exactly hidden away.

    • It is deceiving otherwise 100s of people wouldn’t be getting their knickers in a twist like they are. Look at the amount of comments just on this site.
      You have a point but even if it said ‘exclusive to Playstation for June 2015’ I’d automatically assume its an exclusive game for the Playstation only and it’s releasing in June. They knew what they were doing.
      I’m beginning to think for both parties, Sony and Microsoft, maybe there should be some clamp down on the word ‘exclusive’ when time frames are involved as it’s obviously not clear to the consumer.

      • I don’t see what’s wrong with the term ‘timed exclusive’. It lets those with the console that it appears on know that they are being treated somewhat special like & those that have other consoles know that they’ll get it eventually, they’ll just have to wait their turn.

        Removes all ambiguity & keeps everyone on side. No idea why they didn’t go that route.

      • I think a lot of commenters saw the red mist and didn’t get all the facts. Personally when I saw the conference announcement I thought it meant it was timed exclusive. Vague exclusive announcements have been going on too long though and I agree clarity would be nice.

      • Sounds good to me.

    • I think pretty much everybody assumed initially that it was a timed exclusive, but the question should have been answered swiftly and with clarity.
      I’m thinking S.E. and CD knew exactly what they were doing by announcing it like this, i.e. they knew there would be a shitstorm and that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

      • Either that, or MS lumped a little more money on the table to keep schtum – Might sell more Xbones that way?

        Not saying that’s sound thinking mind you…

  9. Definitive GOTY edition for the PS4 in 2016 – Confirmed…

    What a joke MS has become.

  10. Hi, guys,

    Apparently Phil Spencer has been cornered at Gamescom and has denied buying the IP before admitting it’s a timed exclusive!

    As someone here has already said, look out for the polished GOTY Edition in Easter, 2016!

    Internet, rest easy. It’s coming. It’s all coming. Just not all at the same time.


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