Yep, this is STILL going on. Publisher Sega and developer Gearbox Software were hit with a class-action lawsuit in response to the horrendously bad Aliens: Colonial Marines. That lawsuit was based off the claim that Sega and Gearbox used fake marketing materials in the build-up towards the game’s release last year. That lawsuit was filed in April 2013, a mere two months after the game released.
In August of this year, the class-action lawsuit reached a tentative agreement that proposed Sega pay out $1.25 million to those who filed the lawsuit. Interestingly, Gearbox filed a motion to have itself removed from this lawsuit, claiming that all marketing matters were up to publisher Sega and that they just developed the game. They also went as far as saying that they used their own money to fund development and they didn’t receive any royalty payments from sales.
Sega, however, thinks otherwise and has filed ANOTHER lawsuit against Gearbox for refuting any responsibility for the marketing of Colonial Marines. This new lawsuit digs up loads of internal Sega and Gearbox emails as evidence that Gearbox was completely involved in marketing the game, and that at times they went way beyond what Sega had authorised.
One internal mail sent from Sega’s Matt Eyre noted that Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford frequently went beyond what had been agreed to in terms of marketing. Sega would often refer to these a “leaks” by Gearbox; basically Gearbox putting out more information than was agreed upon, like unauthorised screenshots and Q&A sessions.
“Effectively,” Eyre’s email reads, “it’s Randy doing whatever the fuck he likes. Apparently he did it twice on [Borderlands 2] also, against, against all plans and despite the fact they asked him not to.”
Yes, this is probably going to get nasty, but on the bright side: at least some form of entertainment for audiences is coming out of Colonial Marines.
Sega is also disputing Gearbox’s claim that they never received payments from sales of the game.