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Thread: Thoughts on CD, MS and the timed exclusive deal from a fan and E3 ambassador

  1. #1

    Thoughts on CD, MS and the timed exclusive deal from a fan and E3 ambassador

    Hey everyone,

    I wanted to post some thoughts here about Tomb Raider's Xbox timed exclusivity, in the context of having had the opportunity to be part of the Crystal/Xbox Ambassador Program at this year's E3.

    A few people have asked me about my take on the whole Xbox deal, and I know that with a big event like E3, lots of promotions happening and with the release date announced and drawing closer, the timed exclusivity is again becoming a subject of active debate, as one would expect.

    I'll apologize now for the length of this, and I've realized that I'm slightly repetitive in a few spots, but that's because I'm trying to make some of my points from a few different angles.

    If you'll bear with me a moment, I want to provide some context that I hope will be helpful to understanding my opinion. I agree with the philosophy that everyone is entitled to an INFORMED opinion. Context is everything, so I took this chance to write about a few things that I've been meaning to share from my history as a gamer.

    I grew up in the 80s. We didn't have a television through much of my childhood - going over to friends' houses always meant getting in as much NES as I could - but we always had a computer in the house from my Dad's work, and often a good one too I grew up playing Sierra adventure games, loving Star Wars titles such as Tie Fighter, and was always engaged in learning through computing, whether it was programming with QBasic and Turbo Pascal or playing around with early DOS versions of 3D Studio. To try and shorten a very long story, let's jump ahead to just after my university years. I had retained my love for a large library of old computer games, but I hadn't played a lot of modern games... until I then became very invested in the modern age of computer gaming with titles such as Oblivion, Fallout 3, Skyrim, BioShock, Mafia II, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and probably some others I'm forgetting. And then I met the new Tomb Raider.

    I'm a PC gamer through and through. I love my mouse and keyboard. I get nervous when I think about handling a controller. I did have a Game Boy as a young boy, with a small number of games, and I later bought a Game Boy Advance SP (and even fewer games), but I've never owned a console, though I was tempted to save for one numerous times - when Red Dead Redemption was released, for one. Also, The Last of Us. But I already owned a powerful PC - what did I need a console for? Playing games on the couch appealed to me, but I couldn't decide which of the consoles I'd get. Would I have to get both an Xbox and a PlayStation to play the games that were exclusive to one console or the other? In the end, with only a small handful of titles that weren't coming out on PC or were exclusive to one console, I decided not to get one.

    In 2013, I had the luck and good fortune to win an Xbox 360. You can imagine how excited I was to finally play some of the console-only or Xbox-only titles I hadn't had the chance to play. I overcame my fear of using console controllers. In fact, and this falls purely into the category of personal preference, after having played my new Xbox 360 and after having used various PlayStation controllers at friends' houses and gaming events, I would say that I prefer the Xbox 360 controller. I love its shape and how comfortable it is to hold. I love the glossy black design with the colorful buttons. I love the touch of the triggers and the sticks. IF I was to buy a next generation console, and if I was ONLY basing my decision on my personal prior experiences with controllers, I would go with the Xbox One.

    As a 30-something workaholic, having a console for the first time in my life hasn't really changed my gaming habits. I'm not suddenly gaming on the Xbox 360 all the time. I still prefer to game on the PC, but now I have a second option. I played a pretty reasonable amount of Red Dead Redemption, but I'm a slow and thorough gamer, and I didn't get THAT far before life interrupted. I tend to play only one to two games every one to two years from franchises that I follow - I truly LOVE gaming, but that's about all the time I have - and when I do play those games, I invest a lot of time and energy into them, just because that's the way I enjoy gaming. I get involved in online communities, I get into making fan sites and things like that.

    So let's get to present day. With the reboot, Tomb Raider got bumped to the top of the short list of game franchises that I followed with significant interest and anticipation. I closed the main portion of my Tomb Raider (2013) review by saying that, based on the reboot, "I trust [Crystal] to take the critical acclaim and the fan feedback for improvements in equal measure, and deliver a worthy, and even greater sequel. A survivor has been born - and now it's time for her to go raid some tombs."

    Given everything that I loved about the reboot and things that I hoped Crystal might improve for Rise, I approached the E3 Ambassador program with great expectations of what we would get to see, so I want to briefly touch on how Microsoft/Xbox treated/promoted Rise of the Tomb Raider at E3. Now that you have some idea of my gaming history, I can tell you that I went to E3 as a gamer, I went to E3 as a Tomb Raider fan, and... I went to E3 as a PC gamer. When I watched the first Rise E3 reveal at the Xbox Media Briefing, I was ecstatic with what we saw... as a Tomb Raider fan. When we had the further opportunity to see some Rise demos, I was completely engaged and so impressed with the progression of the franchise from the reboot... as a gamer. It was just tremendously exciting, and I was so excited that - even with huge Xbox signs everywhere - I really did "ignore" the Xbox part of the equation, and I was just focused on being thrilled with Tomb Raider itself.

