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

Tuesday, 12th 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.



  1. YoungZer0

    “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.”

    Total disaster.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. manamana

    Outsourcing the complete campaign is a new one for me.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Edo

    This doesn’t exonerate Gearbox in any way…strike two!

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Ercarret

    Weird. TimeGate isn’t some little nobody studio that no one’s ever heard about; I quite liked their Prejudice games. What little I played of them. They’re quite competent.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Judicas

    @4 Aliens disagrees with you.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Ercarret

    Assuming the rumour is true.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Deacon

    It’s Black Ops Declassified all over again… if true.

    Surely they can’t lie about who actually developed what?

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Paranormal Pett

    Wait, what’s that *looks on the box* nope nothing by timegate, just gearbox and sega.

    There are about 4 studios listed at the beginning, but there is only one set of people to blame for this disaster, and that is gearbox.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. livewired500


    #9 2 years ago
  10. ps3fanboy

    Ah the finger pointing saying it’s not Gearbox’s fault has begun, didn’t take long.

    Sorry Gearbox, the buck stops with you. You have your name on the box and have been the face of the game since the start.

    Gearbox have totally fucked up the Alien game, it is outrageous!. They can fuck off and their Borderland crap is overrated too… i ain’t buying another game from YOU ASSHOLES!!

    #10 2 years ago
  11. diego-rbb-93

    #7 Perfect example.

    The thing is, this has made clear that Gearbox was only interested in bet for Borderlands development as it was a new and unknown IP. Probably they thought Aliens would sell itself as it already have its own public to buy it.

    Same case as Activision. These things are so shitty man… It wasnt difficult to make a notable game about this, fuck! Same case with Declassified. But nooooo…

    Fucking business generation…

    #11 2 years ago
  12. SplatteredHouse

    They surely won’t try to wave off responsibility for it, or worse disown the project, leaving Timegate as scapegoat. More fool me, maybe, but I just consider Gearbox must be better than skullduggerers.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Cobra951

    @3: Exonerate? It would only intensify the blame, if true. (Rumor is rumor.) If they farmed out the meat of the game without even admitting it up front, they were both reckless and dishonest. After Borderlands 2, I get the feeling that GBX thinks multiplayer is now all that matters. Too sad for me to dwell on it.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. TheWulf

    Am I surprised that AvsP 2000 continues to be the best Aliens game? No, no I am not. I saw this coming, in all honesty, and didn’t buy it. Absolutely no one seems to understand what made that game so great.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Stephany Nunneley

    Statement from SEGA added – post has been updated to reflect the quote.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Gekidami

    Pitchford says that TimeGate did about 20 to 25 percent of the game, with Demiurge helping with network & MP along with the WiiU port and Nerve made some MP maps.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Stephany Nunneley

    Thanks Gek. It’s been added.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. LuLshuck

    borderlands 2 was completely shite and this is just beyond shit, Gearbox can go fuck themselves

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Telepathic.Geometry

    It’s hard to understand why Gearbox would release a game this fucked, surely it’s bad for their image?

    #19 2 years ago
  20. absolutezero

    Its not all that much worse than anything else released recently.

    I’m being deadly serious, its really not as bad as its being made out to be. Its almost as if due to being a mediocre title but daring to use the Aliens license its been taken as a direct insult.

    I ran about as a Marine, his motion thing went bleep bleep, I shot some Aliens and fucking Hoo-Rah’d.

    Who gives a fuck.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Well Oops

    @ #19 Telepathic.Geometry: it’s not hard to understand. Gearbox had been buying time and delaying this project and seemingly just lying to SEGA for the better part of 6 years. SIX YEARS.

    If they had tried to delay this game one more time SEGA was very likely going to rightfully sue them. As a result they whored this project out to several sub-contractors and rushed to get it out.

    Between this, Duke Nukem Forever, and the lame pioneering of this “season pass” crap, I think it’s safe to say that Gearbox isn’t the best studio around. Quite frankly, I am having a hard time thinking of a worse studio currently responsible for an actively played game. Maybe Fatshark?

    #21 2 years ago

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