Aliens: Colonial Marines spent four years in stasis at Gearbox; two years in development at TimeGate; and nine months being hastily turned into a working game, anonymous sources have claimed.
Kotaku cites multiple sources in tracking the tale of the shooter’s development. The site reports Gearbox Software handed over development of Aliens: Colonial Marines to TimeGate Studios in 2010, four years on from its announce.
The game Timegate received wasn’t very good, allegedly. “There was obviously not four years of work done on the game,” a source said, explaining that Gearbox had been working on Duke Nukem Forever and Borderlands 2 instead.
The project was said to be “a hodgepodge” of assets including some from other games. Some sources said TimeGate had to start development all over again, while others said they worked with what they’d got.
Even as late as 2011, TimeGate didn’t have a finished script to work with and had to throw out whole missions and characters as the plot changed, the sources said. Both Sega and Gearbox were described as in conflict over the game’s vision, providing “inconsistent and delayed feedback”.
Finally, in mid-2012, Gearbox finished Borderlands 2, and according to Kotaku’s sources, “took the project back” from TimeGate and “changed everything”; TimeGate’s game was pretty bad, the sources said, and didn’t even work on PlayStation 3.
Many of TimeGate’s assets remain intact, the sources said, but Gearbox basically rebuilt the game;
“The game feels like it was made in nine months, and that’s because it was,” said a source, noting that Gearbox couldn’t ask Sega for an extension after seven years.
Sources said some TimeGate staffers lost their jobs over the project.