    As someone else recently pointed out, credit given where credit is due, which is something I absolutely agree with. I admired what Xbox did as a company at E3, and not just with Tomb Raider. As a graphic designer, I really admire Xbox's branding and they produced a very tight, very well-executed, very strong, very effective, very exciting and very engaging presence at E3. That's why I posted so many photos of Xbox branding, and why I featured a lot of Xbox branding in my E3 videos. One of the photos I tweeted after E3 was an image comparing the press conferences of Xbox vs PlayStation, and what I attempted to demonstrate in just one picture (and which was only the tip of the iceberg of the way the two consoles represented themselves at E3) was that, just on the subject of the press conference, never mind anything else, Xbox sure knows how to put on a show, while I almost fell asleep trying to get through watching the PlayStation conference. Anyway... Xbox treated Tomb Raider incredibly well at E3 - incredibly well - which is something I've discussed in some detail elsewhere, and I won't rehash that for fear of this post becoming even longer than it's already fated to be. Definitely check out that link if you're interested, and to summarize, as a gamer I was thrilled with Tomb Raider's exposure at E3.

    So the comment I made about Xbox in a certain promotional video was my honest reaction to E3. I was very impressed with Microsoft/Xbox's presence at E3 and how they treated and promoted Tomb Raider. As a gamer, it was an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I'm thankful to Xbox and Crystal for the E3 Ambassador program. As I've deliberately said elsewhere multiple times, Crystal really showed their love for their fans at this event, devoting a lot of time to giving fans a press-like experience and giving us a lot of interaction time with Noah Hughes and Brian Horton. (The application for the program, by the way, was handled by Crystal, and did NOT ask what platform I gamed on.) It's also worth pointing out, again in regard to that promotional video, that the video really does focus on reactions to the E3 Rise of the Tomb Raider reveals, with Xbox being mentioned, besides my comment, only by way of introduction and closing.

    Believing that I've covered everything up to this point with sufficient detail - let me know if I've missed something you want me to comment on - I think we can now finally arrive at the main topic - Rise of the Tomb Raider as an Xbox timed exclusive.

    As a PC gamer and a Tomb Raider fan, I am of course disappointed that Rise of the Tomb Raider won't be available on my platform of choice at launch. Will I buy an Xbox One in order to play the game at launch? Not likely - I don't have that much cash just lying around. Will I buy the game for my Xbox 360? I'm still not sure. I'm definitely going to want to play Rise on my PC, the question is if I want to be able to at least experience the game when it releases along with everyone else who will be playing it. I want to avoid spoilers but I still want to participate in the community! Without the timed exclusivity, none of us would have to worry about something like that, and beyond the general aggravation of "console wars" in the community, it will be a difficult period for the community during the game's launch. No one is forcing me to buy the game twice - possibly once on 360 just to be able to play it when it releases and then once on PC as my preferred platform - it's stupid, but it'll be my decision, and it's probably going to depend on how long the timed exclusivity lasts. I'm lucky to have that option of buying the game twice if I choose to. There are many PC and PlayStation gamers who don't own a 360 and don't have that choice.

    I'll definitely admit that as a newcomer to the franchise since the reboot, I really can't feel the same amount of frustration as those who have been with the franchise from the very beginning... when it originated as a PlayStation, DOS and Sega Saturn title... (the Sega what now? ) but as a life-long PC gamer and someone who believes there should be no exclusivity between platforms for the enjoyment of gamers everywhere (not to mention the greater long-term preservation of games or parts of games - *cough* Underworld DLC *cough* - that's possible when they're not platform exclusive), I understand and can sympathize with some of the very upset reactions that long-time fans have with this situation.

    One of the challenges with this timed exclusivity is that the details just aren't known. We still don't know yet how long the exclusivity will last. Knowing that piece of information would at least wrap up the discussion for a lot of fans I think - we could stop worrying about it, to a degree. The only reason for not announcing that information yet that I can think of, is that I guess Microsoft hopes to sell Xbox Ones for Christmas. As I already mentioned, I'm not going to buy an Xbox One at this time, and from what I've read on various forums and Facebook, it sounds to me that most Tomb Raider fans posting online will also not be buying an Xbox One. It still, however, may be an effective strategy for them. In no way do I mean to discount the significance of Tomb Raider fans who are active online, but we also have to keep in mind that this demographic is only part of the Tomb Raider fandom, who are in turn only part of the gaming public as a whole. I suppose that Microsoft is aiming at a much larger demographic, and will sell some Xbox Ones to gamers due to their console exclusives, and one possible plus side is that the Tomb Raider franchise will gain new fans through this increased exposure. But to Crystal, the developer, is all of this worth upsetting approximately 2/3 of the existing Tomb Raider fandom?

