You weren’t the only one surprised at Rise of the Tomb Raider’s exclusivity announcement during the Microsoft media briefing at Gamescom last week, as Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida was also shocked to learn the news. In an interview with Eurogamer.net, a slightly rundown sounding executive admitted that he never anticipated the reveal.
“It's very interesting the way that [Xbox boss] Phil Spencer said, ‘What we are saying is, in Holiday 2015, Tomb Raider is exclusive to Xbox.’ So, it's open to interpretation – but still, we didn't anticipate something like this would happen,” he revealed, adding that he had no idea that the deal was even in place. “How could we know?” he pondered.
On the subject of the backlash, the likeable suit continued: “Anything that Microsoft announces, people complain to me as well. In general, there are lots of people who are angry, who emotionally reacted to the announcement. Some people created an image saying negative things, like the end of Tomb Raider. It was a very emotional response.”
Nevertheless, the executive is still hopeful that the game will release on the PlayStation 4 eventually. “I hope that the game will come out eventually on the PS4,” he stressed. “But how can I tell? Other than that cryptic message by Phil Spencer.” Recent comments by the Xbox chief have suggested that the release will be a timed exclusive, but it’s still not clear.
Either way, Yoshida concluded that he finds the whole affair “amazing” considering how uncommon third-party exclusives are these days. “If you're a marketing person at Square Enix and you're projecting your sales for the game, if it doesn't come out on the PS4, then there must be lots of units that have to be covered by some means,” he said. “It's amazing.”