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.