Former Elder Scrolls and Guild Wars franchise composer is accused of sexual assault

    
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The gaming industry is in the midst of its own #MeToo moment, and one of the industry vets who stands accused is popular composer Jeremy Soule, whom MMO players will recognize from his past work on the Elder Scrolls and Guild Wars franchises, among many others.

Indie game designer Nathalie Lawhead posted a piece on Monday directly accusing Soule of predation, abuse, and rape while she was working on a game in Canada a decade ago. (In fact, the detailed post exposes abuse on the part of her game industry employer as well, but he is not named.)

“I’m sharing this hoping that there will be information about him out there so other women can be informed,” she says of Soule. “He took advantage of an eager naive new girl that want to ‘break in’ by offering a lot of help, and acting like he will mentor me, and then forcing me into a position where I was taken advantage of by him.”

Soule has taken significant criticism from former fans since 2013 following a $127,000 Kickstarter for music that saw many years lapse before anything was delivered. Guild Wars fans also bear grudges over the inaccessibility of the original music for that game. His verified Twitter account was apparently active last month but has since been deleted, as has the Facebook page for the parts of the symphony he did release; his Patreon is still live but largely hidden from the public. He has not yet made any public rebuttal to the accusations; we’ll update when he has.

Source: Lawhead’s blog, GIbiz, RPS, The Verge. With thanks to everyone who sent this in.
Update
Apparently Lawhead was not alone; a recording artist, Aeralie Brighton, has also alleged that Soule sexually harassed her and cost her a job when she wouldn’t sleep with him. Soule did finally respond to comment to Kotaku, denying Lawhead’s accusations and saying he doesn’t “agree with [Brighton’s] point of view.” According to Kotaku, the publisher of Soule’s latest album “terminated [its] working relationship with Jeremy Soule” and is “no longer involved in any aspect” of making that album. “Three women who spoke with Kotaku, including one of the accusers mentioned above, said they were offered work on that album, but that the deals fell through after they turned down romantic advances from Soule,” Kotaku writes. “Soule did not respond to Kotaku’s request for comment about these specifics.”

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memitim

I’d like to thank those at Massively for allowing comments in this thread (unlike certain websites) I know they often end up full of toxic bullshit but not allowing comments gives off a “let’s sweep this under the rug” vibe and when the subject is accusations of abuse in the industry that makes me very uncomfortable indeed, so thank you.

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Bruno Brito

For example, I’m a Slav; my ancestors were sold to slavery long before Columbus was born. Yet somehow, nobody on the left side of history is ever worried about our feelings. Perhaps because we have pale skin and you are just a bunch of racists? :P

Or maybe because given the color of your skin, you’re still read as white. You won’t be gunned down by cops just for taking a cellphone off your coat.

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Alex Willis

This is a side note, but I find it very curious how often people (mostly white men) resort to language that typically refers to anti-black violence when describing their perceived vulnerability to false accusations. You read through comment threads on topics like this and you see outraged, defensive proclamations of “lynching”, “stringing up”, etc. I doubt any of these modern crusaders against sexual assault allegation “injustice” are much concerned with the actual history of lynchings, though. This activity was used as a way to control an underprivileged minority who had little to no power. That these terms are being used against women, who we firmly know face systemic barriers to justice, is deeply and disturbingly ironic.

Before you use the word “lynch”, please consider doing some reading on the subject first. And while you’re at it, read Robyn Doolittle’s excellent series on ostensibly “unfounded” sexual assault allegations.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/apr/26/lynchings-memorial-us-south-montgomery-alabama

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/investigations/unfounded-sexual-assault-canada-main/article33891309/

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Bruno Brito

Just a heads-up for you all:

People have the right to judge as they see fit. The only place where Soule is “innocent until proven guilty” is in a court of law.

If that’s moral or not, i’ll leave it up to you.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

If he did these things then he should be prosecuted, imprisoned, and stripped of his career. That said art is blameless, I’ll still enjoy his work in the games I play that have his work.

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Nathan Aldana

1: you know damn well thats unlikely because it;d require evidence of wrongdoing that may well not exist due to how long ago it happened.

2: I may enjoy cthulhu stories but i still acknowledge Lovecraft was a fucking terrible person.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Who knows, some how Cosby was convicted; those assaults occurred over decades.

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mysecretid

Most of the women who spoke out against Cosby knew that the statute of limitations had expired in their cases, and that they would not be part of the legal proceedings. They just felt the need to finally tell their stories publicly.

Cosby’s actual charges and sentencing stem primarily from one recent case, still legally prosecutable.

As for how he got convicted — one thing that has been mentioned numerous times is that, when Cosby was interviewed by police on camera, he didn’t deny very much at all. At points he appeared to be almost boasting about what he’d done to the male cops, or trying to play it all off as “you guys know how it is”.

