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.”