Gearbox Files to be Removed from Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuits
In 2013, Gearbox Software and Sega were subject to action in a class action lawsuit for false advertising after the terrible disappointment that was Aliens: Colonial Marines, especially when compared to the demo footage that was circulated online.
While Gearbox didn’t publicly pay much attention to their legal undertakings, their lawyers did. This has resulted in Gearbox trying to get out of the lawsuit with a series of filings that throw Sega under the bus.
In their filing, Gearbox is trying to get dismissed from being a defendant in the suit because they were only a contractor following orders of Sega. Gearbox says that the final responsibility for the marketing of the game and its state at release are final decision of Sega as they were the game’s publisher.
Gearbox’s motion reads in part:
“Gearbox never belonged in this lawsuit. Gearbox is a video game software developer. It was neither the publisher nor seller of the video game 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.”
In a deposition that was filed separately from the dismissal motion, Gearbox also denied some of the claims of the class-action suit.
The suit claimed that a different game engine was used to create the infamous unrepresentative gameplay demo video that prompted the suit. Steve Gibson, marketing VP for Gearbox, said in the deposition that any video of the game was developed in the Unreal Engine.
Another claim in the lawsuit says that Gearbox diverted money Sega gave the developer for Aliens: Colonial Marines to other Gearbox projects. This was a popular hypothesis about A:CM after it was released to poor reviews and Borderlands 2 got rave reviews. Gibson said in that deposition that Gearbox lost money on the project after having to supplement the development costs with millions of dollars of their own money.
I’m no lawyer but based on what I do for my day job, I know that I’m not allowed to take management at their word until they provide some hard evidence backing up their claims. If the plaintiffs lawyers are worth the money they’re trying to make, they’ll be looking for the same. I’d imagine that this lawsuit is still a ways from being sorted.