Video game composer Jeremy Soule, best known for his work on The Elder Scrolls and Guild Wars series, has been accused of rape by indie developer Nathalie Lawhead. In a blog post titled “calling out my rapist,” Nathalie claims she was raped by Jeremy after being contracted to work on a game by an unnamed Vancouver studio in 2008.
She shares a number of private emails sent between herself and her bosses in the post, stating that she doesn’t “care about what they’ll do to me, or the legal repercussions.” Lawhead only hopes that her speaking out will prevent any other women from being “victimized” by Jeremy Soule, who is alleged to have taken advantage of her when she was first making inroads into a career in the video games industry.
Nathalie says she “desperately needed” the job, where she worked on an ARG game that was a new IP for her unnamed employer, and “sacrificed a lot” for the mismanaged project at a time she was struggling with health issues.
Composer Jeremy Soule allegedly knew of Nathalie’s situation and “took advantage of his position,” but not before the two became friends after meeting at a Christmas party and discussing their shared love of art.
Nathalie claims that she was “very clear” that she “didn’t want a relationship” and in fact “wanted a friendship.” Despite this, she alleges that Soule would make “indirect threats” to her job such as “‘It’s me or bust,'” holding his close relationship with the company CEO over Nathalie’s head.
She also alleges that Soule claimed he “needs sex, and a relationship” in order to properly perform his duties as a composer, going as far as to say “composing is sexual.”
All of this “uncomfortable inappropriate” behavior is alleged to have culminated in Lawhead’s rape, an act for which the accused perpetrator “blamed women” based on their apparent past transgressions.
i wrote a post that you should read
calling out my r*pist & naming nameshttps://t.co/Cc3mHGfiBg
please read it
if you believe me please share it, please rt it, put it on full blast
i don't want any woman to ever get hurt by him again
[TW: sexual assault, game industry "legends"]
— Nathalie Lawhead (@alienmelon) August 26, 2019
Nathalie said she continued working on the game, though “would go to the bathroom during work hours to cry.” Despite the toxic environment the ARG eventually saw a successful launch, but without Lawhead being credited for “2+ years” of work after being ousted from the project by the developer’s CEO and supposed personal friend of Soule.
After spending years in silence, Nathalie finally decided to share her story in an effort to ensure that other women in the video games industry wouldn’t fall victim to Soule. While the acclaimed composer hasn’t faced any official legal charges yet, presumably there will be a full investigation following the severe allegations leveled by Nathalie Lawhead in yesterday’s blog post.
Nathalie’s post has prompted more women in the industry to speak out against abuse they’ve received, including Zoe Quinn’s accusations against Night in the Woods co-creator Alec Holowka.