Aliens: Colonial Marines was the vehicle through which Gearbox Software “embezzeled” funds from Sega to make Borderlands 2 and Duke Nukem Forever, a purported Sega insider has claimed.
The account hails from a blog called SEGA Awakens, allegedly written by an anonymous Sega employee using the name Bryan Danielson. It’s a bit “guy on the Internet says” – but Destructoid claims to have independently verified the information.
The anonymous commenter said that “99%” of reports about the game’s troubled development – that Timegate did most of the work, that Gearbox ignored the project to work on other titles, and that the Wii U version is terrible – are true. He said Timegate and Sega both share blame for the unsatisfactory final release of Aliens: Colonial Marines, but that Gearbox is most responsible.
“Gearbox stole from SEGA, they robbed us, lied to us about the game, and tried to get another company to make the game instead,” Danielson said.
“Pitchford and Gearbox wanted to focus heavily on Duke Nukem Forever, but how would they get the money to hire some of the 3D Realms team and even buy the intellectual property? Sure, they made a lot from Borderlands, but guess where they got the money to fund Borderlands in the first place? Yup, SEGA.
“So Gearbox essentially lied to SEGA, mishandled funds, broke agreements and contractual obligations to work on other projects, didn’t want to work on a game they were contractually obligated to work on and gave it to another team, poor organization and direction on ACM, took on too many projects from different companies at once, and other things that we may not even know about. Hell, part of me believes that Gearbox wanted this thing delayed as much as possible so they can get more funding money to embezzle from SEGA.”
Danielson said he’s heard rumours that Sega is looking for ways to sure Gearbox but that the developer met the letter of the law in fulfilling its contract. As such, he had some harsh words for the publisher, too.
“I strongly believe that SEGA should not have released the game and made the fans pay for it, they should have taken Gearbox straight to court, because they stole money from us to fund Borderlands and Duke Nukem Forever,” he said.
“This should be a lesson in management for you all. In my view, the board and the people supplying the money should not have any creative control over a product. In this case, what happened clearly was SEGA had a decent eye on the project, rightfully cancelled it, when they saw the problems, then someone decided to restart the project, leading to this massive mess.
“This game should have been cancelled permanently, and the final product is undeniable proof of it. Despite that, I believe SEGA wanted to try to get some of the money back, at the fans’ expense. SEGA should have also watched the project and development a lot better, because there was a lot of warning signs that said this was a disaster in the making.”