    So let's look at what we do know. Rise IS a TIMED exclusive. It is not a console exclusive. I don't think it's been said specifically that it will be released on the PlayStation 4 and PC after the exclusivity period, but I can't imagine it not being released on those two platforms. PlayStation 3 I would definitely be less certain about, but I wouldn't put it out of the running. From everything I've experienced of Crystal, from their reboot pre-launch, launch and post-launch campaigns (which I assessed in some detail in my reboot review) and especially my personal experience at this year's E3, I can tell you without a doubt that they do love their fans. They're well aware of the fan feelings. While I'm not happy about the timed exclusivity, I trust Crystal because of the people I've met who work there, who care passionately about gaming and who care passionately about the fans - Meagan Marie, Noah Hughes and Brian Horton - and so, even without the details that I know they can't give at this time, I take what they say to be genuine.

    Because of that personal experience meeting some of the Crystal crew, I don't subscribe to the point of view of those who think Crystal have "sold out." In the GameInformer "Business Decisions" video, Darrell Gallagher gave perhaps the clearest description of Microsoft's involvement, and I can see the business sense of the partnership. Crystal's workflow has been to develop Tomb Raider for one platform and then have long-time Square/Crystal partner Nixxes port the game for other platforms. Going back to Underworld, Crystal has developed on an Xbox platform first before having Nixxes take the reins on the other platforms. I'm sure there are those out there who are familiar with platform architecture and can speak to whether developing first on an Xbox platform makes sense from an engineering point of view. My point is, given Crystal's workflow, the partnership they formed with Microsoft - in which they were able to receive direct development support from Microsoft - does make sense from a development point of view, in order to create the best Tomb Raider game that they can from the outset, which Nixxes will then take and work their magic. As Darrell mentioned, "...we had just a number of people from Xbox come in that were all discipline experts ... they're bringing talent that we don't have in the studio that has hardware specific expertise ... And for us it just felt like we had this tremendous bench depth that came onboard to come and help us realize what we wanted to realize for Rise of the Tomb Raider as that next game." I know that the long history of official statements from various people has been debated and scrutinized at length, so I don't want to do that, but I did want to point out that the reasons given for how a partnership with Microsoft is beneficial are logical reasons.

    Those reasons don't take away from the problematic aspects of the timed exclusivity, but that's the positive that I take away from this - that Crystal do want to make the best Tomb Raider game that they can, and I can only hope and trust that the Microsoft support for this timed exclusive is going to result in an unbelievable Tomb Raider game (and all signs at E3 point to yes), and that the community will be able to make it through this difficult time.

    I don't have an "answer" to the situation. It was a decision that was made, and now we have to live with it. I don't want to spend energy being upset about it - life's too short for that. I'll express my opinions - as I've done here - and hope that (and I do feel confident that) Crystal is listening to the fan feedback about this issue, and will make a different choice if this situation comes up for the next Tomb Raider game. That's really all we can do.

    I don't subscribe to the doomsday scenarios of Tomb Raider becoming an Xbox-exclusive franchise in the future. I see it as a very difficult proposition for such a long-running multi-platform franchise to become exclusive to one platform. If you thought you had angry fans with a timed exclusive... and to leave the platforms where your franchise originated... no. I'm also not going to boycott Crystal or not play Rise because I'm that upset. Why would I do that? I don't necessarily believe people who say stuff like that in these types of situations. They're still going to play the game. After they're finished being upset, and the game is out and it looks amazing, they'll want to play it.

    I guess I just wanted to hopefully provide some transparency on a few of the subjects I talked about from the point of view of a fan who got to visit E3 courtesy of Crystal/Microsoft/Xbox. I welcome any questions or comments that arise from this.
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  2. #2
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    Nice read, Brandon

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  3. #3
    Very well written. There are some details that I see differently - I like the PS controllers far more than the Xbox's -, but I think on the important issues you said exactly what I think.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by F3lisCatus View Post
    Very well written. There are some details that I see differently - I like the PS controllers far more than the Xbox's -, but I think on the important issues you said exactly what I think.
    Thanks for the reply! And maybe I just didn't play enough with the PlayStation controllers

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    Nice piece of writing. Thanks for that. There will be many people who will take issue with some of what you wrote, but I see you as someone who has experienced things first hand and I take your view as one of the most important to be expressed here. You also confirm a few things that I have always maintained, such as CD's commitment to their fans. I too prefer the Xbox controller over the PS!
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  6. #6

    Red Face (Embarrassed)

    Im a Lazy ready, so what is the bottom line of the OP Post, because the way he talks about he's Personal Life and what he used to do and what Port he owns, makes it like he's Dying or something and asks for something in return.
    Last edited by chrisdaventry; 7th Jul 2015 at 08:41.

