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Gearbox denies wrongdoing in Aliens suit

Gearbox denies wrongdoing in Aliens suit

Gearbox has filed to have itself removed from a class-action lawsuit regarding the quality of 2013's Alien: Colonial Marines, stating outright that any wrongdoing is purely on Sega's shoulders.

Gearbox has finally broken its long-running silence on the case of the Aliens: Colonial Marines law-suit, claiming that any and all blame for the disappointing state of the game at launch lies with publisher Sega.

The history of Aliens: Colonial Marines, a game which revised canon and placed the player in the strangely-not-nuked colony of Hadley's Hope from the Aliens film post-Ripley-visit, began in 2008 with Sega teasing the first details of a game in development by Gearbox since 2006. The promised 2008 launch date whizzed past with little explanation for the delay, and in June 2009 Gearbox head Randy Pitchford claimed the game was still in development with a planned 2010 launch.

In 2013, the game would finally hit shop shelves - an impressive, though hardly Duke Nukem Forever-beating, five years late - to universal derision. The game bore no resemblance to a supposedly in-game trailer released by Sega prior to its launch, with massively degraded visuals, dumbed-down AI, and entire segments missing from the title. Fans were aghast, and Pitchford promised to investigate what had gone on. The company would find itself at the centre of a lawsuit claiming that it had materially misled buyers and investors alike, with rumours circulating that it had used milestone payments from Sega to fund the development of its own Borderlands franchise while farming off the bulk of the work on Aliens: Colonial Marines to tiny TimeGate studios.

Since then, the company has been suspiciously quiet on the results of said investigation. In a motion for dismissal filed in court on Thursday, Gearbox has denied any wrongdoing and placed the blame firmly on publisher Sega. 'Gearbox never belonged in this lawsuit. Gearbox is a video game software developer. It was neither the publisher nor seller of the video game at issue.' the company told the court in its filing. 'For more than a year, Gearbox has quietly abided the plaintiffs' claims so that Sega, the game's publisher and the party responsible for the game's marketing and sale, could assume the defence of this lawsuit. Gearbox has honoured its publisher's request in spite of plaintiffs' highly-publicised-and highly-misplaced-claims against Gearbox. At this point, however, Gearbox is obligated to pursue its rightful departure from this case.'

The filing includes a deposition from Gearbox vice president of marketing Steve Gibson which deny that money was diverted away from Aliens: Colonial Marines, stating categorically that 'Gearbox supplemented Sega's development budget [for the game] with its own money to help Sega finish its games; Gearbox's contributions to Alien: Colonial Marines totalled millions, none of which was ever repaid' due to the title's poor sales. Gibson goes on to deny that the impressive trailer at the heart of the suit was created using a different game engine, without explaining why it looks so vastly different to the finished game.

According to Polygon's analysis of the recent filings in the case, a judgement on Gibson's claims may not be required: all but one of the plaintiffs have reached a settlement agreement with publisher Sega that would end the suit, with the other party seeking to remove the missing plaintiff - reportedly in prison awaiting trail on three charges of assault and terroristic threats - so the case can be closed.

10 Comments

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ChaosDefinesOrder 1st August 2014, 16:25 Quote
"we only MADE the game awful, it's not our fault it was awful"
Corky42 1st August 2014, 18:03 Quote
Or we made game and Sega made it look better than it was.
DrTiCool 2nd August 2014, 10:00 Quote
Ah Sega, where are your in-home developers, like Smilebit, Sonic Team, AM2 and others. Those were some creative studios. Nowadays you just buy some franchise and let it burn down by choosing cheap development.
And yes, Gearbox also screwed this one up.
raxonb 3rd August 2014, 11:20 Quote
To be this good takes AGES
PingCrosby 3rd August 2014, 11:23 Quote
Where can you get these Alien suits from?
Syphadeus 3rd August 2014, 13:58 Quote
I don't understand how Gearbox can completely distance themselves from this. Yes, I'm sure Sega had a lot to do with how things went down. However, it was Randy Pitchford hyping the game up, saying that they were making something that was really great, that did the franchise the justice that fans wanted. So, what's his excuse? Was he paid to completely lie and mislead the gaming community about it?

It's always the same thing with those guys. Gearbox is a crap developer. Let's be honest. The fact that Borderlands is good is more luck that anything else. Duke Nukem Forever was rubbish and Pitchford hyped the butt off that too. I guess that wasn't their fault either, they just took the mantle off 3D Realms or whatever and thought they'd make a quick buck from leading the horses to water in buying it.

My feeling is that it's VERY much on Gearbox's shoulders, but naturally they don't want to be seen as the bad guys along with Sega, even though they are.
Saivert 3rd August 2014, 14:51 Quote
So what came of all this? Nothing? Gearbox will soldier on and so will Sega.
Moral of the story: Vote with your wallets. No amount of legal battle will change any of this.
thom804 3rd August 2014, 18:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syphadeus


It's always the same thing with those guys. Gearbox is a crap developer. Let's be honest. The fact that Borderlands is good is more luck that anything else. Duke Nukem Forever was rubbish and Pitchford hyped the butt off that too. I guess that wasn't their fault either, they just took the mantle off 3D Realms or whatever and thought they'd make a quick buck from leading the horses to water in buying it.

My feeling is that it's VERY much on Gearbox's shoulders, but naturally they don't want to be seen as the bad guys along with Sega, even though they are.

Wait, what?
The only games gearbox have botched are games they haven't created from the ground up.

Feel free to name any game that hasn't been a critical success from those guys.
johnnyboy700 3rd August 2014, 20:23 Quote
This is the kind of cock up is exactly what stops me from pre-ordering any game. I'd have been horrified to have paid full price for this game, it wasn't even worth the three quid I paid for it from Asda'a bargin bin.
Panos 4th August 2014, 11:44 Quote
If I do not have hands on, or previous experience with a game franchise or developer I never pre-order.

Thus, only 3 games were pre-ordered the last four years.
Civ 5 and TW Rome 2, which even initially were pants, got improved either way overtime.

And TESO which I played on 5 beta weekends before release, pre-ordered it because of it, and haven't regretted it a single moment or penny over the last 4 months I play the game.
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