The back and forth finger pointing over Aliens: Colonial Marines continues even as the class-action lawsuit filed over false advertising comes to a close with SEGA settling with the plaintiffs for $1.25 million.
SEGA fired back at Gearbox’s accusations that it was in charge of the false marketing, saying that the fake E3 demos and misrepresented commercials actually fell on Gearbox’s doorstep. In fact, SEGA’s court filings actually drop the “F-bomb,” stating in an earlier private email that Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford was doing “whatever the f*** he likes” during the game’s promotional phase. It also says he did as much as he could to keep SEGA in the dark about the game’s progress.
SEGA claims that both companies were in charge of marketing, but Gearbox overstepped its bounds on many occasions.
“The parties had to mutually agree to the ‘precise particulars of marketing assets’ delivered by Gearbox. Gearbox’s participation — Randy Pitchford’s, in particular — was a key element in the ACM marketing strategy from the beginning.”
SEGA originally thought that Pitchford was a “respected development celebrity and is guaranteed to be headline material in worldwide press coverage,” and it contends that the infamous 2011 E3 demo was where Gearbox wanted to set the standards for marketing the game.
Gearbox isn’t totally out of the woods yet. After SEGA settled with the plaintiffs, its lawyers were told they could add $750,000 to the settlement and all of this would finally go away. Instead, Gearbox is still pushing to have its reputation cleaned and its name removed from the lawsuit, believing that it was just a contractor and SEGA should be the one to take full responsibility.
Man, who would have thought that the legal proceedings following an awful video game would ever be far more entertaining than the game itself? Not exactly the kind of story SEGA wants people to be reading as it comes within a month of releasing Alien: Isolation. Memories of this fiasco hopefully won’t harm the sales of what looks like a far superior game.
Who is to blame? One company is obviously not telling truth, because either Gearbox was or wasn’t part of the marketing for the game, and SEGA has provided plenty of evidence suggesting it was. You have to remember that Gearbox was riding high on Borderlands at the time, so it would make sense to put them in charge of making the game look cool based on its popular reputation.
The next hearing will be held on Oct. 29, after the release of Alien: Isolation on Oct. 7.