The decision to make Rise of the Tomb Raider a timed Xbox One exclusive was a tough one, Square Enix has admitted, but one that it believes will bring long-term benefits to the series.
"I hope fans know that it wasn't an easy decision,” CEO Phil Rogers told Examiner. I think any sort of partnership at this level is a decision that took a longtime for us to get to. The decision at a studio level, we took very, very seriously. We knew it would, in the short-term, disappoint fans.
"What we saw in Microsoft, which is probably not as well known, is that Microsoft's passion for Tomb Raider is amazing. Having been working with us on previous games in a lesser sense, they've been supportive. [However], for Rise of the Tomb Raider, they've just brought this passion and belief that has really enabled us to blow people away.
People should feel that about Microsoft. Their commitment to Tomb Raider is just amazing for us.
"We're about growing our IP, this is a long-term decision. We're going to take Tomb Raider up to the next level. With Microsoft's belief, passion and sort of muscle to help us deliver, we really think this is going to be an awesome game that people will enjoy for years and years to come."
The game's Xbox exclusivity was announced at Gamescom last year, with Rogers at the time describing the deal as a win-win” for everyone involved. It was a full day after the announcement that further details about timed exclusivity were revealed, and last week we discovered that the game will hit PC in early 2016 and PS4 in Q4 next year.