Aliens: Colonial Marines wasn’t a lucrative deal for Gearbox, apparently. Observe the single tear of sympathy rolling down my face.
Aliens: Colonial Marines didn’t bring in any profits for Gearbox, the developer has revealed in a series of legal documents pertaining to a class-action lawsuit.
“During the development process, Gearbox supplemented Sega’s development budget with its own money to help Sega finish its game; Gearbox’s contribution to A:CM totaled millions, none of which was ever repaid,” the developer has claimed.
“Gearbox never received money from Sega’s A:CM purchasers, nor has Gearbox received a single royalty from any such sales by Sega.”
That’s not because Sega has been dodgy, or anything – Sega fronted the agreed-upon milestone payments. It’s just that Aliens: Colonial Marines did not meet contractual sales targets.
“The game’s sales were insufficient to trigger any sales-based payments to Gearbox and, as a result, Gearbox has not received any additional monies from Sega for the sale of the game. Gearbox only received the milestone payments made by Sega during the game’s development,” Gearbox said.
It’s interesting to note that despite huge hype and heavy pre-orders, the negative reaction at launch was apparently vicious enough to cut off Aliens: Colonial Marines sales tail.
Aliens: Colonial Marines released in 2013 and was absolutely slammed by reviewers and most players. It quickly became apparent that the finished game bore little relation to demos toured at trade shows, supplied to press for previews and captured for promotional videos, and gamers – especially those who’d pre-ordered – were understandably pretty angry.
In response to complaints made to the UK’s Advertising Standards Agency, publisher Sega admitted its marketing materials were misleading, but that didn’t have much consequence; Sega has to put a disclaimer on trailers for the game, is all. So disgruntled gamers got together for a class-action lawsuit accusing Sega and developer Gearbox Software of false advertising.
At the time Gearbox said the suit was “frivolous” and little else, but has now responded by requesting it be removed from the action.
Gearbox’s lawyers have argued that as developer it had nothing to do with the marketing of the game, and said that Sega requested Gearbox refrain from commenting while the publisher handled the suit.
Gearbox has also denied claims that pre-release demos were built on an entirely different engine.
Thanks, PC Gamer.