The Tomb Raider Suite: Legit or Scam?
Posted by Tracie-Anne Swift (17 June 2019):
"I’ll put this email address @ the top for easy reference: Justiceforthe2615@gmail.com
You can also tweet me @tracie_swift"
Facebook: Justice for the 2615 Facebook page
"*This is an incredibly long post, sorry – if you’ve had a positive experience with the Tomb Raider Suite, I’m really pleased for you and I hope it met all your expectations, a lot of love and hard work occurred to make it happen, however if you have been blocked/ignored/left with no voice to resolve your investment/purchase – carry on reading*
A Snippet of History:
Hey everyone. Although I have been a Tomb Raider fan since 1996, I have never posted on here before. It will more than likely be my first and only post and it’s with a heavy heart I do so. I have also posted on the TRS Kickstarter page as a comment. Please do take the time to read that too https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1636910846/the-tomb-raider-suite/comments.
Quite a lot of it is replicated in this post.
I was the ‘production manager’ or whatever title you want to give it, for the TRS. I crafted the content and pace of the campaign when it started to stall after the first week, after reaching out to Nathan to offer my help.
We all know this started with the concert back in 2016 and the 20th anniversary. I think everyone there that night experienced something magical.
When the Kickstarter was announced, those that could at the time, ploughed in everything we could afford. I know first-hand that people who couldn’t afford to pledge a lot, dug really, really deep into their pockets to give it their all. I think whatever side of the political fence you sit on, the one thing that binds this community is the love of Tomb Raider and Lara Croft – that’s undeniable. So, let’s try and park that one right there x
After re-booting the Kickstarter campaign and monitoring google analytics pretty much constantly as the campaign announcements were made - we made it to the halfway point and that triggered the next wave of pledges as the campaign continued at pace and began its countdown.
I won’t speak to how much I personally contributed, but it was a lot – and I threw in additional funds to trigger that halfway marker. I’m telling you this, because it’s important to understand the level of personal time/investment I put into the project. It’s not funny. It will also help explain why I know I am 100% correct in speaking out.
In the end, 2615 Tomb Raider fans pledged a massive amount of £194,120. (Including 2 incredibly generous sponsors, who threw in £7.5k each) One of the largest amounts ever pledged for this kind of project. It was staggering and incredibly humbling.
Post funding, I agreed to manage the TRS as a professional project in my spare time. The 2 days of the recording, the Abbey Road live streams and a myriad of organisational tasks, through to booking and arranging Hatfield House and booking the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. It’s fair to say the project ran through my DNA for over a year. I believed in it, but I no longer do. It’s all incredibly sad.
Where We Are Today:
TWO YEARS LATER - I WOULD LIKE TO APOLOGISE TO EACH AND EVERY PERSON THAT BACKED THE KICKSTARTER. I am going to try and help people. It is time to put right as many wrongs as I can.
As I’ve read the Kickstarter updates, my eyes have just got wider and wider – the same for the comments Nathan has been making. I feel embarrassed/mortified for some of the updates and comments that I’ve read.
We need to be REALLY clear on the purpose of how all this all came about. Nathan acquired permission under contract from Square Enix licencing (actually, I’ll be really clear on that too. David Burns his long-suffering business partner, negotiated the contract) as a commercial arrangement. ie: money could be made from the TRS.
Which is fine. I guess if you feel that you deserve to earn money from a multimillion-pound franchise that you helped define, you’re going to try your best to leverage that for financial gain, when you’ve never been allowed to do so before.
But as far as I’m concerned now……. here’s ‘THE THING’
Any trace of thanks and humility for having the huge privilege of having an album recorded at ABBEY ROAD has eroded over time. As for ‘babies’ and ‘broken arms’, well where the hell do you go with that? Beyond ridiculous and shameful. It is now just a commercial project which he is desperate to make money from. That is the absolute fact of the where we are.
His last update was, quite frankly – just awful. I know some of you are sympathetic and faithful towards him but – in my opinion – and given what I know - he really doesn’t deserve it. But I ‘get it’, you see a ‘persona’ and the creator of the music you hold dear. I do get it.
When it comes to ‘behaviours and attitudes’, you can’t abuse the fanbase, either directly, or for financial gain and I really don’t think that anyone can deny anymore that this was all about a last-ditch attempt at re-launching his career, off the back of fan nostalgia.
The Tomb Raider Suite has no money left, it really is as simple as that. And it hasn’t had any funds for a very, very long time. The music has been ready since Geoff Pesche finished the mastering last Feb. That’s 16 months ago.
