Rise of the Tomb Raider’s Timed Xbox One Exclusivity Cleared as Fans Petition for Multiplatform Release

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By Gel Galang | August 19, 2014 1:29 PM EST

One of the biggest buzzes that resounded at Gamescom is the announcement of the Xbox One exclusivity for the "Rise of the Tomb Raider," the expected 2015 title for the Tomb Raider game series.

REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian
An attendee uses her smartphone in front of a giant Microsoft Xbox sign at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo, known as E3, in Los Angeles, California June 11, 2014.

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It wasn't long after the exclusivity was announced that fans had raged through the Internet, creating memes and taking forums by storm as they discussed the unfairness of PC and PlayStation fans being denied access to what could be one of the greatest Tomb Raider titles to date.

After the backlash of reaction went to this side of negative, Microsoft proceeded to explain a bit further what they meant with the exclusivity deal for "Rise of the Tomb Raider."

In an exclusive statement with Eurogamer, Xbox boss Phil Spencer explains why they had the exclusivity deal for the title with Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix.

The first clarification that Spencer discussed is that the timed exclusivity would be with both the Xbox One and Xbox 360, which means that the game will come to both current and last-gen consoles.

The second is that, Spencer has stated that he has no control or idea where the franchise will be after the duration expires. Since Microsoft did not own the franchise, it does not have any control on what the developer or publisher will do afterwards.

And as far as why the move was made in the first place, Spencer said that it's mostly to achieve a win/win situation for the Xbox platform, just as other platforms and publishers may have done with games.

"I think it's a win/win. It's good for us. We've got certain needs out of it," he said. "I'll just put it this way: other people could have done this deal. There was nothing about us that said, we were the only people who could do this deal. If another publisher, another platform wanted to go do this deal, it's a business deal. There's nothing we did somebody else could not have done."

And as an ending note, Spencer had also felt that "Rise of the Tomb Raider" could have been the Xbox platforms' answer to Sony's "Uncharted 4."

"I'm a big fan of Uncharted and I wish we had an action adventure game of that ilk. We've started some, and we've looked at them. But we don't have one today of that quality. This is an opportunity."

Fans have also not kept quiet about their discontent with Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix's decision to make the title into an Xbox One exclusive game, even before the recently announced timed exclusivity was explained. Over at Change.org, a petition has been started to rescind the Xbox One exclusivity.

"Since its origins in 1996, 'Tomb Raider' has been a multi-platform franchise with fans all over the world playing on diverse systems and devices. The recent decision to release the upcoming 'Rise of the Tomb Raider' as an Xbox One exclusive alienates the majority of the fan base and will ultimately lead to the demise of the franchise," said the petition.

The petition was able to reach 5,000 signatures eight hours after it was first created, with the latest word being that the 12,500 signatures have already been submitted to Crystal Dynamics. The petition remains open until now, with more than 13,000 names signed.

"Rise of the Tomb Raider" announcement trailer (Credit: YouTube/RabidRetrospectGames)

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(Photo: REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian / )
An attendee uses her smartphone in front of a giant Microsoft Xbox sign at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo, known as E3, in Los Angeles, California June 11, 2014.
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