Game News – Randy Pitchford: “With Video Games, Anything Goes”

Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford has dismissed recent controversies over supposed sexually violent content in Hitman: Absolution and the Tomb Raider reboot, arguing that video games “can handle anything”.

“If they’re art, they’re a reflection of society and they can handle anything,” he said, in an interview with CVG. “I don’t believe there are thought crimes – if video games are a form of thought and expression, then anything goes.”

The high-profile designer, whose latest project Borderlands 2 is set to be one of the year’s biggest releases, also claimed that controversy only serves to strengthen the profile and publicity of a game.

“I’m going to get cynical and reference the Lara Croft thing,” he explained. “I haven’t even seen the scenes that are contentious, but I do know this – I’m thinking about it, and more people are talking about Tomb Raider. I’m thinking about it more and talking about it more than I have since the first one. So who’s really winning there? Are they changing their game because of the feedback? Who’s really winning?”

Trailers and early footage of Hitman: Absolution and Tomb Raider provoked criticism in some quarters earlier this year, with the killing of women dressed as nuns, and an apparent sexual assault on a young Lara Croft (later denied by the developer), unleashing the respective controversies.

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