Rise of The Tomb Raider shouldn't share risky release date with Fallout 4
Rise of The Tomb Raider's release date has been announced. The follow-up to the 2013 reboot will release on November 10th....the same day as Fallout 4. Bold move.
Rise of The Tomb Raider is the highly anticipated sequel to Tomb Raider, developed by Crystal Dynamics. This game takes Lara to central Russia in search of the lost city of Kitezh. The environment is harsh and cold, with snow and icicles everywhere, not to mention avalanches, and survival will be a key factor in the game. Check out the E3 gameplay reveal below.
The timed-exclusive on Xbox One has been rumored to release in the fall for a long time now, and Microsoft continually reiterated a "Holiday 2015" release window, but the decision to release on November 10th seems like a very foolish one.
"Highly anticipated" is a term that doesn't even encapsulate the excitement and anticipation surrounding Fallout 4.
The follow-up to mega-hit Fallout 3, which released in 2008, has been rumored and theorised about for almost 8 years. It's hard to recall any other game in which anticipation was so high. With that in mind, if your game is not called Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, Halo, or Star Wars, you should probably steer clear of Fallout 4's release date.
Fallout 3 managed to sell over 5 million copies in its first week on the market in 2008, which is incredible for a game that is not a known entity. Sure it was the 3rd Fallout game but the first two titles in the series were PC games, the 2nd of which came in 1998. So Fallout 3 released in 2008 and few knew what the heck it was, and yet it sold an amazing amount. It sold more than the reboot of Tomb Raider, which is a very famous franchise and launched on consoles with a much higher user base.
Fast forward 7 years and Fallout is a cultural phenomenon and beloved by almost every gamer. Fallout 4 will outsell everything else this fall. Pre-order numbers will sky-rocket in the coming weeks, especially following the incredible E3 demo for the game, which included the reveal of the ultimate collector's edition that includes a frickin' Pip-Boy!
Other games releasing in November 2015 include Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Star Wars: Battlefront, XCOM 2, and a few others. Call of Duty and Star Wars are also two mega franchises that will sell regardless. So with those two series', and the return of Fallout, where does Rise of The Tomb Raider fit into all of this?
Honestly, it's hard to imagine any scenario in which Tomb Raider fares well.
The 2013 reboot released in March 2013, up against very little, and the sales figures were considered a disappointment. Now the sequel is releasing solely on Xbox One and Xbox 360, no PS3 or PS4, which immediately cuts into a large chunk of the gaming audience. Then you add in the other games being released around it and things don't look great for Lara. And that's not even taking into account that many Xbox gamers will already have shelled out their money on Halo 5 just 2 weeks previously.
Right now I think the best option for Crystal Dynamics and Rise of The Tomb Raider is to delay the game. Pushing the game into 2016 is the best way for Microsoft and Crystal Dynamics to ensure that the game gets room to breathe and reaches an audience that isn't overwhelmed. Uncharted 4, Quantum Break, The Division, and several other games have already been delayed into early 2016 and that seems like a great decision right about now.
When releasing a huge AAA game that you hope to sell millions of copies, the last thing you should do is release it in the most incredible month gaming has seen in years and allow it to be lost in the shuffle.
For the sake of Rise of The Tomb Raider, Microsoft needs to delay the release.