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Square Enix CEO talks Tomb Raider timed-exclusivity, “wasn’t an easy decision”

by Ron Duwell | July 29, 2015July 29, 2015 11:40 am PDT

We now know when PC and PlayStation 4 players will get a chance to play Rise of the Tomb Raider. PC gamers will get to play it six months after its Xbox One release, and PlayStation 4 owners can snag it up a year later. PlayStation 4 owners are not pleased with the decision, and Square Enix West CEO Phil Rogers wants those fans to know that the decision for timed-exclusivity for Microsoft “wasn’t an easy” one.

In an interview with The Examiner, Rogers claims that it might be upsetting now, but ultimately, the series will benefit from it.

“I hope fans know that it wasn’t an easy decision,. I think any sort of partnership at this level is a decision that took a long time 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.

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.”

In short, Square Enix took the money to make Rise of the Tomb Raider the best game it could be, but it had to do so by denying over half of its audience a year to play it. That’s one side of it, yes, but Rise of the Tomb Raider must be a huge success and survive any form of sophomore slump if it wants to be a mainstay franchise in its current form. Maybe Square Enix could’t guarantee its AAA quality on its own dollar.

We’ve all seen how Tomb Raider has fared with ups and downs throughout its history. This hopefully is a step towards consistency, and if Square Enix needed that boost to get this second game smoothly through the gate, then in the long haul, this was a good decision. It could also infuriate fans into not buying it, because spite works so well, or derail the momentum the franchise has picked up.

I mean, I hate timed exclusivity, but I don’t think Microsoft’s money was shoved into anyone’s pocket out of greed. This could be helping the game become the best it could be if that money is put in the right place.

Could just be PR, could be the truth. We’ll see how long this will be a factor though when the third game comes around.

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Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...

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