  7. #7
    When i began my journey with tr it was on the psx. It is a bit challenging when the word exclusive comes into play. I understand that is how things are. But would a multi platform release hurt or strengthen sales?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisdaventry View Post
    Im a Lazy ready, so what is the bottom line of the OP Post, because the way he talks about he's Personal Life and what he used to do and what Port he owns, makes it like he's Dying or something and asks for something in return.
    If you read it you'll find out! I don't think you can summarise it in one line. Pulling quotes and sentences out of it will only make them out of context and I think with this post context is everything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kadosho View Post
    When i began my journey with tr it was on the psx. It is a bit challenging when the word exclusive comes into play. I understand that is how things are. But would a multi platform release hurt or strengthen sales?
    Sounds like you need this thread for that question : http://forums.eu.square-enix.com/sho...63#post2123063

    Probably best to restrict this thread to discussing Relights OP.
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    certainly an interesting read. well written too.
    only i think the PS controller is far more comfortable than the xbox. never understood why the stick is up there and the D-pad is down there

    anyway; it certainly is good to hear that they do not ignore us completely but the deal is still stupid regardless by pushing off 2/3 of the fans for the least sold platform.
    so yes: lets hope indeed that they will not pull this off again for the third title.
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  11. #11
    While a well written piece and a well expressed opinion I ultimately disagree with it. There was no good excuse to make the deal or for CD to treat those who have supported them so well to their TR2013 success and before so poorly. Whatever MS is bringing to the table which CD haven't disclosed this a insult to the communities on the other consoles. Most of CD want to make the best game I don't refute that but I still think those at the top Gallagher amongst others did sell out and didn't consider those who play the game enough when making his decision unless they are Xbox players.

    Relight I am definitely not saying your opinion isn't good and I di say your post was very well written but in terms of saying CD it was okay to do this or it was a little bad but fine. I am not with you at all on that. I want no more exclusivity deals beyond this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel_Wing View Post
    While a well written piece and a well expressed opinion I ultimately disagree with it. There was no good excuse to make the deal or for CD to treat those who have supported them so well to their TR2013 success and before so poorly.
    I don't think that Relight is saying there is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steel_Wing View Post
    Whatever MS is bringing to the table which CD haven't disclosed this a insult to the communities on the other consoles. Most of CD want to make the best game I don't refute that but I still think those at the top Gallagher amongst others did sell out and didn't consider those who play the game enough when making his decision unless they are Xbox players.
    Your entitled to your opinion, but are you saying that MS said "wanna do a deal?", SE said "yes, of course" without properly considering the impact on their whole customer base? I don't believe they were this short-sighted, but that is my opinion. Ultimately they will still want to sell to the whole marketplace at some stage and SE wouldn't want to do something that would not be ultimately profitable. Whether it is remains to be seen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steel_Wing View Post
    Relight I am definitely not saying your opinion isn't good and I di say your post was very well written but in terms of saying CD it was okay to do this or it was a little bad but fine. I am not with you at all on that.
    I don't think Relight is saying either of these things. He is saying that despite The Deal being a bad thing there are some positives to it in terms of the games development and the underlying attitude of those involved.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steel_Wing View Post
    I want no more exclusivity deals beyond this.
    Agreed. I don't think anyone here doesn't agree with this sentiment.
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    @Chris: What Tecstar said. Pulling quotes from Brandon's OP defeats the purpose of his OP. You'll just have to read it full to get a proper understanding of Brandon's message

    Quote Originally Posted by Tecstar70 View Post
    Sounds like you need this thread for that question : http://forums.eu.square-enix.com/sho...63#post2123063

    Probably best to restrict this thread to discussing Relights OP.
    It's okay if people want to discuss anything regarding the MS deal in this thread; we plan to merge it with the xbox deal thread after some time anyway

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  14. #14
    That was a really good read Relight, glad you enjoyed your time at E3 and I appreciate your honesty but I can't agree with you regarding the deal SE & Microsoft have cut. The idea that TR would be some lesser game without Microsofts involvement feels off. People were making tomb raider games long before the xbox brand even existed and doing a great job of it aswell.

    Xbox has very little experience in this genre which is why they keep buying TR off every game instead of making their own ip. They have done nothing for tomb raider fanbase other than pay to take things away for the past 7 years, advertising that fact at E3 as some kind of great success on their part I don't believe is worth giving any credit for.

