There seems to have been some miscommunication in an interview with Crystal Dynamics' executive producer Ron Rosenburg when speaking to Kotaku about the history of the young Lara Croft in the upcoming Tomb Raider video game.In the new Tomb Raider, Lara Croft will suffer. Her best friend will be kidnapped. She'll get taken prisoner by island scavengers. And then, Rosenberg says, those scavengers will try to rape her. "She is literally turned into a cornered animal," Rosenberg said. "It's a huge step in her evolution: she's forced to either fight back or die." It's some dark material, the type of content you might not expect from an action-adventure game like Tomb Raider. But Rosenberg isn't worried about alarming people too much. He says players will see right away that this is a darker, "more mature" version of Lara's story. "We're not trying to be over the top, shock people for shock's sake," he said. "We're trying to tell a great origin story."
The after the story was released, the head of Crystal Dynamics, Darrell Gallagher, sought to rectify the situation by by first placing blame on the company for not being clear and saying that "things have been misunderstood." Then comes the complete denial that "sexual assault of any kind... [is] a theme that [they] cover in this game." Below is the entire statement from their website:
If you read the rest of the interview by Kotaku, I think you'll find Rosenburg is definitely not a good spokesperson for the game. It sounded awkward and jumbled, and the rape thing just overshadowed everything else he was talking about. Maybe the "any attention is better than no attention" addage applies?
It's not hard to believe that Rosenburg was just speaking candidly, but you can hardly blame Gallagher for attempting to clarify the interview. The last thing you want people to believe is that your video game is exploiting rape for shock value and sales, which is something Rosenberg uneloquently tried to explain. They'll probably keep him under wraps from now on.
Here's the trailer that debuted at E3, and has that "threatening undertone" Gallagher was talking about.
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