This just in from Crystal Dynamics. This is a complete surprise to me, but I still have their backs. I trust that ultimately Crystal and Square would make the appropriate decision with my beloved franchise. I also understand the frustration in the Tomb Raider community. I am fortunate in the regard of having an Xbox One and 360, but I enjoy all platforms equally. It has been confirmed that the "Rise" exclusive "has a duration" via this Eurogamer article, also linked below in the update. Furthermore, this Polygon article explains the benefits of a deal such as this.
Dear Tomb Raider Community,
As you may have seen, we’ve just announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider, coming Holiday 2015, is exclusively on Xbox. We consider all of you to be the lifeblood of Tomb Raider and the work we do at Crystal. I’d like to give you some insight into this decision, and why we feel this is the very best thing for the Tomb Raider sequel we’re creating at the studio.
Tomb Raider in 2013 was a success due in large part to your continued support. Our goal has always been to deliver something truly special with Rise of the Tomb Raider. Today’s announcement with Microsoft is one step to help us put Tomb Raider on top of action adventure gaming. Our friends at Microsoft have always seen huge potential in Tomb Raider and have believed in our vision since our first unveil with them on their stage at E3 2011. We know they will get behind this game more than any support we have had from them in the past - we believe this will be a step to really forging the Tomb Raider brand as one of the biggest in gaming, with the help, belief and backing of a major partner like Microsoft.
This doesn’t mean that we’re walking away from our fans who only play on PlayStation or on PC. Those are great systems, with great partners, and amazing communities. We have Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris coming to those platforms this December, and Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition is available on PS4.
We know that there are probably many more questions and concerns. Please do send them to us, and we’ll answer to the best of our ability. Meanwhile we’re going all out to try and make something truly special - the most ambitious Tomb Raider game ever built.
Crystal Dynamics Head of Studios
UPDATE - August 15th, 2014
Thank you for all of the feedback and questions. There has been a lot of coverage about Rise of the Tomb Raider, and a new round of articles followed Phil Spencer’s Eurogamer interview in which he confirmed that the exclusivity is timed. In case you haven’t read that article yet, you can do so here.