    I think Microsofts involvement is being overstated, it didn't happen until late into production. If it did they would have been shouting it from the mountain tops during e3 2014 instead of dodging interview questions about their involvement at gamescom. Plus the assistance they are said to be providing has also previously been given to other titles like destiny and diablo 3 with no exclusivity deals attatched. This is not what results in Rise being the best tomb raider.

    The thing is CD isn't some upstart indie studio and SE isn't company that's struggling to publish games, they don't need Microsoft's help to make another product like the hugely successful one they made before. Rise is the natural evolution of what CD started with the reboot, it's the same game it was always going to be. SE will just take what they saved on publishing/advertising the xbox versions and put them into final fantasy 15 instead.

    People want to find a silver lining in all this because they don't like seeing the developer they love, their favorite franchise or the console maker they prefer to be seen in a negative light but that notion that Microsoft are helping make tomb raider the best it can be with all this is more trying to save face for a very unpopular decision SE have made at their customers expense than anything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larafan1996 View Post
    That was a really good read Relight, glad you enjoyed your time at E3 and I appreciate your honesty but I can't agree with you regarding the deal SE & Microsoft have cut. The idea that TR would be some lesser game without Microsofts involvement feels off. People were making tomb raider games long before the xbox brand even existed and doing a great job of it aswell.
    But the Xbox One is new hardware, and it is commonly accepted that devs do not get the best out of console hardware until some way into that consoles lifecycle, so isn't it feasible that MS brought some valuable resource for CD to make the most of the Xbox One right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larafan1996 View Post
    Xbox has very little experience in this genre which is why they keep buying TR off every game instead of making their own ip. They have done nothing for tomb raider fanbase other than pay to take things away for the past 7 years, advertising that fact at E3 as some kind of great success on their part I don't believe is worth giving any credit for.
    Why is having experience in the genre needed to advise on developing on their console hardware?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larafan1996 View Post
    I think Microsofts involvement is being overstated, it didn't happen until late into production. If it did they would have been shouting it from the mountain tops during e3 2014 instead of dodging interview questions about their involvement at gamescom. Plus the assistance they are said to be providing has also previously been given to other titles like destiny and diablo 3 with no exclusivity deals attatched. This is not what results in Rise being the best tomb raider.
    How do you know such detail as to MS's involvement and contribution in Rise as well as those other games to be able to make this statement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larafan1996 View Post
    The thing is CD isn't some upstart indie studio and SE isn't company that's struggling to publish games, they don't need Microsoft's help to make another product like the hugely successful one they made before.
    Clearly they believe they do, because that's what they have done!

    Quote Originally Posted by Larafan1996 View Post
    Rise is the natural evolution of what CD started with the reboot, it's the same game it was always going to be. SE will just take what they saved on publishing/advertising the xbox versions and put them into final fantasy 15 instead.
    Again, how do you know such detail to make these claims? How do you know MS's help has not enhanced the game considerably? How do you know SE have saved any money and if they have how do you know that's where they will spend it instead?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larafan1996 View Post
    People want to find a silver lining in all this because they don't like seeing the developer they love, their favorite franchise or the console maker they prefer to be seen in a negative light
    I don't think it's about not wanting them to be seen in a negative light, but yes I think you have to look for silver linings amongst the clouds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Larafan1996 View Post
    but that notion that Microsoft are helping make tomb raider the best it can be with all this is more trying to save face for a very unpopular decision SE have made at their customers expense than anything else.
    I don't know about "saving face" but if MS are providing support on their platform that allows CD to optimise the game running on the now similar PC architecture of Xbox One, PS4 and PC then isn't that potentially beneficial for all platforms? Coding is all about getting the best out of memory, graphics architecture, CPU architecture etc and the people who designed the hardware should be able to give some very practical help in my view.
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  16. #16
    Forgive me if I find Darrell's statements about microsoft helping out with development in any meaningful way (beyond their own hardware problems) hard to believe but when you have him saying things like this as head of studios it doesn't exactly instil confidence in his words. You also have the game director saying stuff like this “If you don't have an xbox one we believe now is a great time to get one” to questions about the PC and PS4 fans. For the past year compared to what came before it's clear who is pulling the strings until this deal is over.

    I think final fantasy 15 will be getting the benefits of the Tomb raider deal and any other due to it being SE poster child. Because ff15 started it's life early on the ps3, still hasn't been finished and SE are fine with that yet somehow they see Tomb raider as potential risk. If the Tomb Raider team spent 9 years developing the reboot without a finished game like ff has CD would be getting the sack.

