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Gearbox Attempts To Get Out Of Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuit
Believe it or not the lawsuit for Aliens: Colonial Marines isn't done and over with. The lawsuit is still moving forward and we only know that it is because Gearbox Software's lawyers have come forward to say that the studio wants no part in it.
PC Gamer picked up the story from Polygon, where it's being reported that Gearbox Software lawyers are requesting that the company be removed from the lawsuit regarding the false advertising of Aliens: Colonial Marines.
According to the suit...
"Gearbox never belonged in this lawsuit. Gearbox is a videogame software developer. It was neither the publisher nor seller of the videogame 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."
Gearbox has stated repeatedly that they haven't done anything wrong and that the original lawsuit is meritless.
Things originally got underway from back at E3 2012, where a technical demo for Aliens: Colonial Marines showed a game that had many gamers extremely excited for the title. The game was promoted heavily using the E3 footage, even leading up to the game's release in February of 2013. You can view the demo below.
However, when the game actually released it turned out that it wasn't quite what gamers had expected and major concessions had to be made for the game in order to get it to run on the Xbox 360 and PS3.
In result, many gamers felt burned by the marketing, given that the game was heavily promoted based on its E3 demo, even though the game was nothing like that (not until a PC patch was released to bring the game up to the quality of the original E3 demo).
Nevertheless, a lawsuit was levied against Sega and Gearbox over falsely promoting and advertising Aliens: Colonial Marines. The bigger issue isn't necessarily that the E3 demo of Aliens: Colonial Marines falsely represented the finish product (because then every developer would likely be guilty of that with their tech demos) but it's that the tech demo was repeatedly used to help sell pre-orders for the game that was nothing like the E3 demo. In fact, the tech footage was used even during supposed hands/eyes-on previews by prominent gaming media outlets, giving gamers the impression that what they saw at E3 is what they would be playing on their home consoles, which was not true.
Nevertheless, Gearbox Marketing Vice President Steve Gibson tried distancing Gearbox from Sega, commenting in the filing that...
"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," ... "Gearbox never received money from Sega's A:CM purchasers, nor has Gearbox received a single royalty from any such sales by Sega."
It's further noted that one of the original plaintiffs of the class action lawsuit, Damion Perrine, is currently incarcerated on unrelated charges and is unable to continue as a representative in the lawsuit; lawyers from Gearbox are attempting to have Perrine removed from the original suit.
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