Gearbox, SEGA Sued Over Aliens: Colonial Marines
Update: Gearbox has now commented on the lawsuit, providing the following statement to IGN:
“Attempting to wring a class action lawsuit out of a demonstration is beyond meritless. We continue to support the game, and will defend the rights of entertainers to share their works-in-progress without fear of frivolous litigation.”
Additionally, SEGA provided its own statement earlier today:
“SEGA cannot comment on specifics of ongoing litigation, but we are confident that the lawsuit is without merit and we will defend it vigorously.”
Original story follows:
A class action lawsuit has been filed against SEGA and Gearbox regarding Aliens: Colonial Marines. In a lawsuit obtained by Polygon, plaintiff Damion Perrine claims “that Gearbox and Sega falsely advertised Aliens by showing demos at trade shows like PAX and E3 which didn’t end up being accurate representations of the final product.”
Their ‘actual gameplay’ demonstration advertising campaign bore little resemblance to the retail product.
The demos were advertised as “actual gameplay” at the time, yet portrayed a level of “graphical fidelity, AI behavior and even entire levels not featured in the game.” The suit explains that by having reviews under an embargo that lifted the day of release, consumers did not have time to learn from critics about the difference in quality in the final product compared to early footage.
“Each of the ‘actual gameplay’ demonstrations purported to show consumers exactly what they would be buying: a cutting edge video game with very specific features and qualities,” the claim argues. “Unfortunately for their fans, Defendants never told anyone — consumers, industry critics, reviewers, or reporters — that their ‘actual gameplay’ demonstration advertising campaign bore little resemblance to the retail product that would eventually be sold to a large community of unwitting purchasers.”
The suit also points to this tweet from Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford, which acknowledges that the difference between the original demo and final game is “understood and fair and we are looking at that. Lots of info to parse, lots of stake holders to respect.”
Earlier this month, SEGA agreed to add a disclaimer to trailers stating that they are not reflective of the final product. The Wii U version of the game was later canceled.
We’ve reached out to SEGA and Gearbox about the suit and will update this story with any comment we receive. For more on the differences between Colonial Marines demos and the final product, read our analysis of whether or not early screenshots lied to you.
Andrew Goldfarb is IGN’s news editor. Keep up with pictures of the latest food he’s been eating by following @garfep on Twitter or garfep on IGN.