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Rise of the Tomb Raider Xbox exclusivity controversy

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They really couldn't be bothered to make their own game to compete with the Uncharted series?

Rise of the Tomb Raider is an action-adventure game that came out on November 2015 for the Xbox One and the Xbox 360, and was eventually released for the PlayStation 4 and PC a year later.

The game was well-recieved by critics and fans, but prior to its release, there was a massive controversy of its timed exclusivity for Xbox consoles.


The game was announced at E3 2014 in June with a cinematic trailer showing a hooded Lara Croft being interviewed while showing flashbacks of her adventures prior to the interview. The announcement of the game was met with a largely positive reception from fans and critics.

Two months later, however, the positivity died down when Crystal Dynamics confirmed that they were working with Microsoft to make the game a timed exclusive for the Xbox One and Xbox 360, while other platforms were being planned at a later date. This decision was universally panned by gamers due to the fact that the Tomb Raider series had always been multiplatform on various console brands prior to Rise, and Microsoft bribed the developers to keep the game exclusive to Xbox, even though it could have easily been multiplatform at launch.

Phil Spencer, who was newly recruited as CEO of Xbox a year before, responded to the controversy, stating that the reason why Rise of the Tomb Raider is an Xbox exclusive is for Microsoft to compete with Sony's Uncharted franchise, specifically Uncharted 4: A Thief's End which was currently in development at the time. This, again, was poorly recieved by fans because Microsoft was considered to have stolen an already-existing IP rather than making their own to compete with Uncharted 4.


The game was officially released on November 2015, and was released pretty closely to other anticipated games like Fallout 4, and because of that, along with the timed Xbox exclusivity, it only sold 63,000 units in the UK, despite being critically well-recieved by critics and fans and having won numerous awards. The game was finally released on the PlayStation 4 and PC a year later, and managed to sell far more units than it did on Xbox consoles.

Sometime after the release of the PS4 and PC versions, a third entry of the reboot trilogy, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, was announced, and then had its first cinematic trailer in March 2018, and was also confirmed to be multiplatform on the Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation all at launch. This is most likely due to the outrage of its predessor's Xbox exclusivity and commercial failure due to it. The third installment was release 6 months later, and while it was positively recieved, it sold just as badly as the last game did, due to the fact that it was released closely to much more anticipated games like Marvel's Spider-Man.



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