The finger pointing continues as the unfolding saga of clandestine antics – from one or many parties – has resulted in a lot of bad blood between consumers and the gaming industry over Aliens: Colonial Marines. The latest bit comes from another anonymous developer who says they worked on the project for about a year and a lot of the blame, they feel, should be placed on Gearbox.
Destructoid's Jim Sterling managed to get in contact with the individual and talk about what happened. The developer who came forward was only with Gearbox between 2007 and 2008 as they were re-arranging staff for the release of the first Borderlands. Of course, said individual wished to remain anonymous and had this to share about the experience at Gearbox...
"Gearbox was taking people off the project to put them on Borderlands 1”..."This was before the big art style change happened on Borderlands. Our team was getting smaller by the month, making it very difficult to get the game made. Ironically several of the team members were ex-3D Realms people who were saying [paraphrasing] 'Finally, we're going to Gearbox to make Aliens, and we're going to ship a fucking game!' Hah."
According to Sterling, the source explained to him that Sega canceled Colonial Marines for a brief period, and that the game really didn't go dark in the media circles so that the devs could focus on development. Instead, during the time the game went dark, nothing was heard about the game because there wasn't going to be any development.
However, things got more complicated according to the dev, who states...
At some point in 2008, SEGA temporarily pulled the plug on the game," ... "They caught wind of Gearbox shifting resources (despite still collecting milestone checks as if the team were full size) and lying to SEGA AND 2K about the number of people working on each project. This led to the round of layoffs at Gearbox in late 2008."
The layoffs refers to this article from Edge which documents the “tactical layoffs” from Gearbox that occurred in 2008.
Another individual who claimed to be a tester at Sega of Europe claimed that Gearbox isn't as much to blame as Sega, mainly because Sega was the publisher and was told numerous times by numerous testers that the game wasn't ready to ship. The tester also corroborates what was mentioned above, and from other developers, stating that Gearbox was receiving money from Sega but using it to fund Borderlands instead.
This is one of many other instances where someone has come forward to talk about the troubled development cycle(s) of Aliens: Colonial Marines. MTV's blog actually has a chronological account of the events and the individuals who have all come forward about the next big scandal in gaming since Dorito-Gate.
Gearbox president Randy Pitchford, however, has decided to block off communication from anyone offering negativity and harsh criticisms, although he himself claims that he will lose a lot of money because of this unfortunate circumstance.