Crystal Dynamics Addresses Rise of Tomb Raider Exclusivity; Community Furious

By Allisa James

August 12, 2014

During Microsoft’s Gamescom conference, a bombshell was dropped on an unsuspecting gaming community: Rise of Tomb Raider, the sequel to the reboot, will be an Xbox One exclusive.

Even in our own comments section you can nearly taste the vitriol, so imagine how gamers reacted when Crystal Dynamics responded directly to the fans on their official blog to better elaborate on their decision. Darrell Gallagher, Crystal Dynamics Studio Head, stated:

Dear Tomb Raider Community,

As you may have seen, we’ve just announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider, coming Holiday 2015, is exclusively on Xbox. We consider all of you to be the lifeblood of Tomb Raider and the work we do at Crystal. 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.

Tomb Raider in 2013 was a success due in large part to your continued support. Our goal has always been to deliver something truly special with Rise of the Tomb Raider. Today’s announcement with Microsoft is one step to help us put Tomb Raider on top of action adventure gaming. 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. We know they will get behind this game more than any support we have had from them in the past – 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.

This doesn’t mean that we’re walking away from our fans who only play on PlayStation or on PC. Those are great systems, with great partners, and amazing communities. 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.

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

Within a span of two hours, comments are over 2000 and counting. While most comments are of the short and rage-filled type, there are some well thought out choice responses, such as this one:

Hey, Crystal, this actually really hurt. I was incredibly passionate about your Tomb Raider reboot and evangelized it to all of my friends, You guys made a hell of a product and I ate it up. I must’ve played the campaign four times (twice on last-gen, twice for the Definitive Edition) and I loved it and I was so impatient for the sequel. I simply just don’t have the money to just throw down $400 for ONE game. I wish I could because I absolutely love and ADORE your reboot, but I just can’t justify picking an Xbox One over food and bills. Hopefully this is a timed exclusive otherwise you guys just really baffled and alienated me — I’m dumbfounded.

Also, please go into specifics on how MS gets you closer to your vision. The PS4 and Xbox One are almost identical, with the latter already proven to be weaker, so it’s not like this is a performance-based decision. Is it to feed your guys’ egos by going toe-to-toe with Uncharted 4? And what’s with this vision-believing non-sense? Has Sony not always been there for you guys since PS1? It’s looking like you guys chose money over a passionate fanbase and you’ve hurt literally millions of gamers and helped encourage the buyouts of major third-party titles.

And don’t rub salt in the wounds by saying you haven’t walked away from PC/PS gamers and “proving” so by saying “here, play the first game again”.

Why Ratchet & Clank is the Most Important PS5 Game

This one:

This is an absolutely disgusting move clearly driven by nothing more than Microsoft’s willingness to throw around massive amounts of money to buy exclusivity. Of course in the long run, you’ll lose out massively as the Xbox One market is small and the gap is only going to widen.

I’ve been a Tomb Raider fan since the beginning, I even stuck with the series through the Angel of Darkness days and I’ve watched it blossom in recent years under the care of Crystal Dynamics. Tomb Raider made me want to make games – it made me want to write kick-ass female protagonists. It’s a part of me.

But today you’ve lost this fan. Sure it’s only one sale and you probably don’t care – but I’m sure I’m not the only loyal person who’s done after this. Selling exclusivity to a company that WILL ruin you game in one way or another [Forcing an added emphasis on multiplayer at the expense of the single player story that has always been at the heart of Tomb Raider as well as no marketting sensitivity to the deep, psychological story you appeared to be going for among other things] is just a twisted move and shows that you all care a hell of a lot more about money than your fans.

If this is a timed exclusive, I’ll pick up the game on another platform, possibly at some point if it’s not butchered for being an Xbox exclusive – but I’ve lost a huge amount of respect for you guys and the series. Such a shame.

This one:

Stop lying. It’s insulting to your fanbase’s intelligence.
How exactly is limiting your game to a single console better for the game and consumers than releasing it on multiple platforms? Non Xbox owners will be forced to buy an Xbox One, or not play the game at all, and your game will sell less copies than if PC and PS4 players were factored into it. Only the console benefits from an exclusive.
You decided to take money from Microsoft for an exclusive? If you’re comfortable with that decision, be honest about it and live with the consequences. Don’t try to hide and lie to the consumers you supposedly value so much.

And the ever succinct:

Translation = MS offered us a shit-ton of money.

There’s even a petition calling for PS4, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC versions of the game. Safe to say, the community is not happy with this decision. It will be interesting to see how Crystal Dynamics responds to this fallout over the next few days.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know

Gaming Trailers

F1® Mobile Racing | 2021 Season Update Trailer
Pokémon UNITE | Mobile Launch Trailer
Allisa James

Senior Weekend Staff Writer for DualShockers. Loves JRPGs, artbooks, and anime.

Read more of Allisa's articles

Got a tip?

Let us know