It looks as though a certain Ms. Croft may not be warming herself in the sunnier climes of Saudi Arabia after her Siberian adventure.
On Twitter, Xbox Saudi confirmed Rise of the Tomb Raider is ‘blocked’ in that country, following a question from user @AlbaijanDa7oom.
Further evidence of a block is the lack of a buy button on the Saudi version of the official Xbox Tomb Raider landing page (compare this to the UK version of the same page), although digging in to the website a bit further will reward you with that option.
Tokyo Games, one of the largest video games retailers in Saudi Arabia, also doesn’t list the game, despite the presence of other new releases, including Halo 5: Guardians, Fallout4, and Need for Speed.
The reason for a ‘block’ on the game hasn’t yet been made clear. There is speculation amongst Reddit users that the game may have been blocked due to traditional gender roles and restrictions in Saudi Arabia, to which Lara does not conform.
Another possibility is that aspects of the story may not be compatible with commonly held religious beliefs of many Saudi people. The fact that 2014’s Tomb Raider Definitive Edition is available in the country lends weight to this argument.
We will keep digging in to this story and let you know more as we have it.