The exclusivity deal Microsoft signed with Square Enix for Rise of the Tomb Raider didn’t benefit Microsoft and hurt overall sales, analysts say.
Last August, Xbox announced that it had inked a timed exclusivity deal with Square Enix for the Tomb Raider follow-up so it had a title that could go toe-to-toe with PlayStation 4 exclusive Uncharted 4.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is coming to PC next month, and PlayStation 4 later this year.
Now, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter has told GamesIndustry that the deal – which he estimates cost Microsoft US$20m (and that amount again in advertising) – might hurt overall sales of the game, even though it is coming to other platforms.
He estimates that if PlayStation 4 owners have to wait six months to get the game, sales will be down 20 percent compared to what they would have been for a same-day multiplatform launch, and if the game takes a year to come to PlayStation 4, sales will be down 40 percent.
DFC Intelligence founder David Cole also reckons the deal hurts Square Enix.
"Unfortunately [what MS paid for exclusivity] was probably not enough to make up for the lost opportunity," he said.
"Anything under $100 million is probably a bad deal for Square-Enix, and I doubt Microsoft paid anywhere near that amount.
"The idea is that exclusives help drive hardware sales," Cole added.
"The problem is that one exclusive such like [Rise] is hardly enough to make close to a dent. The only thing that has worked for the Xbox One [in terms of hardware sales] has been massive price discounting coupled with attractive software bundles."
According to Microsoft, more than a million copies of Rise have been sold so far.