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Aliens: Colonial Marines targeted by class action suit

Wednesday, 1st May 2013 00:37 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Gearbox and Sega have been accused of false advertising in a class action lawsuit over Aliens: Colonial Marines.

Polygon reports the suit was filed in the Northern District of California court yesterday by Edelson LLC.

According to the suit, developer and publisher are in violation of several Californian civil and business codes because they presented trade show demos as “actual gameplay”. The suit hinges on this allegation and cites tweets from Randy Pitchford himself apparently acknowledging widely-discussed discrepancies between trade show demos and the finished product.

Edelson also argued that by holding review code and embargoing coverage until launch day, Sega and Gearbox conspired to keep consumers from learning of the differences between footage shown to date and the finished product. Those who purchased the game on launch day or pre-ordered it are thus eligible for damages, the suit suggested.

“Each of the ‘actual gameplay’ demonstrations purported to show consumers exactly what they would be buying: a cutting edge video game with very specific features and qualities/ Unfortunately for their fans, Defendants never told anyone – consumers, industry critics, reviewers, or reporters – that their ‘actual gameplay’ demonstration advertising campaign bore little resemblance to the retail product that would eventually be sold to a large community of unwitting purchasers,” Edelson staff argued in the claim.

Sega has admitted that trailers for Aliens: Colonial Marines were “misleading”, after complaints were logged with the Advertising Standards Agency.

A claim of false advertising was brought against EA regarding Mass Effect 3 last year, but was dismissed.

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8 Comments

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  1. Clupula

    Normally, I’d say that they wouldn’t have a case, but I think the fake demo might actually be quite damning against Gearbox and Sega.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. The_Red

    Gearbox fucked this up royally but it won’t matter. Their lies helped them secure money for their own projects and in the end, Aliens CM sold a decent amount to make Sega happy (Probably).

    So, this and any other cases will either get dismissed at earlier steps or will be settled outside the court within a short time.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. wishdokta

    I don’t get why fans are upset with Gearbox.
    If you have a demo and a game this unequal, it is Sega to blame cause a publisher greenlights what is going to be in a game or not.
    Obviously Gearbox was able to develop an atmospheric demo.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. ArithonUK

    I hope they win. The game was sold on the merits of “in-game” footage with no playable demo or review available prior to release.
    I pre-ordered based on what I’d seen and got a totally different game. Instead of an impressive atmospheric cutting-edge PC game, I got a broken 2007 console title with retarded AI. We were shown triple A and were given bargain bin.
    Someone needs to make this COSTLY for Sega and GearBox so nobody ever pulls this stunt again.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. mreko3230

    I had 2 copies of the game in hand when the reviews started pouring in. (was going to play some co-op). Returned them for a full refund.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. SplatteredHouse

    Contemptible deceitful…How’s those eggs? That grin isn’t going to help too much in front of a judge, Pitchford. Of course it was false advertising.
    It should never have happened, but it was allowed to, and I for one, hope there will be a judgment, a consequence to their attitude and misleading antics. What’s the defense, of that?

    THEY had press reporting (advertising) LIES for over a year – and is anyone about to suggest to me that’s acceptable?

    That SEGA haven’t taken action on the back of this mess paints matters all the worse.
    A thoroughly disgraceful affair.

    “conspired to keep consumers from learning of the differences”
    That’s precisely the premise and purpose of a release date embargo, huh. To conspire to keep consumers from being able to make an educated purchase decision, until such time as the game is on sale (also why the demo concept in the mainstream has scattered to the winds), to where you hope word-of-mouth carries the game, and the TV ads kick in – IF it’s a stinker. Which, the majority aren’t.

    @5: and, a digital future will move to ensure you no longer have such a remedy.
    Demos, (lest we forget!) also do need a separate team to slice and package part of the gameplay, and release day embargoes assist the media (and give the writers breathing room) at least as far as staving off a fustercluck of poor-quality, hurried knee-jerk assessments that even Metacritic would giggle at (which in turn, assists readers in getting fuller-formed views on games they intend to buy – if they can show the restraint to read them, beforehand)

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Fin

    This is such bullshit. Lawsuits like this are the reason class actions are explicitly prohibited in some EULAs.

    “Oh no, I spent $50 on this game that sucks…BETTER SUE!”

    #7 1 year ago
  8. RocknRolla

    It is good stuff like this happens, so EVERY developer out there should work harder to get our “Hard earned money” ! :)

    #8 1 year ago