(I’ve lifted the following from my Kickstarter comment, people need to be fully informed to make sensible choices)
For those of you who backed the £450 pledge level OR have bought tickets via the website, for the event in San Francisco. I spoke to the facilities co-ordinator at The Legion of Honor last week, and she hasn’t heard anything since April.
The full cost of the event is $9000. A deposit of $4,482.00 has been paid, but this will be lost on June 30th at the end of their financial year – they cannot carry it over (so in two weeks’ time) They are then fully booked through to the end of September. Whitney – my contact - did ask for them to provide a date to work towards, but as I said, there’s been no contact since April. Once the deposit expires, it’s gone.
Unless a future date is agreed and a further deposit is paid, this event will not be held anytime soon, if at all - and it will be at a massive loss to the ‘project’. On top of the venue fee, there’s also the octet, free drinks and food and a Lara model will need to be paid for, including of course flights/accommodation for Nathan. (There is no production team by the way)
I just can’t see David (Nathan’s business partner) paying for all of it, when he’s already up to his eyeballs bailing Nathan out of this mess and trying to make this documentary, that he can try and sell to claw back some of his losses.
The priority needs to be fulfilling the physical products of the Kickstarter campaign in totality. I would like to see a full audit of the website orders placed v. fulfilled – but that’s unlikely to happen. I would also like to see the ability to be able to buy tickets for the San Francisco event taken offline, until this is all sorted.
Let’s see what happens. I understand that the vinyl’s and the tinned CD's have actually been ordered. Hopefully there is some truth to this, this time.
I’m going to bullet point what I have to say next for easy navigation, should you use the support email. I am going to carry out an independent audit of the situation.
I have set up an email address: email@example.com I want to hear from you if:
a) You received a broken CD and were expected to pay to return it
b) If you ever cancelled your pledge and weren’t refunded
c) If you never received your pledge (vinyl’s and tinned CD’s excluded, we’ll deal with that debacle once the money to post it all has been found – I was asked to pay the £4.5k for the first round of merch, I politely declined)
d) If you have ever cancelled your WEBSITE order and have never been refunded
e) If you are still to receive your WEBSITE order – if I receive a large reply, given the website has been live for over 16 months, I would strongly recommend people STOP placing orders – but I will keep you up to date.
f) Anyone that has an online account @ www.tombraidersuite.com can you check that you can still log into your account please and let me know if not – I’ve received worrying messages from people that they can no longer access their accounts, if they have cancelled their order. I need to understand the scale of this.
3. I would strongly recommend that people stop placing orders on the website until all of this is resolved. There is no fulfilment process behind the website and the funds are not being used for their intended purpose.
If you can furnish the email with as much information as possible, I will start a log to send to SE Legal if needs be, as the picture becomes clear. Please never forget all of this only allowed under licence.
It is horrifying to think that Nathan genuinely considers all of this to be a legitimate ‘Business’ with the way things stand at the moment and so many unhappy and angry fans’. He is indebted to everyone who backed the Kickstarter and to everyone who’s placed an order on that website. It is not a’ business’, it is a large debt that needs to be settled and very soon.
And finally …….Behaviours that have brought all of this down:
In the words of a well-connected friend who regularly supports successful video game Kickstarter’s.
“They [the campaigns] have been about making the music shine and that was it”
In retrospect, very wise words from a very wise person.
I walked from the project just before Hatfield House, as Nathan threatened to ‘stomp on my neck’.
He did this because Meagan Marie had asked if she could do a photo shoot up at the main house. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I made the necessary enquiries. The groundsman agreed to provide a key to give access via the garden in the Old Palace and I arranged a make-up artist and a photographer. He went absolutely nuts and said she should ‘f*ck off and do it somewhere else’
Now again – regardless of where you stand on Tomb Raider politics, Meagan has done several things to help Nathan. From having him on stage at conventions, to help promoting the Kickstarter in the first place to then having the Suite played on stage at Pax East in 2018.
For me that was the beginning of the end………...No person on this planet has the right to threaten anyone, never mind someone who drove the success of the project. Dave had to intervene and blocked Nathan and told him Meg absolutely had to be allowed to do it…. But it had ruined the whole thing.
As well as this, there was a conversation around one particular fan who has a condition that means she is wheelchair bound. Her and her Father were already in London for a Shadow event and I really wanted her to experience Hatfield House.
I asked if she could pop along with her Dad and was told an outright no. As far as Nathan was concerned, if she wanted to go, I would have to buy a ticket for both her and her Father (regardless of the fact that neither of them would eat or drink much) I won’t offend your eyes with exactly what he said, but it was horrible. Once more, Dave had to intervene, and a compromise was met that I would pay for one ticket and her Father would go for free. In the end they couldn’t make it anyway – but this is an insight into how Nathan thinks about all of this. It’s important you know.
