Tomb Raider's Crystal Dynamics apologizes for sexual assault misunderstanding

Crystal Dynamics responds to the controversial "rape scene" believed to be in the upcoming Lara Croft reboot Tomb Raider.

Following the recent backlash against Crystal Dynamic's apparent decision to include a scene in which Tomb Raider's Lara Croft is in danger of being sexually assaulted, studio head Darrell Gallagher now clarifies that sexual assault is "not a theme we cover."

Speaking to Kotaku earlier in the week, executive producer Ron Rosenberg said the new iteration of Lara Croft would introduce a side to her character that users would want to protect. Following the kidnapping of her best friend, he says, she is taken prisoner by island scavengers who attempt to sexually assault her.

While Gallagher does not deny the sexual undertone in the scene, he states it never becomes anything more than a perceived threat. In a prepared statement on the official Tomb Raider website he states the scene never goes further than what was already shown publicly.

"In making this Tomb Raider origins story our aim was to take Lara Croft on an exploration to what makes her the character she embodies in later Tomb Raider games."

"One of the character defining moments for Lara in the game, which has incorrectly been referred to as an 'attempted rape' scene is the content we showed at this year's E3 and which over a million people have now seen in our recent trailer entitled 'Crossroads'. This is where Lara is forced to kill another human for the first time. In this particular section, while there is a threatening undertone in the sequence and surrounding drama, it never goes any further than the scenes that we have already shown publicly. Sexual assault of any kind is categorically not a theme that we cover in this game.

"We take great care and pride in our work and are focused on creating a release that will deliver meaningful storytelling, drama, and exciting gameplay. We're sorry this has not been better explained, we'll certainly be more careful with what is said in the future."

Kotaku has since posted a short transcript of the conversation in which Rosenberg explicitly refers to the attempted rape.

RON: "And then what happens is her best friend gets kidnapped, she gets taken prisoner by scavengers on the island. They try to rape her, and-"

KOTAKU: "They try to rape her?"

RON: "She's literally turned into a cornered animal. And that's a huge step in her evolution: she's either forced to fight back or die and that's what we're showing today."

Tomb Raider is scheduled to release March 5, 2013 on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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