Crystal Dynamics: Tomb Raider partnership with Microsoft began in 2008

2013 Tomb Raider moved 7.5 million copies

At gamescom 2014, Rise of the Tomb Raider caused waves when it was revealed to be an Xbox exclusive. Well, sort of an exclusive. More like a timed exclusive. But, regardless of the confusion surrounding the announcement, the groundwork for the deal go back farther than anyone would likely imagine.

In a recent interview with Game Informer, Crystal Dynamics’ Darrell Gallagher explains that the studio’s partnership began more than half a decade ago. “It’s been a long partnership … since 2008 when we started working with Xbox on Underworld with some exclusive DLC,” he said.

Gallagher went on to list more examples of the blossoming union, such as Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light being part of Xbox’s Summer of Arcade program.  He called Rise of the Tomb Raider a “natural evolution” of that relationship.

Even if the bond with Xbox is strong, Gallagher doesn’t think that the partnership is vital to the new Tomb Raider. “I wouldn’t say that,” he commented regarding the game existing without Microsoft’s involvement. “If you look at Tomb Raider, it’s been around for 20 years. So, I do think it would still be around.” Gallagher also confirmed that 2013’s Tomb Raider sold 7.5 million copies, a statistic that supports his claim that the series is fine on its own.

Finally, when pressed about the likely event of coming to unannounced platforms, Gallagher was predictably quiet, yet left the door of possibility wide open. “We’re focusing on Xbox One and Xbox 360 here at Crystal, and that’s what we’re focused on right now. And anything beyond? We’ll come back to at a later date.”

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Brett Makedonski
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