Juicy new details revealed in the Sega Aliens: Colonial Marines lawsuit saga

5 min read
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Zoe did this. Not me.

You’re all well aware of Aliens: Colonial Marines and the resulting brouhaha around that troubled game. In essence, A:CM was nothing like the game that was promised, with most gamers feeling like they had just received a massive slap in the face with a very small penis. It was quite honestly, one of the biggest flops in gaming since ET: The Video Game. Except this time, Sega and Gearbox are trying to bury one another in court.

Edelson LLC fired the first shots last year, when they filed against publisher Sega and developer Gearbox for releasing the turkey, citing false advertising. With Gearbox outsourcing most of the development of A:CM to TimeGate, it was also discovered later on that the Borderlands studio only stepped in to provide some finishing touches and shine to the turd of a game.

Sega and the plaintiffs behind the lawsuit reached a settlement eventually, but Gearbox pulled out like a cheap lover towards the end, asking to be dropped from the lawsuit and arguing that the stuff-up was clearly all Sega’s fault as they were responsible for marketing and publishing, according to Kotaku:

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. 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 defense of this lawsuit. Gearbox has honored its publisher’s request in spite of plaintiffs’ highly-publicized—and highly-misplaced—claims against Gearbox. At this point, however, Gearbox is obligated to pursue its rightful departure from this case.

This week however, Sega had clearly had enough. The company filed new papers in court, that includeded e-mails exchanged between them and Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford, claiming that gearbox also had a hand in marketing and that Pitchford acted without publisher approval as he spilt various game details. In one e-mail, Sega brand manager Matt Eyre accusing Pitchford of “doing whatever the fuck he likes.”

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Sega (1)

And then there’s the actual PR for the game, which provides a fascinating look at how Sega wanted to push the game and promote it:

Sega (2)

And the proposition document for Colonial Marines is just as weird and fascinating:

Sega (3)

“Suspicious of new IP?” I can’t fault that logic, as just about everyone these days is actually wary of new AAA budget games. Things get even weirder, when the documents reveal that Gearbox should have “free reign to generate PR hits” through Pitchford, a “respected development celebrity” who “is guaranteed to be headline material in worldwide press coverage.”

 

Sega (4)

 

PR is such a tricky thing to navigate. As a writer, you get used to it, as you chat to developers and you have to manoeuvre your questions around the usual industry spiel to get details that are actually relevant to the story you’re writing. Now that I think about it, chatting to Call Of Duty’s David Vonderhaar last year was a wonderful experience, because despite the appearance of a PR handler, that man had a wonderful talent for actually providing useful info about his game and giving me hell. Which I genuinely, truly appreciated.

And I’m sure that he did so without needing stringent guidelines like the one above. For even more court case legal action, check the original link for court case documents and whatnot.

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Last Updated: September 4, 2014

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia’s M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    lol @ Gearbox. Not involved my ass. It was marketed as a Gearbox game & many of their staff, including the snake oil salesman, were in videos all over the internet hyping the product through the roof. And as for saying they shouldn’t be held responsible because they subbed it out to another company, that’s just laughable.

    • Hammersteyn

      The biggest problem with suits is that they probably never even play the game to begin with, or they do but they can’t differentiated between a rotten or a golden egg.

      • Kensei Seraph

        Suit: “I’m a genuine gamer. I’ve made it all the way to [insert high Candy Crush level].”

  • Kensei Seraph

    Who is this Randy Pitchford guy?

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      Someone who needs 10 years in the iso-cubes.

  • CAE9872

    OK so I do indeed own Colonial Marines BUT have never played it…could someone who has give me their honest reasons why it was so bad? Or was it more a case of being massively disappointing because of what it could have been?

    • FoxOneZA

      It had more bugz than a Looney Tunes cartoon starring Bugz and Daffy Duck.

  • Spaffy

    Reminds me of an ex-gf jolling at a club without my knowledge
    She: “No I was never there! I wouldn’t go without you, you know that!”
    Me: “But, uhm, there pics of you in the club on Facebook”

    She: …

  • FoxOneZA

    The real losers here are the gamers so regardless of the outcome of this, it makes no difference to those that purchased the game.

    • Norm

      Exactly.

  • Norm

    That Judge header is haunting… thanks Zoe.

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