7 QUESTIONS ..with Tomb Raider Boss Ian Livingstone

Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland), March 3, 2013 | Go to article overview

7 QUESTIONS ..with Tomb Raider Boss Ian Livingstone


The new Tomb Raider game is out on March 5, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC Ian Livingstone is one of the godfathers of modern gaming.

He not only founded the Games Workshop chain in 1975 and brought Dungeons and Dragons to Europe but he is also a master of console titles.

His company, Eidos Interactive (now part of Square Enix), launched the first Tomb Raider back in 1996 and now, 17 years later and 35million copies sold worldwide, a brand new Lara Croft adventure is hitting the shops on March 5, simply titled Tomb Raider.

How does it feel to be bringing a brand new version of Lara Croft to the world? It's very exciting to see the anticipation for Tomb Raider. People are saying it's the game of this generation of consoles, which is great. Having seen Lara since we launched the first Tomb Raider back in 1996, it's been quite a journey.

What can you tell us about the new Lara adventure? This game is a prequel rather than sequel because we had to ensure the franchise resonated with the audiences of 2013, as it did back in the 90s.

We had seen the successful rebirth of James Bond and Batman and felt Lara had survived the test of time.

We were also hearing from fans that they wanted to know more of the original story, so we went for a prequel. She is on this voyage of discovery and gets shipwrecked on an island in a very hostile environment and we see how she first becomes a Tomb Raider. The character now looks more action heroine than glamour model. Was the image change a conscious decision to connect to modern gamers? She is no longer armour-plated, she is vulnerable and there is emotion involved now, but it still has the three pillar components - puzzle solving, exploration and combat.

The games of today are graphic, intense, interactive cinematic experiences, like a Hollywood blockbuster. You have to have a very strong storyline with great narrative, attached to a character that is believable.

You have to feel you're playing the role of a real character and that character has to be believable, otherwise it just wouldn't wash with audiences. When you launched Tomb Raider, did you have any idea Lara would have such a huge cultural impact on the world? Absolutely not. It was a bold decision in the 90s to have a female as a lead games character, this was the first time it had been done. …

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