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Third-party exclusives not dead yet: New Tomb Raider only on Xbox

Exclusive deals with third-party publishers are becoming a rarity these days, but Microsoft has shown that it is still an option, even with major triple-A franchises.
A deal meant to boost Xbox One’s appeal hasn’t gone over too well with fans of other consoles. The company today announced at Gamescom in Germany that Crystal Dynamics' next Tomb Raider game, dubbed Rise of the Tomb Raider and published by Square Enix, will be “Exclusively on Xbox” in holiday 2015. It’s unclear whether this means the game will be on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One. What is clear is Microsoft struck an exclusive deal with Square Enix, at least for a limited time. Exclusive deals with third-party publishers are becoming a rarity these days among platform holders, but Microsoft has shown that it is still an option, even with major triple-A franchises. Laying claim to a new Tomb Raider game is meant to help give a shot in the arm to Xbox One, which has been trailing behind Sony’s PlayStation 4 in terms of hardware sales. Players who don’t own Xbox platforms voiced their disdain on Crystal Dynamics’ forums. Crystal Dynamics head Darrell Gallagher quickly acknowledged consumer blowback, saying, “Today’s announcement with Microsoft is one step to help us put Tomb Raider on top of action adventure gaming…We know they will get behind this game more than any support we have had from them in the past - we believe this will be a step to really forging the Tomb Raider brand as one of the biggest in gaming, with the help, belief and backing of a major partner like Microsoft.” The last Tomb Raider, simply titled Tomb Raider, was a slow burn for Square Enix. The game launched as a multiplatform game in 2013, and after meeting slow initial sales, managed to sell over 6.5 million units.

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