Microsoft had no intention of holding back a single punch at this year’s Gamescom 2014. The trade fair show held at the Koelnmesse in Cologne is celebrated as the region’s own personal E3 and it’s a place where a company that wears and bleeds green can make a surprise announcement that will collectively open the jaws of shocked gamers everywhere.

Rise of the Tomb Raider – Xbox One Exclusive 

Yes, Crystal Dynamic’s own Rise of the Tomb Raider will be an exclusive for the Xbox One.  It’s an announcement came as a particular surprise at Microsoft’s Gamescom press conference because frankly, the numbers didn’t match the move. Disappointing sales numbers that derived from the previous title had Square Enix in a Tiff in early 2013. They reportedly went on the record as saying that they were “very disappointed” that the well-received review scores the game had received earlier in the year hadn’t translated into profitable sales. It was only much later during its release window that Tomb Raider finally managed to break even.

It would be naive not to believe that Microsoft did more than enough to reassure Square and Crystal Dynamics with their own brand of dollar signs, but minus that possibility, it has some gamers scratching their heads as to why the company would decide to limit the game to a single platform.

Despite it all, it’s an interesting move for a company who up until now watched their previous exclusive in Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome make their way to the PC platform. Microsoft seems to be taking advantage of the new-found audience that developed over the course of the franchise’s extended exposure on the PS4 and Xbox One respectfully, which up until now has reached numbers approaching 6.5 million.

Update:

Turns out Tomb Raider won’t be permanently exclusive to the Xbox platform.  As many gamers questioned, Microsoft seems to have landed a timed exclusivity contract with Square Enix as confirmed by the head of Microsfot’s Xbox division, Phil Spencer. There’s still no word as to how long this contract will last.

Noel Ransome