    Optimising for the more complicated and weaker architecture of the xbox over the other platforms doesn't benifit us. Solving that machines resolution and framerate issues has no impact on making a TR run better elsewhere, it just brings the xbox version of the game on par with the other platforms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larafan1996 View Post
    Forgive me if I find Darrell's statements about microsoft helping out with development in any meaningful way (beyond their own hardware problems) hard to believe
    No-one said they had hardware problems. Why is the statement hard to believe? Because you don't like it you don't believe it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larafan1996 View Post
    but when you have him saying things like this as head of studios it doesn't exactly instil confidence in his words.
    What part of that statement doesn't instill confidence? What is it you want confidence in?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larafan1996 View Post
    You also have the game director saying stuff like this “If you don't have an xbox one we believe now is a great time to get one” to questions about the PC and PS4 fans.
    What he actually said was "We , we have the greatest fans, y'know, we, we listen to them, we, we, we hear their pain when they talk about this. Ultimately, um, Microsoft has been a tremendous partner with us, they, they believed in our vision from, ah, from the get-go, uh, if you look at E3 this year they've been tremendously supportive and we believe together we're gonna be able to put out one of the greatest Tomb Raider games out, y'know, on November 10th. Um, to those fans all I, all I can ask for is uh, to, to, to understand that we are, as, as developers, we are just focused on trying to make the greatest Tomb Raider game we can. That's really, uh, the best statement I can give at this point and, uh, we hope, uh, some of you out there will, uh, if you don't have an Xbox One we believe this is a great time to get one there's so many great games coming out if you saw the Microsoft conference and er, we think its a great time to jump in and get Rise and the Xbox One. "

    I think in context of the situation that's not a bad answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Larafan1996 View Post
    For the past year compared to what came before it's clear who is pulling the strings until this deal is over.
    Not really, no. How are MS "pulling the strings" ? What is happening that makes you believe that SE/CD have no control over anything to do with Rise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larafan1996 View Post
    I think final fantasy 15 will be getting the benefits of the Tomb raider deal and any other due to it being SE poster child. Because ff15 started it's life early on the ps3, still hasn't been finished and SE are fine with that yet somehow they see Tomb raider as potential risk. If the Tomb Raider team spent 9 years developing the reboot without a finished game like ff has CD would be getting the sack.
    Ok, so its your opinion that FF will be getting financial benefit from the TR deal. Fair enough, although as none of us know what the deal actually is its a difficult one to speculate on any financial benefits in relation to FF.

    Quote Originally Posted by Larafan1996 View Post
    Optimising for the more complicated and weaker architecture of the xbox over the other platforms doesn't benifit us. Solving that machines resolution and framerate issues has no impact on making a TR run better elsewhere, it just brings the xbox version of the game on par with the other platforms.
    Who says it's more complicated? I understand it's just weaker in one or two area's. Both PS4 and Xbox One have had "framerate issues", but that of course depends on what you define as an issue. Running at 900p is not an "issue", its just lower than 1080p. If you see that as a big problem then buy something that runs 1080p. Many people don't believe this is an issue at all.

    With regards to cross-platform benefits, as I said, creating games is about code. It's about graphics engines and software code that utilise the components of the hardware. Consoles and PC's have the same basic architecture - memory, CPU, graphics chips, cache etc albeit different types and configurations.. Most devs learn a lot of tricks to optimise software engines and as I understand it games are written in one form of code then compiled into whatever hardware they are set to run on. This sounds like to me that optimisation at the front end could benefit all platforms. Maybe someone who has a bit of knowledge around this area can add some educated info but to write it off as you are doing seems a bit dismissive.

    I could be wrong but MS-hate seems to underly your posts. Having to draw on a year old article about the Xbox Ones eSRAM doesn't cut any ice with someone who is thoroughly enjoying Batman AK on his "broken" Xbox One which I have to say is graphically fantastic in my opinion, and is difficult to distinguish from the PS4 version, whereas the PC version has been pulled due to "resolution and framerate issues".
    Last edited by Tecstar70; 7th Jul 2015 at 17:14.
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    Tecstar70:
    Did you miss this article (and many others):
    http://www.vg247.com/2014/03/20/xbox...ays-microsoft/

    There is nothing complex about porting between the Xbox One and the PC. Microsoft didn't
    have to give anyone a ton of help porting between the two platforms. I believe that ROTTR
    is a timed exclusive for one reason: they are hoping that many PC and PS fans will rush
    out to get an Xbox One to play the game. They are losing the so-called console war to PS4
    at a rate of about 2-1. The TR game in 2013 sold more copies than any other TR game. And
    it wasn't a timed exclusive. SE and CD didn't need tons of help to make the game.

