Life President Of Eidos On Tomb Raider: No ‘Intention To Present Rape As Part Of The Game’

Life President Of Eidos On Tomb Raider: No ‘Intention To Present Rape As Part Of The Game’
Facebook may have decided that you shouldn’t see the news, but we think you deserve to be in the know with Kotaku Australia’s reporting. To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, features and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Kotaku Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a news fix.

Ian Livingstone has led the kind of life that makes everyone else look like a lazy bum sitting under a bridge chewing bubblegum all day: he co-founded Games Workshop, co-wrote the first Fighting Fantasy book, and is now the life-president of Eidos. He was heavily involved in the original Tomb Raider, and had some thoughts on the new reinvention of the character in the upcoming Crystal Dynamics reboot.

“I think the prequel idea is fantastic,” he said. “It’s always traditional to do a sequel, so to do a prequel is nice, to find out how Lara became a Tomb Raider. The fact that in this version she’s not Teflon coated — she’s vulnerable she can sustain injuries, and you have to guide and protect her — it gives a new emotional appeal to the player. Which is good.”

We asked Ian about the recent controversy surrounding Tomb Raider — many were offended by the attempted rape of Lara and the implications of that act. According to Ian, it’s all an unfortunate misunderstanding.

“About the threat, there was definitely a misinterpretation in that interview,” he claimed. “There was never any intention to present rape as part of the game. There’s a moment, which was referenced to, where she’s under threat, but she deals with that threat in a very quick and decisive way! She is bound, and the guy touches her arm, but that’s where it ends. Within seconds she ends up killing him with his own gun.

“So there was never, ever any intention by Crystal Dynamics to imply rape, I think that got misinterpreted during an interview and then that got spun out of control by media. That’s regrettable, but once it’s out there it’s really difficult to withdraw it. So all I can say is that there was never any intent and it’s sad it got interpreted that way.”


  • Well I’m not offended by the suggestion of rape in Tomb Raider. The reality is that a good looking girl like Lara falling into the hands of such bad guys as present on the island might conceivably be raped. Certainly i would not like to sit through a rape scene, but an implied assault on her would fit in with the game world.

  • this is stupid..there was no was a few seconds of implcation in a trailer that got blown WAAAAY out of proportion

    as I;ve said before I’m looking forward to this new take on tombraider

    • yes.we all know what he’s thinking…..but given the situaton….thease things can happen, of coarse the game was never going to give us a full on rape scene (like girl with the dragon tatoo)

      but when an attracitve young lady is stranded with criminals/thugs…like I said thease things happen and that fact alone does not upset me…

  • Pshhh.. so every time a female character is tied up in a movie and a male character attempts to touch her, it is automatically rape????


  • I think including issues such as attempted rape into tomb raider makes it a much more realistic and mature game, which is a great thing for the genre. The game doesn’t condone rape given that its obviously portrayed as a criminal and horrible act. So the message is not the issue, people need to grow up and realise this game is made for 10 year olds (which is why it has a mature rating)….

  • i don’t think they were gonna have a full rape scene as that other report said, however the intention was there, and one would assume that’s what he was going to do. but as he says, she kicks the guys ass, how that scene made people interpret that the game was gonna be all about rape and she gets raped is weird..

  • Wow, people were really offended by a game which portrayed bad guys attempting to do a bad thing to the protagonist? How? Why? If the player character was raping someone, fine, that is a valid reason to be offended, and I would be too! That would be a fucked game mechanic.

    But this is just ridiculous, is it somehow worse than the enemies trying to kill her? Is it because she’s a she and there’s a sexual thing going on? If so then those complaining are even more pathetic.

    Developers and their publishers need to start telling these flouncing morons to sod off and get some rational thinking going on before they attack someone’s narrative. CD & Eidos have done nothing wrong and don’t need to defend their story, it’s a shame PR and the public feel they need to.

  • We always say we want to be treated like the other areas of art, then we kick up a shitstorm when it happens…

  • Gaming journalism really is really becoming alarmist crap, serving as an outlet for a bunch of politically oversensitive, overly opinionated busybodies.

    The storyline has a young woman kidnapped by a group of morally bankrupt murdering criminals on a remote island with no laws or code to live by. Why is even implying the intentions of such men such so outrageous?


