This morning's biggest Gamescom news was that Rise of the Tomb Raider, the next big console installment in Lara Croft's adventures, will be an Xbox exclusive. And people are pissed.
Well, to be honest, it's not really clear whether Rise of the Tomb Raider is a permanent Xbox exclusive. Game publishers like Microsoft and Sony are infamous for using shady language ("console exclusive!") that leaves the truth ambiguous and fans confused.
Journalist Geoff Keighley, who's out in Germany right now for the show, probed Microsoft in hopes of finding out the truth, to no avail:
Spoke to many people here at Xbox press conference on Tomb Raider. Official line is that the game is "exclusive on Xbox for holiday 2015."
— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) August 12, 2014
"For holiday 2015." Whatever that means. Maybe the game will come to PlayStation and PC a few months after that; maybe it won't. (We've also reached out to all the parties involved in hopes of getting a real response.)
Still, PlayStation fans are understandably angry at Microsoft and Tomb Raider publisher Square Enix for potentially denying them a game that looks pretty damn cool. Tomb Raider, which has traditionally been a PlayStation-focused franchise, hit both new-gen consoles for the first time earlier this year, and wound up running better on PS4 than it did on Xbox One.
Our buddy Keza MacDonald over at Kotaku UK thinks this whole thing is a very bad idea:
There's a reason why these deals are increasingly rare: they're generally a bad idea. Whatever benefits Rise of the Tomb Raider and its publisher will gain from an exclusive partnership, players are the ones losing out.
Fans all over the web are pissed about the situation. On a Tumblr post written to explain why developer Crystal Dynamics decided to go this route, for example, gamers are fuming:
People on Twitter are upset, too:
A giant thread on the Tomb Raider forums is full of people criticizing Square's decision, writing things like "RIP Tomb Raider" and "if this is true I'm done with Tomb Raider forever."
Stuff like this:
Are there some overreactions? For sure. But it's clear that people are upset, and for good reason: anyone who doesn't own an Xbox just found out that the next Tomb Raider comes with a big new price tag.
Of course there are also jokes:
Rise of the Tomb Raider is now exclusive to Xbox One. Square Enix clearly wants the game to be uncharted: as in, not entering the charts.
— CEO Kaz Hirai (@KazHiraiCEO) August 12, 2014
— ibukisuika (@PS_suika0916) August 12, 2014
If the new Tomb Raider ever does come to PS4, they should call it Rerise of the Tomb Raider.
— Matthew Green (@PressTheButtons) August 12, 2014
For those still interested, the Tomb Raider comics are available on one format - paper. Ok, pixels too. My first co-issue is #7, out Aug 27.
— Rhianna Pratchett (@rhipratchett) August 12, 2014
"Hello Microsoft, this is Square Enix. We were wondering, do you know any ways we could at least halve sales of Tomb Raider? ... You DO?!"
— John Walker (@botherer) August 12, 2014
Ive bought every Tomb Raider game to date and now its exclusive to a console I dont own. Lara totally just dumped me. *Cries into icecream*
— pandamusk (@pandamusk) August 12, 2014
Still workshopping a joke about women not being on stage at the PS4 reveal and Tomb Raider not being on Sony's platform.
— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) August 12, 2014
So Tomb Raider sells under expectations and Square Enix makes Rise of the Tomb Raider an XBO exclusive. This industry.
— Jim Sterling (@JimSterling) August 12, 2014
Oh man, the Tomb Raider game didn't make its sales target! What'll we do?
I know, we'll cut the potential audience for the next one by 95%!
— Sparky Clarkson (@sparkyclarkson) August 12, 2014
Wait hang on, they’re seriously calling a videogame “Rise of the Tomb Raider”? That wasn’t just a joke about videogame titles, that’s real??
— Christine Love (@christinelove) August 12, 2014
"Tomb Raider is an Xbox exclusive" = Microsoft literally paid Square Enix to deny their game to people
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) August 12, 2014
Microsoft has paid Square Enix loads of money so that you can't play the new Tomb Raider *mad cheering from crowd*
— PCGamesN (@PCGamesN) August 12, 2014
There's even a petition: