The Aliens Colonial Marines Lawsuit Is Wrong

Aliens: Colonial Marines will likely be remembered as one of the biggest disappointments of this generation of gaming. Sega and developer Gearbox have rightly been vilified for the game's poor quality and their failure to deliver on the promises they made to fans. However, the class action lawsuit that has been filed against the companies is misguided and deserves to fail.

Yesterday, the website Polygon reported that a California class action lawsuit had been filed against Sega and Gearbox Software. It alleges that the companies engaged in false advertising and that demos that were shown of the game at various events were not representative of the finished product (you can read more details on the suit here).

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MikeyDucati12049d ago

It's definitely wrong. There's no leg to stand on. There's no written guarantee that states you get what they show on gameplay videos. This is the same as people complaining about beta games. We just got duped. Leave it at that.

admiralvic2049d ago

You could make a decent case for False Advertisement. Even if they do say "products shown don't represent the final game", there is a limit.

MikeyDucati12049d ago

But the point has been made many times over. Everybody knows about it. And because of it, Wii U's copy probably won't ever see the light of day. And all gamers should know that gameplay videos are often done from PCs.

To me, its just beating a dead horse.

Whymii2049d ago

When was the last time you bought a Big Mac that looked like the one on the menu? Most consumers know that there is always a varying level of discrepancy between what is advertised and what is delivered. Besides, someone out there loves the game for exactly what it is. Scary and sad, but true. Maybe the discrepancy is our imagination as result of the hype machine, which includes what is written or spoken by reporters. Who is suing them?

Gaming1012049d ago

Sega deserves it for not funding the game so it would get to where it needed to be by the time it released, unfortunately an old fart judge is going to be reviewing the before and after pics, and I have a feeling based on those comparisons the judge won't have a clue what everyone is whining about as the difference only appears to be in the lighting in those pics.

Really this is just the typical whiny reaction from self entitled gamers who think they can hurt a developer for making a bad game. The thing is, all marketing materials that were released right before the game launched had the game's final footage and screenshots, and not the E3 demo screenshots, so the judge is going to throw this one out.

Still, it would be nice to see Sega get its just deserves for not paying the right amount of attention to a game that deserved to be made right.

cyguration2049d ago

You're the reason companies like EA continue to prosper.

I always wondered who it was allowing big companies to rape gamers and keep on doing the same thing over and over again.

Thank you for standing up and making it known that companies can purposefully go out of their way to screw you over and you're okay with it.

Gearbox designed a purposed "vertical slice" that would "sell" everyone on the idea and they used that and a bunch of screenshots from a version of the game that technically did not exist to promote A:CM from 2011 up to its release and people fell for it.

I hope, at least, this lawsuit brings a lot of bad press to Sega (for allowing this game to be published and distributed globally) and Gearbox (for duping a lot of people and scheming to get money while promoting a game that didn't exist the way they promoted it to).

There's a huge difference between a target render, a game demo and then a playable slice that was purposefully designed in a white box that they had no intentions of actually fleshing out into an actual game. That's not to mention that Gearbox gave the go ahead for the white box demo knowing full well that it superseded the console's capabilities so they knew it was something gamers would never actually play in a finished form.

MikeyDucati12049d ago (Edited 2049d ago )

That's silly. Yes, my comment is the one reason that EA prosper.

No EA prospers because they continually offer games that people are willing to buy. That's why they prosper. If you don't like Aliens: Colonial Marines, you don't buy it. In this blogging age, you can blog about it. We have forums to display our dislike for the game. Just like this game, the word got out and it suffered for it. Now even the Wii U won't come out due to this. And the company didn't even make a profit. The next alien game will be met with such a high scrutiny.

But to sue? For what exactly? If that's the case we should be also suing Irrational Games for showing us gameplay video of Bioshock Infinite that did not appear in the final product of the game.

But hey, gamers liked that game so no harm done. Now we have Aliens: CM, a game that people were hyped on, played and felt disappointed by the whole thing. So now its a problem for them doing what naturally other developer companies has been doing for years now?? Yea ok.

Gamers pick and choose their battle according to what they like. It's not about right or wrong. Because if it was about what's right, like I said, Bioshock Infinite should be on that list as well. It's about gamers who are highly upset and feel a need to pound their point into a pavement. It's already been done. What more do you want?


But they are not suing over it being buggy (which is an opinion for I played the game and it wasn't that buggy, just wasn't as graphically pleasing as the video). They are suing on grounds that what they showed in the video did not appear in the final product. So without the extras that you and several other gamers are tacking on, this can be said about BioShock Infinite. If they were suing about gameplay then you would have point. But they are not.


Demo? No, it was a gameplay video. It wasn't a demo but a gameplay video that I'm talking about here. And this is quite known that BioShock did this. It might not be discussed due to the praising of the game, which is understandable. Yet and still, the gameplay video that was shown over several parts is completely different than the game you actually play in BioShock.

SilentNegotiator2049d ago


Except Bioshock Infinite wasn't a buggy mess, was it? Aliens had fake gameplay where the player went 5 minutes without a glitch.

Heisenburger2049d ago

I would have given you an agree if not for your misuse of the word "rape".

Though, for the record, I completely agree.

I knew a girl, it doesn't matter to you. I spoke my peace and I feel better having done so.

Take care.

SilentNegotiator2049d ago

How much deceit should we put up with, then, regardless of a little warning that it might not represent the final product?

cyguration2049d ago (Edited 2049d ago )

Wow I remember why I stopped coming to N4G....

You don't sue because the final game wasn't like the demo. Just about EVERY game that has a demo is somewhat different in the final version, for a number of reasons.

BioShock Infinite COULD NOT be like its demo because the PS3 and Xbox 360 are too dated for some of those features so they had to scale them back. It's still the same game just modified for the aging console hardware. Concessions like that have to exist otherwise you would be playing a slideshow.

People aren't suing because A:CM wasn't like the E3 2011 demo, the lawsuit is taking place because the entire thing was promoted (right up to release) to be something that it was not.

Worse yet, was the way it was handled -- and this is where it gets ugly: Gearbox and Sega should have apologized AT RELEASE and announce a free patch and free DLC to amend the problem. They should have been honest once word broke and tried to fix the problem. They. Did. Not.

Instead, Gearbox and Sega played the silent treatment and Pitchford tried defending himself and the company. Bad move.

Ultimately, they should have just explained WHY the E3 demo was not possible to replicate in its entirety for home consoles and explain why a lot of common things were broken and attempt to fix them.
Why couldn't they do that?

BioShock Infinite, KillZone 2, Halo 2, Half-Life 2 -- their demos weren't the same as the final game but ALL of them were great games nonetheless and either met or surpassed expectations. We also learned about the limitations of what could and could not be done with some of these games. So no, only a fool would sue a company who attempts to be honest about their game and actually delivers a good product. Gearbox and Sega did neither.

cyguration2049d ago (Edited 2049d ago )

Ugh, I can't believe I'm wasting time on this but I suspect you may be young, so I'll forego the technical aspects of this whole thing:

The BioShock vertical slice was a demo, insofar that it's a small piece of the game designed for promotional reasons and as a testbed for what the game was supposed to be. Re-read my comment carefully: It was not TECHNICALLY possible to do what was shown in that old footage for today's generation of consoles. The lighting, the dynamic physics, Elizabeth being able to pull stuff AT ANY TIME out of thin air (which would have zapped the PS3's RAM into oblivion) were concepts that were all scrapped or refined before going gold. Got it?

The PS3 and Xbox 360 don't have the GPU, shaders or processing power to handle what was showcased in that footage. Much like every other technical demo/vertical slice it was done on a high-end PC, just like Watch Dogs, Battlefield 3 or Battlefield 4, etc.

I made many comments throughout the development of BioShock Infinite that some of what they had planned would be TECHNICALLY IMPOSSIBLE, because this was stuff designed for higher-end GPUs, especially utilizing physics tricks not possible on today's consoles. It's not a matter of false advertising it's a matter of IT WAS TECHNICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO DO ON TODAY'S CONSOLES.

However, 2K refined the gameplay, and what they took out they replaced with a well-told story. You could sue them for not following through but as I mentioned, would you prefer playing the game at 3 or 5fps on your PS3 or Xbox 360 or would you prefer a similar game at 30fps? You have to know when to use common sense.

Also, the context of vertical slice versus finished product make a big difference and Levine gave everyone a lot of inside looks at the changes they were making to BioShock: Infinite throughout development leading up to release, they weren't continually showing a several year old demo that was not representative of the game leading up to release, unlike Sega and Gearbox who were still showing screenshots and using footage from the vertical slice right up to release:

The problem with Aliens: Colonial Marines was that the vertical slice was a standalone. It wasn't even part of the production ledger because it was designed within two months specifically for E3:

As mentioned, A:CM's retail release was tossed together in nine months...nine freaking months and it played like it. There was no refinement, tweaking, etc. It was just a rushed botch job. As I said, this whole thing could be forgivable if Gearbox admitted the game sucked and tried to fix it, but they did not. Instead they opted to fight against it, which was stupid.

