This week at Gamescom, it was announced that the latest entry in the rebooted Tomb Raider series, Rise of the Tomb Raider, would be exclusive to Xbox platforms. While certainly a bit of surprising news (after all, Tomb Raider is not a series known for platform exclusivity), this exclusivity deal is certainly not something worth all the soap opera-styled drama around it.
All the attention this exclusivity deal is receiving confuses me, and I have no shame in admitting that. Not because I don’t understand exclusivity deals, but because I can’t wrap my mind around just why it is causing so much unhappiness amongst gamers. Here are a few reasons why this exclusivity isn’t nearly as big a deal as it is coming across:
1) It is a timed exclusive
Rise of the Tomb Raider being exclusive to Xbox platforms is a temporary ordeal. While the terms of the deal have not been disclosed, we do know that once the deal’s settled-upon time is over, Rise of the Tomb Raider is free to jump to other platforms. Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics are free to do whatever they wish their title once the specified time period has elapsed. Microsoft does not own the game, and once their exclusivity deal has met its end, they have no say in where Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics take their game.
That said, it is highly probable that Rise of the Tomb Raider will come to PS4. There is no doubting the tremendous success that Sony has had with the PlayStation 4 thus far, and given that, is there really a question that it will come to the PS4 once the exclusivity time period has passed? Nothing is certain in this world, but Rise of the Tomb Raider eventually coming to PS4 is one thing that is likely more probable than not, especially when you consider that the previous Tomb Raider game performed markedly better on PlayStation platforms than on Xbox ones.