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.
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.