SEGA must be wondering at this point why they bothered to make Aliens: Colonial Marines in the first place. A:CM has to be the most topsy-turvy game in existence, initially having fans salivating and topping charts despite a less than satisfactory initial reception when released and even growing in sales despite an angry backlash from all sides about it.
This was of course, after it took five years and too many delays to count in order to materialise in the first place. Then there was rumours Gearbox had done the dirty on SEGA with the game, and that SEGA were getting close to beating the legal tar out of Randy Pitchford with any number of Borderlands‘ bazillion weapons. Or something to that (probably bullshot) effect.
SEGA Europe had to acknowledge last month, following a complaint to the UK Advertising Standards Authority was upheld that the game wasn’t up to scratch based on what it showed in adverts and trailers. That the previous adverts had been misleading.
Yet despite everything just the other day TSSZ reported the news that A:CM was actually leaping back up the charts in the UK and making a strong showing for itself.
Now though the stakes have been raised even more, as SEGA and Gearbox are being out-and-out sued for false advertising in a class action suit. The suit filed in California on behalf of Damion Perrine by Edelson LLC is for according to Edelson, the following reasons.
“The gaming community had a strong reaction to the release of Aliens: Colonial Marines,” Edelson LLC’s Ben Thomassen told Polygon. “We think the video game industry is no different than any other that deals with consumers: if companies like Sega and Gearbox promise their customers one thing but deliver something else, then they should be held accountable for that decision.”
The case focuses on press embargos which ended on the release date, meaning day one buyers of the game were not ware of the differences. The suit seeks damages for anyone who pre-ordered or purchased the game on release.
It’s the latest unneeded legal headache for SEGA, who also have the ongoing Archie Comics battle with Ken Penders to concern themselves with. If the case proceeds this could also lead to disturbing trend of games companies being sued for unsatisfactory gaming experiences and ramifications to how games companies deal with press and consumers. Not only that it might out once and for all the truth about what went on in the development with Gearbox, SEGA and the large number of other studios involved in bringing A:CM into the world.
It makes you wonder what could be more damaging in that instance…