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Sega pins Aliens: Colonial Marines marketing mishaps on Gearbox

Mike Suszek, @mikesuszek
September 4, 2014
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After Aliens: Colonial Marines publisher Sega moved to settle a class-action lawsuit to the tune of $1.25 million in August for alleged false advertising for the game, it shifted the blame for the game's marketing issues to Gearbox Software, according to court documents obtained by Game Informer. Internal emails from Gearbox and Sega representatives cite examples of the former revealing information about the game without the consent of the publisher.

One such email refers to a New York Comic Con panel in October 2012, in which Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford firmly states that a Wii U version of Aliens: Colonial Marines would launch in February 2013 alongside the other versions of the game. Emails within Sega stated that "no-one on the call was aware" of the Wii U version, and that it's "not been picked up so far." Of course, the game missed its Wii U launch window before Sega confirmed in March 2013 that it was no longer in development.

The emails also pointed out that Gearbox revealed information in the panel about actor Michael Biehn's presence in both single and multiplayer modes despite being instructed not to. Follow-up emails noted that the leaks were effectively "Randy doing whatever the fuck he likes," and that "apparently he did it twice on [Borderlands 2]," even though others (presumably 2K Games representatives, though it is unclear) told Pitchford not to.

The class-action lawsuit was brought against Sega and Gearbox in April 2013, alleging that the game was misrepresented during trade show demos. Further emails within Sega noted that gameplay clips that appeared in E3 video previews on the web weren't originally offered to the public. Sega also stressed that it "paid Gearbox millions of dollars in advance royalties in the form of Milestone Payments whenever Gearbox delivered an asset to Sega under the Agreement," in its court filing. This ran counter to claims made by Gearbox in late July, in which the developer said it did not earn any royalties for Aliens: Colonial Marines' sales from Sega.

[Image: Sega]




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