There’s been some dissatisfaction over Square Enix’s decision to make developer Crystal Dynamics’ Rise of the Tomb Raider an Xbox exclusive, and a newly released FAQ on the publisher’s Tomb Raider Tumblr attempts to address it. However, the tenor of the comments connected to the post suggests that the explanation isn’t enough.
Rise of the Tomb Raider‘s Xbox exclusivity was announced during Gamescom in August 2014 even though the game itself was revealed two months earlier at Microsoft’s E3 press conference. Exclusivity wasn’t mentioned in the initial reveal and the game wasn’t present in any other form at E3.
One of the FAQ’s entries asks if the fans were considered when the exclusivity decision was made. It reads, “Are Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix aware of the franchise history with PlayStation and on PC?” The series’ first appearance on an Xbox machine was Tomb Raider: Legend in 2006, 10 years after the original game debuted on PC, PlayStation, and Sega’s Saturn console.
“Of course,” the FAQ’s response reads. “We did not make this decision lightly. Our goal is to build the best game that we possibly can, and our relationship with Microsoft will help us realize our vision for the game.”
To that, commenter Joe Lind responds, “What good is realizing your vision for the game if the overwhelming majority of your fans cannot play it?” While “overwhelming majority” might be a bit hyperbolic, Lind raises a fair question about what console exclusivity means for the game’s vision when the result leaves a portion of the fanbase feeling left out.
The FAQ also makes it clear that Rise is specifically a holiday 2015 exclusive, though there’s no mention of plans to release the game for other platforms. The FAQ also doesn’t clear up the length of the exclusivity window; “We aren’t discussing details of the deal,” it reads.