Last year when Rise of the Tomb Raider was announced it happened at Microsoft’s E3 Media Briefing. From that day to this Xbox has been promoting the game as an Xbox exclusive. While Crystal Dynamics has said that the exclusivity deal is timed, there has been no word as to when the highly anticipated game would be released for PC or PS4. Until now. The game will be coming to both platforms though PS4 gamers will have quite awhile to wait.
Today Square Enix announced that the game, which will be released for Xbox One and Xbox 36o on November 10th of this year, will hit PC in early 2016. Xbox’s exclusivity deal is a year long on the console, however, so it will be Q4 2016 before the game hits PlayStation.
While timed exclusives are about the only exclusives left, outside of first party titles, the one year gap is much longer than we’re used to seeing. Most of the time it’s not more than a month or two between releases. Xbox has said that they are very interested in making the Tomb Raider franchise a big part of their console, as they want a title that competes with Uncharted. Whatever Microsoft paid for their exclusivity was surely appealing to Square Enix, though in the end the PlayStation 4’s larger install base had to be appealing as well so a true exclusive was likely never in the cards.
Rise may turn out to be an interesting case study. When the Definitive Edition of the last Tomb Raider game was released for next-gen consoles more than two-thirds of the sales were for the PS4. While the Xbox One exclusive launch will surely be big for Microsoft, and the PC launch coming closely behind it, it will be interesting to see what PS4 sales look like when the game finally hits that console. Will most gamers pick it up for Xbox or PC to get it early? Or will the game see most of it’s sales a year after its initial release?