Aliens: Colonial Marines publisher Sega has conceded that trailers for Gearbox Softwares poorly-received shooter were misleading. It comes as the UK’s Advertising Standards Agency authority has spoken with Sega about the matter and as a result, all of the game’s trailers must now bear a disclaimer.
The initial complaint was submitted to the ASA by Redditor subpardave.
He said in his post, “I submitted my complaint based on the absurd differences between the ‘in game’ and ‘playthorugh’ footage that was widely used to advertise A:CM. Of course, the game looked and played NOTHING like what was shown to consumers.
“My aim was not to get fines, compensation or any of that. Gearbox and Sega spoke very clearly – by saying absolutely nothing – and showed the purchasing community that they would rather this mess all quietly disappear.
“The games industry – like any other – needs to be held accountable for blatantly deceiving the consumer. And doubly so when a wall of silence is the only response to resounding criticism for shipping a shoddy product, having shown off one with all the bells and whistles.
“The ASA has little real power. But negative press? That does.”
But lo and behold, you can read the ASA’s full reply to subpardave here, in which “We contacted Sega Europe to discuss this issue. They explained that their online trailers used demo footage, created using the in-game engine.
“Sega Europe acknowledged your objection that the trailers did not accurately reflect the final content of the game. They agreed to add a disclaimer, both on their website and in all relevant Youtube videos, which explains that the trailers depict footage of the demo versions of the game. The disclaimer will be visible when each online trailer is played.
“On the basis of the advertiser’s written assurance, we have decided to informally uphold your complaint. Basic information, including the advertiser’s name and where the ad appeared, will be published on our website, www.asa.org.uk on 27th March 2012.
“Our role in cases such as this is to ensure that marketing material isn’t likely to materially mislead the public,” the ASA concludes. “We consider that with this disclaimer in place, customers are unlikely to get the impression that the trailer shows the finished product, and the ads are therefore unlikely to mislead.”
There we go people, you CAN fight the machine. What do you make of the above?