Gearbox & SEGA Sued Over Aliens: Colonial Marines
Seems like neither Gearbox nor SEGA can get away from Aliens: Colonial Marines and the repercussions that followed. A class action lawsuit has been filed against both Gearbox and SEGA regarding the Aliens: Colonial Marines video game. Polygon was able to obtain the lawsuit and plaintiff Damion Perrine claims “that Gearbox and Sega falsely advertised Aliens by showing demos at trade shows like PAX and E3 which didn't end up being accurate representations of the final product.”
The demos at PAX and E3 were shown as “actual gameplay” but revealed a stage of “graphical fidelity, AI behavior and even entire levels not featured in the game.” The problem that occurred is brought to attention by the lawsuit, which boils down to gamers not having enough time to hear from critics about the differences from early footage to final product.
"Each of the 'actual gameplay' demonstrations purported to show consumers exactly what they would be buying: a cutting edge video game with very specific features and qualities," the claim argues. "Unfortunately for their fans, Defendants never told anyone — consumers, industry critics, reviewers, or reporters — that their 'actual gameplay' demonstration advertising campaign bore little resemblance to the retail product that would eventually be sold to a large community of unwitting purchasers."
The suit even mentions the tweet from Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford, in which he states that he is aware of the difference between both the final and early stages. Colonial Marines has taken a lot of backlash from critics and the public. Earlier this month, SEGA had to add a disclaimer to the trailers saying the gameplay is not reflective of the final outcome. The Wii U version also got cancelled thanks to the negativity surrounding the game.
I'm a bit on the fence about this one. While I do agree that the final product and demo footage greatly differ, I think more reason should support the lawsuit. I only played an hour into the game and wasn't very pleased with it. However, I think it's natural that a demo would play and feel differently from the final game. Maybe it just felt too different. I had high hopes for it and the companies played to the hype. In the end, it didn't turn out well and now it's biting them in the you-know-where.