Aliens: Colonial Marines development “absolutely not” outsourced, says SEGA

Tuesday, 12 February 2013 10:23 GMT By Staff

Aliens: Colonial Marines is the talk of the town today, thanks to a run of poor review scores, and an ex-Gearbox employee claiming that the lion’s share of the game wasn’t developed by Gearbox Studios, but Section 8 team TimeGate Studios. SEGA has emphatically denied the claim, and during a DICE talk, Gearbox president Randy Pitchford even revealed the studios which helped the firm develop the game.

It all started earlier today when Superannuation unearthed forum posts by what appeared to be an ex-Gearbox Software developer.

The source stated back in May 2012: “Hate to say it, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up too high for Colonial Marines. I used to work at Gearbox, and the development of that game has been a total train wreck, going on what, 6 years now?

“Gearbox isn’t even making the game, except for the multiplayer. Primary development was outsourced to TimeGate Studios, which has a less than stellar past. I hope it proves me wrong, as I still have a lot of friends still working at Gearbox, but I am expecting it to be average at best.”

The source stated that he now works for, “a new company in Austin called Armature Studio”, and added that, “Several of us used to work for Retro Studios in Austin making the Metroid Prime series.”

Superannuation added this morning:

A SEGA representative responded to the outsourcing claim, by telling DSO Gaming that the firm only helped Gearbox out.

“Absolutely not, the game has been developed by Gearbox Software,” said the rep regarding the whether the lion’s shared was outsourced. “Other studios [like Timegate] helped Gearbox on the production of single and multiplayer.”

Gearbox boss Randy Picthford said during his talk at DICE (thanks, Gek) that Demiurge helped with “networking and multiplayer,” as well as the Wii U port, while TimeGate Studios worked on “probably about 20 or 25% of the total time [and] of you take pre-production out of it, their effort’s probably equivalent to ours.”

“Now, it’s not fair to take pre-production out of it, but that says a lot about how much horsepower those guys put into it,” he said.

Other contributions were Nerve Software, who built multiplayer maps for the game, and “some of my favorite multiplayer maps came out of that group,” said Pitchford.

You can read Dave’s final impressions piece on Aliens: Colonial Marines through the link.