Rise of the Tomb Raider was announced to be an Xbox One exclusive during the Xbox media briefing at Gamescom 2014. Many fans of the series were shocked by the announcement, especially on our Twitter mentions. Could there be a possibility that the game will be available for other platforms, such as PC and PlayStation 4, once it debuts on the Xbox One in holiday 2015? Let’s have a look at the facts that could strengthen the possibility of Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix bringing the next big Tomb Raider experience for other platforms in 2016 or later.
Most of the Copies Were Sold on PlayStation Platforms
(Following sales info is provided by Vgchartz)
Tomb Raider (2013) and Definitive Edition have sold 4 541 000 copies in total on PlayStation and Xbox platforms. (Not PC version included) When analyzing the charts, it seems 69 percent of the copies were bought for the PlayStation platforms and 31 percent for the Xbox platforms. In numbers this means PlayStation version of Tomb Raider sold approx. 3 133 290 copies when the Xbox version sold approx. 1 407 710 copies. As bad as it might sound, Square Enix would be losing 69% of their previous sales by making the next Tomb Raider game an Xbox One exclusive. Of course, this won’t be the exact number since the fans will be buying the game anyway, but it shows how big of a lost it could be for the company. It might be quite crucial when looking at the next fact:
Tomb Raider (2013) Barely Made Profit
As successful as Tomb Raider was with its sales and reviews, it didn’t redeem Square Enix’s expectations. The company expected the game would be selling at least 6 million copies during its launch week, but it failed to achieve that. Luckily, the game finally achieved profitability during the end of 2013, and the launch of the definitive edition likely gave them more additional profits. As the sequel will be an exclusive for the Xbox One, which has a smaller user base than the the previous generation consoles, it’s quite unlikely the sequel will be reaching the big sales expectations when said platform is already “suffering” from worse sales when compared to its major competitor. With the next fact we are discussing to look at as to why Square Enix won’t likely be able to afford the exclusivity for a long time, as they already had problems covering the costs with five different platforms.
Last week, Camille Luddington uploaded a new picture from the Tomb Raider recording session to her Instagram. She was covered by UV reflective painting with over 7000 dots that are used to capture a realistic character model for the game. Previously, they only used 90 dots which makes this new system sound even more impressive. The system we are talking about is called MOVA and it’s already used in the movies such as Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean and Transformers which are well-known from their impressive visual effects. The MOVA tech has even won the Visual Effects Oscar.
As you can guess, this system will be expensive to use and it won’t be the only next generation technology that Crystal Dynamics exploits during the development of Rise of the Tomb Raider. Not to mention, the development costs are rising for AAA titles every year. How is Square Enix planning to cover the expenses when Xbox One is not as successful as PlayStation 4, making the copies even harder to sell for the audience?
Rise of the Tomb Raider is clearly a title bought to sell the Xbox One platform, and it will surely do it well. But when looking at these facts, it seems quite unlikely Square Enix wants or will be able to afford losing all the sales that they have received from the PlayStation platforms. These are quite strong signs, why the game is very likely a timed exclusive for the Xbox One. Microsoft simply had enough money to cover the possible PS4 sales, and perhaps they want to make the series “Xbox’s Uncharted”. If Rise of the Tomb Raider truly is a full-time exclusive, it must have cost Microsoft A LOT.
There is still over a year before the release of Rise of the Tomb Raider and only time will show us the truth. Will we see the next Tomb Raider game arriving for other platforms in 2016? Maybe.
Categories: Tomb Raider