The final straw for me came after Hatfield. I was talking through ideas with two fans’ around the photos from Hatfield. I wanted to create a blog, where people could upload their photo’s/videos. It would have been fantastic, everyone looked utterly AMAZING.
If you’ve ever wondered why you’ve never seen any photos from the evening……….that’s why. He wanted to monetarize them. So the blog and the photo sharing never happened. And I’m sorry but after 10 WhatsApp calls around 10pm at night and demanding I pick up the phone and ‘show him some respect’. I was totally done with it all and I walked.
Skip forward to the airing of Lara’s leitmotif on Classic FM (courtesy of a very nice chap called Mark Robins who Nathan has never thanked) and Nathan contacted me via Twitter. Asking if he could use me as a ‘career advisor’ and to help him out of the hole basically. But I knew that it was all over for me. When I asked about copies of the album being sent to people who helped make the album happen, I received what can only be described as the most and foul arrogant text messages imaginable.
I feel incredibly guilty for enabling him and knowing that so many of you are upset. The problem is that Nathan saw the TRS as his ticket to money. But it was never going to work that way. There’s only so many people care about the music from 23 years ago – and those of us that do, have already bought it.
When we come full circle back to the start – I question how many of us fans’ who were seated in those front rows at the Apollo in December 2016, still speak with Nathan. I really can’t think of very many at all. Since 2016 Nathan has insulted his way through some of the most loyal fanbase. I find it very bizarre behaviour.
Nathan when you read this – I feel sorry for you. I feel sorry your career is where it is – but I genuinely now believe that it is no one else’s fault but your own. The way you treat people, the way you speak to people. No one will ever tolerate it and you must live with the consequences of that, but I fear your arrogance and narcissism will prevail."
Everything related here by Tracie is true (I've been told about it a long time ago) and I know a lot of other stories like these where he is involved (sadly what you can read above is only the tip of the iceberg, there's much worse believe me). I am sorry to read that Tracie feel that bad even if the responsible here is Nathan only (I can't possibly imagine what she has been through). It's very kind of her to offer her help to backers and people who purchased some Tomb Raider Suite stuff and I encourage you to contact her if you had encountered some problems with the Tomb Raider Suite.
You can also read this article posted on Alex's Tomb Raider Blog previously relating other behaviors from Nathan and have a look at this thread on tombraiderforums.com where Tracie originally posted for more people relating their bad experiences.
Secondly I also wanted to apologize for encouraging people to pledge during the Kickstarter and advertising it a lot. I feel a part of responsability in this. I wish I had knew about the kind of person he really was before doing so. I don't know Nathan personally and I spent a lot of time (and money!) in this Kickstarter myself, only to get fooled in return.
Unfortunately it's only as soon as the Kickstarter ended that I became the witness of his bad attitude and angry comments regarding the community. An exemple is that we had a poll running on our website asking "what's your favorite Tomb Raider soundtrack" and Nathan started making nasty comments on Twitter because he noticed The Angel of Darkness soundtracks were leading and he didn't accept it. Some persons replied to him and he started creating some arguments with them, later turning into literally insulting those fans! I couldn't believe it! This was unacceptable to me and I immediately ceased to promote the tweets related to the Tomb Raider Suite and put our article related to it in the Archives section.
I haven't written about all of this until now for two reasons:
- 1/ I didn't want to ruin the enthusiasm of people who supported the Tomb Raider Suite and still ignored his acts.
- 2/ I didn't want it to have a bad impact on Peter Connelly's Tomb Raider The Dark Angel Symphony (even if it has already been impacted by this - people who had bad experiences with either the Tomb Raider Suite or Nathan McCree didn't want to support this project).
In conclusion I'd like to add that if you're worrying about the stuff you pledged for or ordered from the shop he has the obligation to deliver them. The Tomb Raider franchise belongs to Square Enix (he had to get the authorization from them to start his Kickstarter) so I have no doubt they could easily take legal actions if necessary.
I would add another word regarding The Dark Angel Symphony. It's a complete separate project from the Tomb Raider Suite, it has nothing to do with it and it's made by a team of passionate people (Peter included) contrary to the Tomb Raider Suite made only to gather some money on the back of the most loyal Tomb Raider fans. Don't hesitate to support it.
While we'll never deny his work on the three first games soundtracks we at core-design.com no longer wish to be associated with Nathan McCree or the Tomb Raider Suite.
Thank you for reading. Please share this article / spread the word.
PS: Nathan, if you ever read this, you have to face the consequences of your acts. You are not the center of the world unlike what you think and I hope you'll never approach the Tomb Raider franchise anymore.
Alex, the webmaster
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