Crystal Dynamics Sparks Controversy Over Tomb Raider I-III Remastered Trigger Warning

Some fans have taken issue with the statement released by the studio.

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 02/16/2024 10:36 Comment on this     ShareThis

Tomb Raider I-III Remastered launched this week on Valentine’s Day, but not everyone is feeling the love. Although developed by Aspyr, longtime Tomb Raider studio Crystal Dynamics opted to apply the following trigger warning which appears as the game is booted up:

Although trigger warnings aren’t anything new in the world of video game remakes, this one goes particularly far in claiming that previous “depictions of people and cultures” in the Tomb Raider series were racially and ethnically prejudiced. Indeed, it even goes on to claim that the “offensive depictions” caused real-world harm.

In response, many fans have shown a great deal of displeasure with Crystal Dynamics for making such statements in the disclaimer. Fans have made allegations of performative outrage, pandering, and insincerity on various social networks in the days since launch. There have also been fans who have spoken in defense of the warning. While Crystal Dynamics motivations aren’t entirely clear, perhaps the larger issue here pertains to the presumption on the developer’s part that the depictions in-game are offensive to begin with.

As has been seen in recent years, studios seem to have good intentions when applying warnings of this nature, but the messaging often appears to be bereft of the opinions of the actual people or groups that are being claimed to have been offended or wronged. Many have pointed out that such labels suggest there’s something wrong with even playing such a game, which is tantamount to censorship. At the very least, some fans wish there was a way to at least opt out of these messages altogether.

As someone with Native American ancestry, this writer never took offense over any depictions in the original Tomb Raider games, so the question becomes, who is alleging there was abuse or harm in the first place? Not that I speak for all people with native ancestry, of course, but it is problematic in its own way to assume other people’s opinions. It feels like there’s a better solution than what Crystal Dynamics did, but at the same time, if there are people who did feel hurt or wronged by the originals, then perhaps such a disclaimer is reasonable.

Where do you stand on this issue? Was Crystal Dynamics right to put this warning at the start of Tomb Raider I-III Remastered? Is it a needless intrusion or a basic courtesy? Share with us in the comments and online.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Log In 0 points Log in or register to grow your Ninja Score while interacting with our site.
Nintendojo's RSS Feeds

All Updates Podcast
News Comments
Like and follow usFacebookTwitter Friend Code Exchange + Game with Us Join the Team!