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    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Brandon, and I agree a hundred percent, especially this bit:

    Quote Originally Posted by Relight-TRHQ View Post
    It was a decision that was made, and now we have to live with it. I don't want to spend energy being upset about it - life's too short for that.
    I won't lie: when the announcement was first made I was very upset because I had already made my mind I'd go with a Wii U/PlayStation 4(/PC) combo for this gen. As long as the game comes out for any of these platforms I'll be happy, but if not, I'll eventually find a way to play. I did go out of my way to buy an Xbox 360 last gen solely because of the Underworld DLC, but as most of my gaming time and friends were on PS3, the logical step would be a PS4.

    I also agree that the X360 controller is more confortable than the PS3 one, but it's been massively improved for the PS4. As far as I'm concerned, though, it still fails to bump the Nintendo GameCube one off the top, though.

    Speaking of Darrell, he didn't attend E3 (not from what I've seen of it, anyway). Wonder if it's somehow related? People were angry beyond belief at the time, throwing death threats and what not at everyone they could, including but not limited to the writers and even Camilla. I'm not exactly sure if it's been piped down though, I don't nor will I ever have a facebook profile, but the public pages for Tomb Raider and Lara Croft are filled with hate. Nothing but hate.

    I also have no doubts that Temple of Osiris might have underperformed because of this deal, which would truly be a shame.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mordrahn View Post
    Tecstar70:
    Did you miss this article (and many others):
    http://www.vg247.com/2014/03/20/xbox...ays-microsoft/
    That article talks about the ease of porting Windows 8 games to Xbox. Not quite the conversation I was having. Did you read my post properly?

    Quote Originally Posted by mordrahn View Post
    There is nothing complex about porting between the Xbox One and the PC.
    I never said there was.

    Quote Originally Posted by mordrahn View Post
    Microsoft didn't have to give anyone a ton of help porting between the two platforms.
    I never said that's what help MS was giving.

    Quote Originally Posted by mordrahn View Post
    I believe that ROTTR is a timed exclusive for one reason: they are hoping that many PC and PS fans will rush out to get an Xbox One to play the game.
    I think you are correct in that they want to sell Xboxes. While I am sure they wouldn't mind anyone rushing out to buy them my view is it's the casual market and people waiting for good reasons to upgrade that is the market they are mainly aiming at.

    Quote Originally Posted by mordrahn View Post
    They are losing the so-called console war to PS4 at a rate of about 2-1.
    Yep.

    Quote Originally Posted by mordrahn View Post
    The TR game in 2013 sold more copies than any other TR game. And it wasn't a timed exclusive. SE and CD didn't need tons of help to make the game.
    Maybe not ton's, but they clearly felt MS could bring something they wouldn't otherwise have.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treeble View Post
    I also have no doubts that Temple of Osiris might have underperformed because of this deal, which would truly be a shame.
    I've no doubts it did. And I wonder if it's fairly lax marketing campaign was a result of the backlash as well.

    I really do think everyone at CD didn't mean to burn a bridge or two or three thousand. And I can agree with a sentiment that it's just not worth getting that upset about. It's a bummer, but it's by no means the worst thing that will happen in a persons life, unfortunately.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relight-TRHQ View Post
    When I watched the first Rise E3 reveal at the Xbox Media Briefing, I was ecstatic with what we saw... as a Tomb Raider fan. When we had the further opportunity to see some Rise demos, I was completely engaged and so impressed with the progression of the franchise from the reboot.
    The footage does look amazing but not sure how much this can be linked to MS rather than all Crystal. The interaction with the CD employees Brian and Noah is very, very cool and you can say CD were awesome but that still might have been the same if SE were doing all the E3 arrangements.

    Quote Originally Posted by Relight-TRHQ View Post
    One of the photos I tweeted after E3 was an image comparing the press conferences of Xbox vs PlayStation, and what I attempted to demonstrate in just one picture (and which was only the tip of the iceberg of the way the two consoles represented themselves at E3) was that, just on the subject of the press conference, never mind anything else, Xbox sure knows how to put on a show, while I almost fell asleep trying to get through watching the PlayStation conference.
    I myself am a PS/PC fan. I'm quite purist about preferring a straight up gameing rather than all the multimedia stuff and inbuilt Kinect and things like that. If MS did a great job marketing at E3 then cool but what I want to ask you is how did they showcase TR amongst their other titles they had there? Was it very prominent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Relight-TRHQ View Post
    I'll definitely admit that as a newcomer to the franchise since the reboot, I really can't feel the same amount of frustration as those who have been with the franchise from the very beginning... when it originated as a PlayStation, DOS and Sega Saturn title.
    That is back when I became a TR fan. Is a very long time ago and deal is so frustrating for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tecstar70 View Post
    Why is the statement hard to believe? Because you don't like it you don't believe it?

