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Sega offers to settle Aliens: Colonial Marines lawsuit

Sega offers to settle Aliens: Colonial Marines lawsuit

Sega has offered to pay $1.25 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought against it for misleading customers as to the quality of its Aliens: Colonial Marines game, but has still not admitted any wrongdoing.

Sega has offered to settle a lawsuit that claims it misled customers into believing that its Aliens: Colonial Marines game was considerably higher quality than it really was for $1.25 million, while developer Gearbox continues to deny any culpability.

The launch of Aliens: Colonial Marines, a first-person shooter that retroactively prevented the destruction of the Hadley's Hope settlement at the end of the film Aliens, was met with confusion by fans who noted that the game had little resemblance to supposedly in-game footage released in 2012. The graphical quality had been massively reduced, with features like dynamic lighting being entirely removed, while sections of the game were missing completely.

Since its release, details of exactly what happened have remained sketchy. It's known that Gearbox, hired by Sega to develop the game, farmed the work out to far smaller studio TimeGate so that it could concentrate on its own Borderlands franchise. In February 2013, Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford promised an investigation, but resumed his silence until filing a request to be removed from a class-action lawsuit earlier this month, placing all blame squarely on Sega's shoulders.

Now, Polygon has spotted court filings from Sega that suggest the company has admitted defeat. In the filings, Sega has offered to pay $1.25 million into the settlement fund, of which $2,500 will be paid to John Locke - who brought the suit on behalf of disgruntled customers - and $735,000 will be split between the class of customers who purchased the game under false pretences as to its quality. In case you're wondering where the missing half-a-million is going: $312,500 will be paid to the plaintiff's laywers, while $200,000 will be used to cover the administrative costs of splitting the payout between the class. Regardless of how many customers - all of whom must reside in the US, unfortunately - apply for a payout, the sum of money they receive will not exceed the price they paid for the game.

As part of the settlement, Sega will be released from the suit without having to admit any wrongdoing. Gearbox, meanwhile, is still named in the suit and can be chased for additional money should the judge reject its request to be removed from the ongoing case. Details about how class members in the US can claim their payout will be published online, along with print details in - oddly - ESPN, Rolling Stone, and Guns & Ammo magazines.

5 Comments

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DeckerdBR 12th August 2014, 13:38 Quote
What a shame UK customer won't be able to get a refund. I'll reserve my 1 time steam refund for some future disaster worse (what, it could be possible) than ACM. :)

Hopefully this will serve as a reminder that pre-ordering digital games is pointless, with often no cost saving in doing so and your pre-order benefit is some virtual item, which is useless if the game end up crap...

Even with the settlement paid, I bet the game was still highly profitable.
B1GBUD 12th August 2014, 16:02 Quote
So the lawyers get rich and the US customers get what might amount to a partial refund.... everyone else gets FA!!

GG Gearbox!!
Guinevere 12th August 2014, 16:28 Quote
$2,500 to the plaintiff, $312,500 to his lawyers.

That's almost funny!

Wouldn't it be great if they just open sourced the source code. I'm sure within a fortnight you'd have a dozen different indie teams working on fixing the game.

#NeverGonnaHappen #BecauseYouKnow #Legal
theshadow2001 12th August 2014, 19:35 Quote
I don't get it. I mean if someone missells something you report them. Try to get a refund and if unsuccessful you bring them to the small claims court. The threat of which is usually enough to get your refund.

The idea of making the lawyers a boat load of money is a lot more disturbing than a missold game.
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