The Inevitable Re-Branding of Lara Croft – Part 1

by Bukola Ekundayo on January 28, 2009

in Branding and Video Games

This is part One of the series “The Inevitable Re-Branding of Lara Croft”

I’m a fan of the Tomb Raider (TR) series. I knew in the back of my mind that Underworld was coming out last fall. However, I never saw the usual gaming blogger buzz and tweets of anticipation that lead up to a hot game’s release. I think we’re all kind of done with Tomb Raider. And I’m so incredibly sick of my banner right now. I haven’t found the time to get into photoshop to erase her out of it and come up with my a new logo. [I'll be doing that this weekend]

Here is what every Tomb Raider game entails:

  • Predictable puzzles and trails 
  • Lara’s gorgeous physique running through a jungle  
  • A lame and uninspriring villian 
  • Pummeling said villain with a gazillion bullets 
  • The End 
The game isn’t worth 60 dollars. It’s too much like the 7 installments that came before it. 
A Bomb Named Underworld

Underworld didn’t do as well as its previous installments. The dismal sales led Eidos’ stock to plunge. To remedy the problem Eidos wants to re-brand Lara Croft as ”more female friendly” to widen it’s potential consumer base. Yes. Thats right. Women are to blame for Underworld bombing. Not the mechanical game play issues that have plagued Tomb Raider since its birth. Or the fact that Eidos has played their ‘digital boob card’ a few times too many.
Lara’s (Overloaded) Sex Appeal

I know plenty of female gamers that adore Tomb Raider in spite of Lara’s intended gamer boy appeal. This is what she is known for. And Eidos worked so very hard to pigeonhole Lara as a sex symbol:
Dumbest pose ever
1) Her breasts are huge.
2) She was one of the first women in gaming to break into mainstream pop culture. The Tomb Raider films were headed by fellow sex symbol (now turned uber mother) Angelina Jolie. 

This was an effective strategy for the 90′s. The industry picked up on the more vocal and male components of the gaming segment and gave them what they wanted. With that said, it’s impossible to turn back now. She is a sex symbol to be embraced or passed over.Her handlers should either accept that or move on. 

 

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