There is no denying that Bethesda's Fallout 4 was one of the most anticipated games of the year. It's launch generated $750 million dollars in revenue, shipping 12 million copies in 24, leaving Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 in the dust. However, what many forget is that there was another major game released on November 10th. Rise of the Tomb Raider is the sequel to the 2013 title Tomb Raider. Ultimately, the franchise is a reboot of the iconic gaming franchise and has so far been accepted as a good addition to the IP. Released as a timed Xbox exclusive title, Rise of the Tomb Raider has been paraded as one of the major Xbox releases for this holiday season, taking the spotlight in the majority of the Xbox holiday ad campaigns. According to early UK sales, Rise of the Tomb Raider sold less than 63,000 copies on day one as pointed out in a tweet from Sony's senior product manager Chris Brown.
Even I myself predicted that the release date would be a disaster months ago.
Kinda Funny Games, led by Greg Miller, recently invited Aaron Greenberg to an interview on the Kinda Funny Gamescast to discuss all things Microsoft. Within this interview, the topic of the simultaneous release of both Fallout 4 and Rise of the Tomb Raider was brought up.
Colin Moriarty: "Was there ever any thought of moving (Rise of the) Tomb Raider out of the way? Because Fallout 4, to me, is going to cannibalize everything and are you guys worried about it cannibalizing your own exclusive game on that same day or is it more important to kind of stay the course since these games might be for two different audiences anyways. How is all of that going to shake out on November 10th?"
Aaron Greenberg: "Sure. No, we worked closely with a lot of our internal studios on, you know, like, the Halo launch date for example... when that's happening. We talked with Crystal on Tomb Raider. You know the challenge is you have to look at the production schedule and you want to make sure that you don't rush the game so that it's not done or not at high quality. Like, that's always the number one priority. The challenge with Tomb Raider is that if you go a week later you're against Battlefront and if you go a week earlier you're against Call of Duty. Two weeks earlier, you're against Halo. And then you go late and you're like "Well... do consumers still have money left to buy the game?"
When taking those circumstances into consideration, it is clear that there was really no great date to release Rise of the Tomb Raider. No matter where they turned, it seems that Microsoft was forced to push the game out alongside the behemoth that is Fallout and hope for the best.
The good in this is that Rise of the Tomb Raider has been doing well in the reviews. It seems that more elements of actual tomb raiding are included this time around, giving it a true feeling of exploration while throwing in those elements introduced in Tomb Raider as well as Naughty Dog's Uncharted games. This, in addition to the fact that the game was also released on the Xbox 360, leads to reason that the game will ultimately do well in the long run. The game is a timed exclusive, meaning that it should release on the PlayStation 4 and PC sometime in 2016, with a potential PlayStation 3 port from the Xbox 360 version of the game.
Although it has been overshadowed by Fallout 4, over time Rise of the Tomb Raider will more than likely find success. Though with the fall season thick with quality game releases from both first and third party studios, gamers seem to be leaning more towards experiences such as those in Halo 5, Fallout 4, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 as their first choices rather than exploring the caves and solving the puzzles in Rise of the Tomb Raider. As the honeymoon phase of Fallout wears off and gamers begin to take a break from their multiplayer experiences in Halo and Black Ops 3, I almost guarantee that their next trip to GameStop or GAME will end with a copy of Rise of the Tomb Raider in hand.