But hey, don’t take my word for it. I’m just some guy on the internet. The information I’m talking about is out there if you want to see it. I saw clips from the police interviews, and I couldm’t believe what I was hearing; I was like, “Cosby, do you have any idea how horrible you sound right now?”. Apparently, Cosby did not, and it took him down.

Cheers,

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Anything that’s related to art/music/lit/film has been filtered through some one that’s a horrible person. Speaking of writers apparently Charles Dickens used to abuse his wife and attempted to have her committed to an asylum during his divorce.

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Utakata

Yeah…that’s a difficult call. One I battle with every time I hear a Michael Jackson tune being pumped over the airwaves now. /bleah

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Jack Pipsam

If it’s true (and I don’t see why it wouldn’t be), then I hope he’ll never get work again.
You shouldn’t be allowed to come back from that kind of thing as far as I’m concerned.

Another alleged victim has come forward and if history plays out, then I sadly doubt she’d be the last. It tends to be serial offence with creeps who use their power for advantage.

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Alex Willis

I believe her.

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memitim

Why? Were you there? I hope you’re not on the jury if I’m ever falsely accused of anything…

Now I’m not saying he did it or he didn’t, because I wasn’t there, but this Kangaroo Twitter court business is getting out of hand…

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Nathan Aldana

Its curious how your first wheeze is to assume people accused of assault are innocent and accusers must be lying liars.

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memitim

“Now I’m not saying he did it or he didn’t” You really need to work on those reading comprehension skills friend.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

I believe most of what she is saying really but I just don’t know if what she is saying equates to being forced. She felt pressured, thought of all these situations of what might happen if she didn’t do it, and slept with him.

Maybe he is sexually predacious, harassing, pressuring, but did he drug her or hold her down? Did he threaten her, or did she think he was threatening her because of her paranoia?

If he did threaten her job and things, yes that would be a type of rape, but it’s hard to say if he actually did so or if she was thinking that was what was on the line.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

From my understanding if you coerce some one into having sex if they say no at first then that is considered date rape.

Why are my comments being flagged for moderation, I didn’t say anything remotely inappropriate nor have I said anything provocative in a long time so what gives?

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Hirku

There was a time once when that happened to me because of a bug, but maybe everything here is being flagged as a “five-second delay” because it’s a controversial topic.

Edit: Didn’t happen to me just now, maybe the bug.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Yeah you’re probably right regarding the article and the controversy.

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mysecretid

I do too, Alex, because Nathalie Lawhead didn’t just post an accusation blurb on Twitter or Facebook — she posted at length on her own website, and directly incorporatef a chain of e-mail correspondence surrounding the assault and its aftermath from her then-job.

Original Posting

Even with all of this, Lawhead makes clear that her purpose is merely to warn other women in the games industry to be wary of Soule. She expects no kind of “justice” for what happened to her. Call her call-out “The Broken Stair Effect” writ large …

Cheers, Alex,

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agemyth 😩

He talked about the mystical power women hold over men with sex. How men are helpless and they need sex. How he needs sex, and a relationship, so he can write his music.
He talked about how composing is sexual, and how he will write about sex as inspiration in his music. He talked about how performing music is very sexual. He wrote songs about women that he had relationships with this way. What he does to women, is what inspires his music.
The work he composed for video games is based on this. He “needs women to inspire him”… there was so much of this, very uncomfortable inappropriate stuff (inappropriate even for friends), and it kept getting darker and darker

I don’t think I’ll be able to comfortably listen to the Elder Scrolls themes (all of them since Morrowind) anymore…

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

I’ve come to the conclusion that I hate the predators but the art is innocent, I can’t deny Jackson’s music is still timeless even if he was a sexual predator, the Elder Scrolls and Guild Wars music won’t change for me either because I don’t think of the composer I think of the game content, I still like Woody Allen movies, I still like Roman Polanski movies, and I’ll still watch anything with Kevin Spacey in it. I enjoyed watching both Paddington Bear movies, and Tarantino’s movies even though they were both produced by Harvey Weinstein.

Doesn’t mean I condone these people as individuals.

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agemyth 😩

Yeah, there are valid cases for separating art and artist and I only speak for myself in saying this is a situation that, thanks to the portion I quoted, I will not be able to let go.

The way it was described just makes it seem any or all of his compositions could be directly inspired by that gross crap. (again, thats just how it feels to me and I’m not saying anything bad about people who can continue to enjoy things after hearing something like this)

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Hirku

I can’t say I’m always able to separate the individual artist from their creative work, but I think it would certainly be unfair to condemn the work of the cast and crew of the Weinstein movies just because their boss is a scumbag.

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MrSaxon

It’s sad that there have been several high-profile “This person did X and Y to me!” Twitter posts over the years that the mob has gotten behind (including myself) only for us to discover that accuser was less than honest.

Not saying that’s definitely what’s happening here but I can’t deny that those falsehoods have clouded my doubt when it comes to these sort of accusations.