A Square Enix CEO chimes in about his company's controversial timed exclusivity deal with Microsoft for Rise of the Tomb Raider

Fans have been in an uproar over the timed exclusivity of Rise of the Tomb Raider, which means that Xbox consoles will be getting this Lara Croft sequel this November, but PlayStation gamers will have to wait almost a full year to play it. In an interview with Examiner, Square Enix CEO of the Americas and Europe Phil Rogers explains that his company knew that the deal would divide the audience while generating positive responses from Xbox gamers and negative backlash from PlayStation users.

"I hope fans know that it wasn’t an easy decision. I think any sort of partnership at this level is a decision that took a longtime for us to get to. The decision at a studio level, we took very, very seriously. We knew it would, in the short-term, disappoint fans," Rogers said.

Mind you, Chart-Track sales figures (courtesy of VideoGamer) indicate that the PlayStation 4 version of Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition sold over 69 percent of the total copies of the game during its first week of release compared to the Xbox One's 31 percent. This exclusivity still makes it look to me like Xbox simply shelled out money to Square Enix so they can sell the game first on Xbox One and try to prevent such a large gap in sales from happening again.

"[Passion] becomes the most important thing. We’re about growing our IP, this is a long-term decision. We’re going to take Tomb Raider up to the next level. With Microsoft’s belief, passion and sort of muscle to help us deliver, we really think this is going to be an awesome game that people will enjoy for years and years to come," Rogers said. "If you don’t know, Phil [Spencer] visits Crystal [Dynamics] every time he’s in the Bay Area. Phil is the most welcomed guest, he’ll come talk to the team, play the game and [Microsoft] is a very committed organization to our properties. It just makes it that much more exciting for us."

Rise of the Tomb Raider is expected to launch on Nov. 10 for Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The game will release on Windows 10 and Steam in early 2016. Lastly, Rise of the Tomb Raider will launch for PlayStation 4 during the 2016 holiday season (ugh). There is still no word on its PS3 release.

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