There’s a dumb lawsuit winding its way through the court system right now, where a bunch of people are suing Sega and Gearbox for false advertising because Aliens: Colonial Marines didn’t look nearly as good as its demos. It will probably be thrown out, but until then, we get an inside look at just how a major game goes off the rails.
First, a little background: This suit was all set to go away, and then Gearbox turned around and demanded the entire thing, suit and settlement, be thrown out. Gearbox’s claim was that they were just a contractor and they’d be stuck with any future lawsuits over this terrible game. So now, Sega and Gearbox are throwing lawyers at each other, and the results, delivered by Polygon, are utterly hilarious.
For example, Sega’s opinion of Randy Pitchford is rather… unfriendly:
I spoke face to face to [Gearbox's Steve] Gibson about their persistent panel leaking,” Matt Eyre wrote in an email to other company officials. “Effectively — it’s Randy doing whatever the f*** he likes. Apparently he did it twice on [Borderlands 2] also, against, against all plans and despite the fact they asked him not to.
Interestingly, Sega also claims it threw millions at Gearbox in milestone payments, and that Gearbox had total control of the end product and the marketing of it. It also apparently claimed the demo we saw at E3 was “the standard” to which the game should be held, which Gearbox didn’t meet.
To be totally honest, Polygon also has a string of screenshots comparing marketing materials and the actual game… and honestly they don’t look very different. Yeah, the game is definitely ugly in the playing, but really, it didn’t look that great to begin with.
This ultimately boils down to little more than two corporations pounding their chests. Part of the reason this lawsuit was delayed is that one of the guys who filed it is in jail for assault and weapons possession, which gives you an idea of just how legitimate it likely is. But until it’s dismissed, we can sit back and enjoy the legal sniping.