When it was announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider would be an Xbox One exclusive, fans were – understandably – a little upset. Now though, it seems the exclusivity deal isn’t actually all that exclusive.
First up, the game’s also headed to Xbox 360. When Microsoft‘s Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said “Exclusive to Xbox”, he actually meant “Both Xbox-branded consoles”, but he also acknowledges that the deal “has a duration”.
The deal has a duration. I didn’t buy it. I don’t own the franchise. It’s a deal between us and the partner. People ask me how much did we pay. There are certain things I’m just not going to talk about because it’s a business deal between us and then.
Talking to Eurogamer, Spencer explains that – in time – the game could pop up in other places, too. He points out that Microsoft does not control the IP, and Crystal Dynamics can do what they want with the franchise in the long run:
I don’t own them building Tomb Raider on other platforms. I can’t talk about the franchise that way. I can talk about the deal I have.
…of course, Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix are standing firm in the face of intense criticism over the Tomb Raider deal, which sees both PC and PlayStation gamers feeling abandoned by the developer.