Microsoft clarifies Rise of the Tomb Raider's Xbox exclusivity: "the deal has a duration"

"Exclusive" was once a word that had a meaning. Now, it can mean basically anything. And so when Microsoft announced yesterday that Rise of the Tomb Raider—Crystal Dynamics' upcoming sequel to Lara's 2013 reboot— would be available "Holiday 2015, exclusively on Xbox" , people were 1) annoyed, and 2) suspicious. When Microsoft said exclusive, did they really mean exclusive ? No. No, they didn't.

"I have Tomb Raider shipping next holiday exclusively on Xbox," Xbox head Phil Spencer told Eurogamer , possibly while salivating. "It is Xbox 360 and Xbox One. I'm not trying to fake anybody out in terms of where this thing is. What they do with the franchise in the long run is not mine. I don't control it." Eurogamer do not mention if, at this point, Spencer's eyes narrowed, as if daring the universe not to bend to his will. "So all I can talk about is the deal I have. I don't know where else Tomb Raider goes."

That last statement came after many preceding statements, including lines like, "My job is not to talk about games I don't own", "I didn't buy the IP. I didn't buy the studio. It's not mine", and "I don't own them building Tomb Raider on other platforms."

All of which finally led Spencer to this: "Yes, the deal has a duration. I didn't buy it. I don't own the franchise."

Spencer finished by not revealing how long the exclusivity deal's duration will last.

This is by no means confirmation of a Rise of the Tomb Raider PC release. But the game will eventually be released from Xbox exclusivity, and so, at that point, not making a PC version would be a very strange decision indeed. Hell, even Ryse is coming to PC now.

At least, then, it's not an exclusive in perpetuity. That, to be frank, would be hot bullshit .

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.