The development boss at Crystal Dynamics has issued a statement flatly denying existence of an attempted rape scene in the upcoming Tomb Raider game, despite a colleague making claims to the contrary during an interview at E3.
Studio head Darrell Gallagher said in a prepared statement: "We were not clear in a recent E3 press interview and things have been misunderstood. Sexual assault of any kind is categorically not a theme that we cover in this game."
Crystal Dynamics and publisher Square Enix were yesterday at the centre of a media storm regarding the next Tomb Raider game allegedly featuring a rape attempt on the global gaming icon. National media in the UK and the US also picked up the item.
But Gallagher insists that the game's producer, Ron Rosenberg, had misspoken when discussing the scene.
Said Gallagher: "One of the character-defining moments for Lara in the game, which has been incorrectly referred to as an 'attempted rape scene', is the content we showed at this year's E3 where Lara is forced to kill another human being 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."
News site Kotaku, which had first published comments by Rosenberg, yesterday published a transcript of the discussion:
Rosenberg: "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 journalist: "They try to rape her?"
Rosenberg: "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."