During their Gamescom 2014 press conference, Microsoft revealed that Crystal Dynamics' sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider will debut first on Xbox and that it will be an exclusive.
Immediately, fans of the series and the character came out in force to condemn the decision. The idea of loyal players from PC and PlayStation (where last years effort sold in great numbers) not getting access to Lara's next adventure sent ripples through the net. People swore off supporting Xbox or CD in the future. Anarchy loomed.
In response, Xbox head-honcho Phil Spencer spoke to Eurogamer about the exact language which surrounds the deal between Microsoft and publishers Square Enix, and exactly what it means for the future of Ms. Croft.
"When people want me to say, can you tell us when or if it's coming to other platforms, it's not my job."My job is not to talk about games I don't own. I have a certain relationship on this version of Tomb Raider, which we announced, and I feel really good about our long term relationship with Crystal and Square."
"I have Tomb Raider shipping next holiday exclusively on Xbox. 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. So all I can talk about is the deal I have. I don't know where else Tomb Raider goes."
There's more on the sitebut the gist of the matter seems to boil down a few points - MS don't own the Tomb Raider franchise or the character, its up to Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics to decide on their future releases and there's a possibility that the game could release on PC in the future.
The flip side of it is that Spencer never quite comes out and says that Rise of the Tomb Raider will appear anywhere else. His comments could be taken as referring to any and all future stories involving the Tomb Raider brand. So CD are free to develop and release an entirely different game.
He also makes reference to Dead Rising 3 and Ryse in the piece, both of which are launching on PC almost a year after their original run. So maybe Rise of the Tomb Raider could see the light of day in late 2016, perhaps in a new form bundled with the DLC.
It's good to get comments straight from Microsoft but the only thing we're sure of right now is that Rise of the Tomb Raider is coming to Xbox One and Xbox 360 around Christmas-time 2015.