The Rise and Fall of Tomb Raider


You have meddled with the primal forces of nature and we won’t have it. Is that clear?

For Tomb Raider fans, this pretty much sums up the feelings about Crystal Dynamics’ decision to go all exclusive and cuddly with Microsoft’s Xbox One, by ignoring the many, to satisfy the few and putting shareholders’ dividends above and beyond the millions of fans who have helped drive the games to the success they have become today.

You may remember the article I wrote in August, following this announcement at Gamescom 2014, outlining the consternation of  Tom Raider fans all over the world, who felt betrayed, not  just by the fact of the deal, but the way it was handled.

Since then, both Microsoft and Crystal Dynamics have tried  hopelessly to mollify the fans, many of whom have followed Lara Croft since 1996.

Here are some sound-bites that recently surfaced on the net….

If I’m a PlayStation person all of a sudden I feel like, the franchise has gone…Phil Spencer, Microsoft.

We certainly didn’t intend to cause any confusion with the announcement…Crystal Dynamics

The deal has a duration. I didn’t buy it. I don’t own the franchise…Microsoft.

I think it could help the franchise in the long run and help Crystal and Square and us †† …..and I think it can be a win/win…Microsoft.

Games like Rise of the Tomb Raider are good for the industry…Microsoft.

This business, the console gaming business, only stays healthy if people are all making money…..Microsoft.

RIP Lara Croft 1996 – 2013

Note the cosy use of us, with no mention of the fans whatsoever.

Give us your money

Since the very first Tomb Raider in 1996, the game has been released across all available platforms, as nine new games, numerous bonus levels and expansion packs, reaching millions of gamers, from MS-DOS to PS3. That’s one heck of a track record and equates to more than 35 million games sold across the franchise and little wonder then that the accountants at Crystal Dynamics began to froth at the mouth when a deal with Microsoft was mooted.

Money talks, of course it does, but so does loyalty, which should work both ways in an ideal world. However, Lara Croft has found herself as the unwitting ragdoll whore, in what is the Xbox One vs PS4 battleground being played out in the run up to Christmas 2014/15 and beyond. Rise of The Tomb Raider has been slated for release as holiday 2015 in the US, which gives Microsoft ample time to plan a frontal attack on Sony’s Playstation 4 at the expense of all other gamers who will remain with their PC’s, PS4’s and other platforms or simply can’t afford the $400 price tag for the Xbox One.

Lara Croft Way, Derby
Lara Croft Way, Derby

A way of life

To get an idea of the love and dedication that Tomb Raider has attracted over the years, it’s worth pointing out that Lara Croft has helped launch young careers, comic books, fan sites, intellectual theses, cosplay events, fan movies, fan clubs and all manner of lifestyle variations, making Tomb Raider more than just a game, but a way of life for many fans. Sites such as Stella’s Tombraiders and Katie’s Tomb Raider Forum have become the de facto sources of news, walkthroughs  and anything related to Tomb Raider over the years and last month, a petition was launched and sent to Square Enix/Crystal Dynamics, signed by more than 14,000 loyal fans, in an effort to persuade them to rescind the decision to publish the new game exclusively on Xbox One, but hopes are not high for a U-turn.


It has to be said that the only light at the end of this dark tunnel is the probability that this arrangement will end up as a timed exclusive, which means that if Rise of The Tomb Raider is released at Christmas 2015 on Xbox One, the rest of us may eventually gain access to it sometime in 2016 or very probably 2017.

Either way, it’s going to be a long wait, so don’t hold your breath.


6 thoughts on “The Rise and Fall of Tomb Raider”

  1. GraveDigger27

    As a former accountant myself, I’d like to point out that it’s very rare that “the bean counters” are the ones who would make the decision on anything. I’ll bet the idea to make the sequel to Tomb Raider 2013 an Xbox One exclusive was done by people higher up on the food chain. In any case it’s doubtful that the sequel to a game that supposedly “under-performed” would be limited to a platform that isn’t even leading the next-generation market in overall sales and leave out the PS4 and PC communities.

    I’ve been a Tomb Raider fan since the days of Sega Saturn and have purchased every version since on multiple platforms (PC and consoles) so I obviously was disappointed that it was announced that the sequel would be an exclusive to the Xbox One during the 2015 holiday season – but I’m hopeful that with the critical feedback that both Crystal Dynamics and Microsoft have received since that announcement that we’ll see the game on the other platforms sooner, rather than later. In any case, I doubt that I would be purchasing a Xbox One on the strength of any title (and certainly not one where I’d have to pay a premium for a title just to get it “when it’s released…”)

    I waited for the 2013 game and will wait for the sequel…

    1. Good to welcome a fellow Tomb Raider fan, Gravedigger.
      Without wishing to cast aspersions on accountants around the world, one uses a little poetic license from time to time.
      I waited eight years for Black Mesa and a little less for TR 2013, but I still think we’ll be lucky to see ROTR before the end of 2016.
      What I omitted to mention here was that this new game was teased at us all at E3 a few months ago, with no mention of exclusivity and then they dash all our hopes in a way that shows this wasn’t very well thought out at all.

  2. What’s all the fuss about?
    By the time this game is released, regardless of the platform, some people may have traded their games and consoles for FOOD.
    All this is is a ploy to get people to buy NEW all the time.
    I got suckered into the old Atari 2600 system. I had well over 100 game cartridges and all the gadgets that went with them, including the keyboard. Three years ago I trashed it and all my TI99/4a stuff. All I play now are PC games and only those under $10.oo each.
    In the not-too-distant future, the general population of the world, will have two choices. Eat? or Play games? Very few will have the ability to do both.
    Well, there’s my two cents on this……………Alan

    1. You paint a dark and foreboding picture of the future Alan.
      Personally speaking, I’d rather work, rest and play.
      What will you be doing?

  3. As a TR collector I have them across many formats, which may seem odd as I do not have all the consoles to play them on, such is a collectors folly, but did we not have the same issue (almost) on the xbox 360 with dlc for underworld? Wasnt that an exclusive too? As a PS boy this is the only set of levels I have never played! 🙁 While I was distraught at the news, we will get it ine day and CD will see it was a bad move. Depending on performance, we may see it earlier I reckon.

    1. To be sure, we will see ROTR one day and as you say, CD will see the error of their ways.
      It’s also worth pointing out that Microsoft have also made some weird errors of judgement over the years.

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