Rise of the Tomb Raider Lara Croft
Lara Croft in Rise Of The Tomb RaiderSquare Enix

The head of Microsoft's Xbox division Phil Spencer has cleared up confusion regarding the exclusivity deal that will bring Crystal Dynamics' Rise Of The Tomb Raider to Xbox One and Xbox 360 later in 2015.

The official Facebook page for Xbox Australia said back in January that the follow-up to the rebooted Lara Croft series would be a full exclusive – "not timed exclusive but exclusive" – but that has since been rubbished by Spencer.

"There has been no change to our deal on Tomb Raider," he said in a tweet to a fan sharing the Facebook post. "Same as before when I answered. Timed."

In another tweet Spencer said: "We are working with Crystal Dynamics on Tomb Raider to make it great on Xbox this Holiday, that's our goal and 100% of our focus."

This opens up the likelihood that the game will eventually head to PS4 and PC down the line.

Rise Of The Tomb Raider was announced as a timed Xbox exclusive at Microsoft's E3 press conference in 2014 – much to the surprise of the video game world. Crystal Dynamics successfully rebooted the series in 2013.

Given reports that publisher Square Enix was not entirely satisfied with the game's sales, it is entirely possible that Microsoft's exclusivity and publishing offer gave the sequel a lifeline. For Microsoft the game represents competition for full PS4 exclusive Uncharted 4 – which was once scheduled to go head-to-head with the new Tomb Raider before its delay.

Naughty Dog's Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is now coming in early 2016, which will benefit Rise Of The Tomb Raider when it is released. More information regarding the game will be revealed in June at Microsoft and Square Enix's E3 press conferences.