Gearbox seeks removal from Aliens: Colonial Marines class action lawsuit
Gearbox Software was slapped with a lawsuit last year over the hot mess that was Aliens: Colonial Marines, and specifically that the final product was a far cry from what was promised in "actual gameplay" demos displayed at E3. Gearbox quickly dismissed the action as "frivolous" but otherwise remained quiet on the matter until yesterday, when lawyers for the studio filed multiple motions seeking to have it removed from the action.
The crux of Gearbox's argument is that it made the game under contract, and that the publisher, Sega, called all the shots and was responsible for all the marketing. Thus, any legal action should be aimed at Sega—and in fact, according to the claim, Sega asked Gearbox to keep quiet about the suit so it could handle the situation itself.
"Gearbox never belonged in this lawsuit. Gearbox is a videogame software developer. It was neither the publisher nor seller of the videogame at issue," the suit states, as reported by Polygon. "For more than a year, Gearbox has quietly abided the plaintiffs' claims so that Sega, the game's publisher and the party responsible for the game's marketing and sale, could assume the defense of this lawsuit. Gearbox has honored its publisher's request in spite of plaintiffs' highly-publicized-and highly-misplaced-claims against Gearbox. At this point, however, Gearbox is obligated to pursue its rightful departure from this case."
In a deposition filed separately, Gearbox Marketing Vice President Steve Gibson denied claims that Gearbox used a separate engine to create pre-release demos, saying Epic's Unreal Engine "was the only game engine Gearbox used in the design and development of the game." He also said that Gearbox lost a lot of money on the project.
"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," he said in the filing. "Gearbox never received money from Sega's A:CM purchasers, nor has Gearbox received a single royalty from any such sales by Sega."
Gearbox also filed motions to have the suit's class status removed, while attorneys for the plaintiffs filed a request to remove the original plaintiff, Damion Perrine, from the suit without prejudice or costs because he is currently incarcerated on an unrelated matter and thus "unable to continue his service as class representative."