Although most game companies are solely interested in teh money and don't give a fuck about the suckers that buy their over-priced games, Eidos towers above the rest with its attempts to control comments about its products. It interferes with gamer discussions forums, bribes site owners with advertising contracts and arranges for reviewers who don't like its games to be sacked. Somehow it manages to suck site administrators into its "family", treating them like beloved sons, inviting them to Eidos headquarters, flattering them with mentions in its game credits, giving them "exclusives" about the minutiae associated with the crappy games to brandish before moronic fanboys - all in exchange for a tightly controlled "public discussion" about why Eidos sucks ass. If any firm deserved the title of "Big Brother" then it is Eidos.
Eidos' biggest (or biggest breasted) cash cow is Lara Croft, and the dramas involving the sacking of the original game developer Core and the threatened lawsuits about Nude Raider, etc, provide an excellent illustration of how Eidos works. It is safe to say that the fame of Lara Croft is not due to the excellence of the games (some are good and some are risible) or the efforts of the Eidos public relations department, but because the fans - especially in the UK - took her to their hearts. They liked all of the things that the original English developers Core put into the character - Lara's sexuality, amorality and antipathy to being a "team player". However Eidos, behaving like American pussies, and sensitive to political correctness and anything that might stop them wringing that last cent out of Lara, spend their lives trying to suppress and deny the aspects of the Croft character that disqualify her as induction into the august company of the Disney Princesses.
It's hard to find the original news items form the late 1990's about the shutting down of Nude Raider. (Who could have predicted that adolescent boys would draw naked pictures of a hardbody game character possessing a sexy voice, "attitude", a tendency to make sex noises when climbing onto things, blessed with big tits, long legs and a heavily featured "tight little behind" clad in short shorts?) But to get the flavour of it here's a quote from a discussion forum "A development in Lara's history is the so-called Nude Raider patch. A patch was created externally from Core and Eidos and was never housed on the Eidos or Core websites. This patch, when added to an existing Tomb Raider game, caused Lara to appear naked. Contrary to rumor, there is no method of creating a nude Lara in any console version of the game. In April 2004, it is falsely alleged that an insider from Eidos reported to a Tomb Raider electronic mailing list that Eidos had begun suing gamers using the Nude Raider patches. Eidos sent cease and desist letters to the owners of nuderaider.com who were hosting the Nude Raider patch, enforcing their intellectual property of Tomb Raider. Sites depicting nude images of Lara Croft have been sent cease and desist notices and shut down, and Eidos Interactive was awarded the rights to the domain name nuderaider.com ..." . Part of Eidos' dilemma is that they have pretended that Lara Croft is "for kids" and want to try and protect the little tykes from stumbling across nude Laras while they are surfing for porn. Apparently, in true American "mass psychosis" style, bare breasts are bad while mass murder with guns is fine. (It is rumoured that the people who annoyed Angelina Jolie by airbrushing her nipples out of the Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life movie posters were not the numbnuts at Paramount Pictures but the legalistic dweebs who work for Eidos. Jolie was comfortable with the (bi)sexuality of the Croft character; the suits were not.)
Fun quote from Michelle Seebach Curran, Eidos North America "Senior PR Specialist" (for the moment)
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