As much as I love the chaps over at Gearbox, it’s safe to say that they dropped the ball on Aliens: Colonial Marines. The game was simply terrible, and left many, many people properly pissed off. And it’s a game which has also made buggerall cash for the developer.
According to legal documents in a class-action suit which PC Gamer picked up, the game brought in zero royalties and very little profit for the developer. “During the development process, Gearbox supplemented Sega’s development budget with its own money to help Sega finish its game; Gearbox’s contribution to A:CM totaled millions, none of which was ever repaid,” the developer claimed.
Gearbox never received money from Sega’s A:CM purchasers, nor has Gearbox received a single royalty from any such sales by Sega.
This isn’t a case of Sega being scummy and sticking a knife in the back of Gearbox, but because the game failed to hit any milestones with regards to sales, meaning that the Gearbox product couldn’t live up to any agreed upon contractual sales targets.
The game’s sales were insufficient to trigger any sales-based payments to Gearbox and, as a result, Gearbox has not received any additional monies from Sega for the sale of the game. Gearbox only received the milestone payments made by Sega during the game’s development.
Despite the hype machine being in full swing and pre-orders being high, the vicious reaction at launch helped kill off any potential sales. And that’s thanks to the final product looking very little like what was promised to gamers, with one particularly incensed and narcoleptic reviewer calling the game a “a clichéd, stereotypical bravado-laden, gung-ho corridor shooter that’s mildly fun but never engaging”.
Right now though, Gearbox and Sega are passing the buck with the lawsuit. You can see the documents for yourself here; there’s a statement from Gearbox and a request to be struck from the class action.
Last Updated: August 1, 2014