Everyone wants Gearbox and Sega held accountable for what they did. Suing them is a way to get them to recognize they must be held accountable for botch jobs, screwing people over and blatantly false advertisement for which the game that was released wasn't even remotely attached to the vertical slice that was produced. That vertical slice technically does not exist as an actual game, unlike the BioShock Infinite showcase.

BABY-JEDI2049d ago

I guess you don't mind people lying & swindling you ?
Me. I don't like it. Sega should be suing Gearbox IMO, & Gearbox should be penalised for blatantly lying about this pathetic product.....

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 2049d ago
ifritAlkhemyst2049d ago

I;m for it. Right or wrong, I just want to watch Gearbox suffer a little more.

BanBrother2049d ago

I think it is justified. Typical journalist though. If they had done their job, we wouldn't be in this position. Also, we have to pay for our games, we don't get freebies sent our way.

Also, I love it how games journalists blame gamers for not supporting games that they gave like 4/10 to turn everyone off of in the first place.

GameInformer can suck it. Probably worried that Gearbox and SEGA won't be able to afford advertising money for them in the future.

Anyway, as I said. Whether Gearbox or SEGA tricked us all or not, that is true in some form. I do believe that games journalists could have done more to 'uncover the truth' so to speak. But.....too busy being lied to and re-assured through false pretenses..

cyguration2049d ago

I wholeheartedly agree.

IGN and gaming journalists are to blame, especially GameInformer who had knew months in advance that the game wasn't what was shown in the demo and decided to stay completely silent about the matter.

Worse yet, gaming media is now jumping to the defense of Gearbox and Sega after consumers got screwed over.

I'm honestly curious, can IGN, Gameinformer and the other big media blocks suck any more balls than they already have?

At least Angry Joe, Rock Paper Shotgun and Jim Sterling have it right.

kamisama2049d ago

There's actually a bunch of company's who deceive the public with there advertisement saying there product does this that and the other when it's untrue and they end up eating a fine for it which they could care less because it's helping to sell there product

BABY-JEDI2049d ago

Wrong. Products get banned as well. Share holders remove managers ect...
People get educated & don't buy product, & companies go under... & don't mention the lawyers who love to jump in & leech what is left LoL. No offence intended to any of you lawyers out there LoL

Dirtnapstor2049d ago

People who think what they see in a promo video/trailer is actually what their end-product will be are idiots.

How about this: Activision should promote their new COD:Ghosts series in a Standard Definition format to ensure no complaints when copies are distributed in November?

Swiftfox2049d ago

The reasons for challenging Gearbox and Sega with a lawsuits are valid in this case. The demo publicized is radically different to what is seen in the retail version. If you listen to the commentary of Gearbox over the demo, it's incredibility misleading. The commentator spoke as if he was playing the game, he also said, “..that is a quick taste of Aliens: Colonial Marines,” not only misleading but a genuine sales pitch.

The differences between the demo and retail versions are only the surface. The rest of the lawsuit covers the fact of Gearbox placing an embargo on reviews or public view of the game either the day of or the day after the game's release. This embargo prevented the public from making an informed purchase. In an industry benefiting mostly on pre-orders and day-1 purchases, the action is rather shady. Couple this with Gearbox's use of the demo to advertise the game, and you have a fairly good case.

Hopefully, the lawsuit will begin to structure a standard of what is an acceptable difference between a demonstration and a retail release, embargoes, and using demo's as a sales tool—if it wins/settles.

Dirtnapstor2046d ago

Sure it was misleading, I agree. In fact, when I saw that promo(s), I was really looking forward to A:CM release...almost preordered. But still, I've dumped enough cash on crappy games to know better and wait at this point.
Maybe this motion will force developers to be more accountable? Yes.
This incident reminds me of the ME3 debacle and how gamers cried fail when they didn't like the ending.
If a developer is going to play the slight-of-hand game, they will lose in the end. Our wallets will determine that.
Truthfully, if Gearbox didn't have Borderlands, they would have been finished, SEGA would have strung them up. B1 & B2 are they only reason they're operating.

ironfist922049d ago

Quite sad really the whole ALiens debacle, considering these are the same devs who gave us the excellent Borderlands game.

But then again, there was Duke Nukem...

oof462049d ago

DNF was released as close to what 3D Realms had on purpose. Yes, the game had outdated graphics, gameplay and humor, but Pitchford stated he wanted to leave the game as is as a homage to his friends who worked on the game. Now that DNF is done and released, Gearbox is free to do a reboot with the license. Now any future Duke game that sucks is on them.

But, Gearbox is a very uneven game developer. Either the games are great or turds.

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