    What part of that statement doesn't instill confidence? What is it you want confidence in?
    If you want a reasoned view of the situation you aren't going to fully trust the view of the head of studio who said 'our friends at MS' while trying to explain the reasons for the deal. I hope to have the confidence that they want to make great TR games for all of us now and in the years to come. No 'only for Xbox players' line.


    Quote Originally Posted by Treeble View Post
    I also agree that the X360 controller is more confortable than the PS3 one, but it's been massively improved for the PS4. As far as I'm concerned, though, it still fails to bump the Nintendo GameCube one off the top, though.

    Speaking of Darrell, he didn't attend E3 (not from what I've seen of it, anyway). Wonder if it's somehow related? People were angry beyond belief at the time, throwing death threats and what not at everyone they could, including but not limited to the writers and even Camilla. I'm not exactly sure if it's been piped down though, I don't nor will I ever have a facebook profile, but the public pages for Tomb Raider and Lara Croft are filled with hate. Nothing but hate.
    I like the gamecube controller too. A very good design and quite a shame they didn't do a Gamecube 2.

    It isn't as bad on fb now but still simmering so November could get nasty again. I am not surprised Darrell didn't go to E3. He has made himself so linked to the deal itself with that announcement that his presence would just prove a distraction to talking about the game.

  23. #23
    Thanks for the comments everyone, I am glad some people found it interesting and actually read the whole thing, or most of it

    I will reply to just a few of the comments, if you said something you'd like me to reply to and I didn't, lemme know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tecstar70 View Post
    "There was no good excuse to make the deal" -> I don't think that Relight is saying there is.
    Well, if I'm reading Steel_Wing's comment correctly, some of my comments DO lean in that direction But your comments Tecstar70 are also valid - that I wouldn't believe SE/Crystal just jumped into the deal without thinking very hard about it.

    Ultimately as I said, I don't think there's a right "answer" in much of this. Everyone's feelings are valid, so I don't think every reply needs a rebuttal.

    Quote Originally Posted by mordrahn View Post
    Microsoft didn't have to give anyone a ton of help porting between the two platforms.
    Just to clarify, I never believed Microsoft's help was about porting, and if my comment communicated that, I apologize for the misunderstanding. My interpretation was that Microsoft's help was about taking as much advantage of the Xbox One hardware as possible to make the best game they could.

    Quote Originally Posted by Error96_ View Post
    The footage does look amazing but not sure how much this can be linked to MS rather than all Crystal. The interaction with the CD employees Brian and Noah is very, very cool and you can say CD were awesome but that still might have been the same if SE were doing all the E3 arrangements.
    It's true, no way to know this, especially regarding the footage. I have no doubt the interactions with CD would have been just as awesome. However, I don't think they would have had as much of a presence (since they were big at all the Xbox events) and I don't know if they would have had as impressive a presence (with their huge ice cave, for example) under just SE instead of under Microsoft/Xbox.

    Quote Originally Posted by Error96_ View Post
    If MS did a great job marketing at E3 then cool but what I want to ask you is how did they showcase TR amongst their other titles they had there? Was it very prominent?
    Yes - in fact, Lara's voice was the opening of the Microsoft/Xbox press conference, their main event, with Rise being one of their 5 "pillar" titles. On the show floor, Xbox had huge glowing green walls surrounding their floor space, and then a huge Rise ice cave dominated and captured attention inside that floor space. I wrote some more specifically about the prominence of Rise at E3 here.

    I really liked a theory someone had over at TRF - perhaps the reason they haven't announced the exclusivity period is because it ISN'T that long - and Microsoft needs to capitalize on customers possibly buying an Xbox One before people learn the length of the exclusivity
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relight-TRHQ View Post
    I really liked a theory someone had over at TRF - perhaps the reason they haven't announced the exclusivity period is because it ISN'T that long - and Microsoft needs to capitalize on customers possibly buying an Xbox One before people learn the length of the exclusivity
    My thoughts exactly!! A reason to be hopeful and a little bit positive about the whole thing!
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  25. #25
    Is great to see TR getting lots of exposure even if though it has the negative effects for many fans. I agree with the maybe isn't that long. The wording is exclusive holidays 2015. Sounds like an attempt to take the Christmas market so they might talk about the other platforms not too long after say Jan/Feb and then at least everyone know they get the game and things seem more positive for everyone.

    I think Darrell was right not to go as many press people would want to get a scoop of him saying something on the deal that could be presented in a really bad light. I think people were/are angry and want to blame someone and he seems a bit the scape goat. Is good that CD's recent comments and the E3 showing more what MS is bringing. They should have been clearer on that earlier really so people can understand why they did it.

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