Told you so. In an interview with Eurogamer.net, Xbox chief Phil Spencer has admitted that Rise of the Tomb Raider isn’t actually an Xbox One exclusive at all, and that its deal with Square Enix has a set “duration”. That means that, as we pointed out yesterday, the title will almost certainly launch on the PlayStation 4 at some point in 2016 – although, the Microsoft employee wasn’t willing to explicitly say that.
“When people want me to say, can you tell us when or if it's coming to other platforms, it's not my job,” he explained. “My job is not to talk about games that I don't own. I don't own them building Tomb Raider on other platforms. I can't talk about the franchise in that way. I can talk about the deal that I have. I have Tomb Raider shipping next holiday exclusively on Xbox. It is [on] Xbox 360 and Xbox One. I'm not trying to fake anybody out in terms of where this thing is.”
Spencer continued to plead innocence, despite the evident deception yesterday. “What they do with the franchise in the long run is not [my decision],” he emphasised. “I don't control it, so all I can talk about is the deal that I have. I don't know where else Tomb Raider goes.” The bigger question at this point is when it will move on, though? “The deal has a duration,” is all that Spencer would say. “I didn't buy it. I don't own the franchise.”
The cornered company man also wouldn’t elaborate on any of the finer details of the partnership. “It's a deal between us and the partner,” he stressed. “People ask me how much did we pay. There are certain things that I'm just not going to talk about because it's a business deal between us and them. Obviously, the deal does have a duration. I didn't buy the property in perpetuity.” Actually, that wasn’t obvious to everybody yesterday.
To be fair to Spencer, he did have a word for PlayStation fans. “If I'm a PlayStation person, all of a sudden I feel like, the franchise has gone,” he sympathised. “I didn't buy the IP. I didn't buy the studio. It's not mine. Where this thing will go over time, we'll see what happens with the game. I don't own every iteration of Tomb Raider.” At least he’s now come out and cleared things up – even if it did take a day.
Of course, we told you so yesterday. There was very clear wording in Microsoft’s announcement that signalled that the game would only be exclusive for the holiday season. However, many people took them true to their word, hence the outrage. At least you can rest safe in the knowledge that the game is almost certainly coming to the PS4 in the future. The even bigger frustration at this point, is that the Redmond-based company is essentially paying Square Enix to stop you from playing it.