At Gamescom this morning in Germany, Microsoft revealed that Crystal Dynamics upcoming Tomb Raider sequel would be exclusive to Xbox when it releases in Holiday 2015. Immediately console warriors sprung into action attacking Microsoft for “money hatting” Square Enix and berating the company for deciding that they didn’t want the Tomb Raider sequel to turn a profit. Naturally most of these people are PlayStation 4 owners, but their actions are making them look like hypocrites in the light of history.
The reason is because Sony did the exact same thing in the 90s with the original Tomb Raider games.
Many believe that Tomb Raider was always a “Sony franchise”, as many aren’t aware that the franchise actually started on a Sega platform and then Sony paid Eidos to prevent the sequel from showing up on the Sega Saturn.
When it was released in the US, Sega’s 32-bit Saturn system was considered underpowered to Sony’s PlayStation. Where Sony was somewhat forward-thinking and designed their system around 3D polygonal games, Sega designed the Saturn to be a sprite powerhouse, able to deliver arcade perfect ports of Capcom’s popular 2D fighting games. The drawback to the Saturn’s design was that it couldn’t match Sony’s system in 3D performance, but there were some developers that were able to exceed it.
One of these was Core Design. The creators and original developers of the Tomb Raider franchise were wizards with the Saturn hardware. They overcame its limitations, learned it’s multiple-processor architecture, and delivered 3D games that were actually better on the Saturn than the PlayStation. One of these was the original Tomb Raider.
The Saturn version of Tomb Raider actually featured a more solid framerate and tighter controls than the PlayStation version, but when the game took off in popularity on Sony’s system the company paid Eidos to make Lara Croft a PlayStation exclusive for her second outing. From then until the failure of the first PlayStation 2 game, Tomb Raider was PlayStation exclusive due to a “money hat” from Sony. In 1997 Sony signed a deal that kept Tomb Raider games off competitor’s consoles until 2000.
It’s the exact same type of action that Sony fanboys are now attacking Microsoft for taking with the next-gen Tomb Raider sequel. How easily system warriors forget that the company they cheerlead for on gaming forums is guilty of the exact same thing they’re complaining about its competitor doing.