  • No one in any of this “uproar” has sufficiently explained why the subject of rape SHOULDN’T be in a game. It’s been endless cries of “objectifying women” without telling us “how” they’ve come to this conclusion, apart from focusing on the word “rape”.

    Rape is a horrible thing, but I want to be confronted by these issues in games (even if in this case it’s relatively tame). The Internet hoards yet again setting gaming back.

    • I did see one article about this whole thing but which also focused on rape in all forms of story telling. The basic criticism was that too often rape is simply used by lazy writters as a way to show that someone’s a bad guy. The article also pointed out that female characters always tend to have to go through some traumatic event in order to become a strong character and that the traumatic event is usually something sexual in nature.

      Personally I think the big out-cry over this whole thing is because they’ve taken a well known character who’s always being very strong and are tearing her down into this weak helpless creature (I imagine there would be similar out-cry if this sort of treatment were to happen to Master Chief or Kratos or another strong, well known character) and also because after all the beatings we’ve seen Lara take from the trailers the addition of someone trying to rape her seems like a bit much. Like it’s gone beyond the point of trying to make an interesting origin story about a character who took some beatings and rose above it and more like the writters/developers outlet for their own sadistic, twisted fantasies.

      • There’s a fundamental error in your second paragraph. They aren’t trying to get ye olde Lara Croft with the guns and the short shorts and tear her down, they’re taking a younger Croft and build her up.

        I also kind of think that all the hurt that they’ve put on Lara in the trailers is the entire amount in the game. Kind of like when they put all the funny bit of chick flicks in the trailers.

    • The problem is less that it’s rape and more that it looks like Crystal Dynamic’s idea of a strong female character are Kate Beaton’s The Strong Female Characters. Which is why it really only became a problem when they started talking about how they think players will be protective of Lara.

  • I’m still unsure whether I like this origin story more than TR: Legend or not. Both seem to be about a traumatic experience with some tomb raiding aspect, although the Legend version was somewhat sanitised.

    I’m kind of feeling a little dubious about whether the reboot is going to be any good. They seem very keen to keep pushing the whole “vulnerable Lara needs your protection” aspect and sometimes it feels like all these situations are contrived to just make Lara appear vulnerable rather than being there because the story flow requires it. It’s one of the problems I had with Uncharted 2 as well. A lot of the events felt like they were there to force a point rather than being a logical progression of the story.

    • Sorry to get all Spock logic on it but isn’t Murder a bigger moral no no than Rape?
      (I realise the emotional reaction makes things cloudy, but if you Murder someone that Raped someone in the eyes of the Law its still Murder)

  • Gamers and non-gamers have become absolute pussies. The stupidity and narrow minded garbage that soccer mums and politicians spout HAS to have rubbed off. In the last few months I have seen SO much self righteous bitching and wilfully ignorant speech from both sides of the spectrum.

    People NEED to grow up and grow a brain.

  • Americans are funny. They love violence, they delight in violence as entertainment. But when it comes to sexual themes it’s such a taboo. You can have guy try to shoot, kill, murder, stab, explode, maim and harm you, and you can impale, punch, stab, shoot, slice and murder hundreds of people in a game, but as soon as the guy touches Lara in a devious way it’s like “HOLY SH*T THIS GAME IS SO OUT OF LINE!!!”

    • There is a big difference between portraying violence and portraying sexualised violence. It’s not the sex that is what people are up in arms about, if she were having consensual sex with a guy I think there would be much less uproar. The outrage is the intersection of sex and violence, just like the Hitman trailer. It is something that one in six women face in their lives, so I think the topic needs to be approached with much more sensitivity than they seem to be bothering with, where they seem to have just thrown it in as an obstacle for her to overcome.

      Basically, I’m cool with sex in games, and I even think that if dealt with in a really sensitive way (preferably written by someone who has actually been raped, seeing as I doubt any of the developers of this game have) rape can have a place within a game narrative, if dealt with appropriately and with consideration and feedback from rape survivors, but you cannot present it in such a throwaway manner as they have here. It is trivialising a very real problem by having it just an obstacle to overcome.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!