The Game Controversy That Wouldn't Die - Sega and Gearbox "Comment" on Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuit
Aliens: Colonial Marines launched in late winter to some truly awful reviews. It's now well into Spring, and the game has yet to fade into obscurity like other poorly received tripe. Keeping the game's awful reputation alive is the longstanding tradition that keeps the heart of this country beating and so many taking their LSAT's; namely, a lawsuit.
Under the guise of consumer advocacy, law firm Edelson LLC recently filed a lawsuit against Sega and Gearbox over the game, claiming the companies used false advertsing for the game, which duped customers into pre-orders and day one purchases who would be getting a game not even close to what the companies had advertised.
Without getting to specific, Gearbox and Sega have since responded to Edelson's claims about the game. In a statement to Kotaku, "Sega cannot comment on specifics of ongoing litigation, but we are confident that the lawsuit is without merit and we will defend it vigorously." Gearbox echoed Sega's sentiments, a spokesman saying, "Attempting to wring a class action lawsuit out of a demonstration is beyond meritless. We continue to support the game, and will defend the rights of entertainers to share their works-in-progress without fear of frivolous litigation."
It's not unusual for a company to stand by a product, so Sega's intention to defend the game is not without merit. But it comes as a bit bizarre when their European arm agreed with the findings of the UK's Advertising Standards Agency, which found that the game's trailers "did not accurately reflect the final content of the game." Add in the cancellation of a promised Wii U version, without Gearbox, Sega, or Demiurge providing reason shortly thereafter, and you can understand one fan's need to lash out via the legal system.
Bad luck seems to follow studios who worked on Colonial Marines besides just Sega and Gearbox. TimeGate Studios shared in development of the title, and was hit with layoffs in March, and also recently filed for bankruptcy protection, owing creditors somewhere between $10 and $50 million.
It's anyone's guess if Sega or Gearbox will try to reach a settlement with Edelson to make the whole scenario vanish like perhaps the game properly should, or if they'll actively try to fight against the accusations. Either way, given the nightmare scenario that it is dealing with the backlog of the American court system, don't expect Colonial Marines to fade away anytime soon.