Gearbox Claims it Received No Royalties for Aliens Colonial Marines

Gearbox Claims it Received No Royalties for Aliens: Colonial Marines

Richard Walker

Following a lawsuit filed against SEGA and Gearbox in April 2013, alleging that the version of Aliens: Colonial Marines presented to press in a demo shown at PAX and E3 bore no resemblance to the finished product, Gearbox has filed a motion that cites why these accusations are baseless. The developer believes it should be removed from the lawsuit pertaining to a game for which it apparently received no royalties.

Sales of the game weren't enough to dispense additional payments to Gearbox, and the studio received only its contracted disbursements at each development milestone. What's more, the developer also claims that it spent millions of its own funds in completing the game, none of which has been compensated or reimbursed to Gearbox.

"During the development process, Gearbox supplemented SEGA's development budget with its own money to help SEGA finish its game; Gearbox's contributions to A:CM totaled millions, none of which was ever repaid," writes Gearbox VP of Marketing, Steve Gibson in the motion filed 30th July 2014. "Gearbox never received money from Sega's A:CM purchasers, nor has Gearbox received a single royalty from any such sales by SEGA."

Gearbox's attorney's also reckon that the lawsuit fails to meet the requirements for a class action, as it's impossible to know who or how many saw the Aliens: Colonial Marines press demos in question that led to the game's sales. Gearbox has moved to have the plaintiffs allegations struck off.

"[The] plaintiffs' proposed class is impermissibly overbroad because it includes putative class members who were never exposed to, and who therefore never viewed, the allegedly misleading game demonstrations on which the class-wide claims are premised," Gearbox's attorneys noted. "[The] plaintiffs' net was cast too wide."

With the case coming down to two plaintiffs, one of whom is currently incarcerated, it leaves just John Locke as the sole plaintiff, which would turn the case into a class-wide issue. As such, the case is ongoing. SEGA and Gearbox have yet to comment further on the issue.

[Via Eurogamer, Game Informer]

  • This just confirms what I've believed all along about how Gearbox was treated just as badly by Sega as TimeGate were. I know many people probably won't believe this but it's something I've had a gut feeling about for a long time.
  • They don't deserve any, they fucked it up.
  • "Sales of the game weren't enough to dispense additional payments to Gearbox..." *looks to right margin, sees article titled 'Aliens: Colonial Marines sells over 1.3 million copies'* *sigh*
  • @3: It may well have sold that many but those alone were likely not enough to cover all the costs, Bioshock infinite sold about 5 million copies but according to 2k that wasn't enough to cover all its costs so sales don't always equal profits :(. Duke Nukem Forever sold about 2 million copies but barely made anything and was after approx 13 years of development.
  • Is Gearbox really going to go this low? This is so downright wrong it makes me want to boycott the new Borderlands out of spite. (Makes me WANT to) I mean they embezzled money from Sega and now these guys are trying to play the victim? No gearbox don't have any right to do that.
  • @5: I don't deny that Gearbox made some bad calls but most of the accusations, including that one, have yet to be proved true or false so I'd take them with a big pinch of salt. Once this lawsuit is out of the way (which shouldn't take long once it gets started next month) then the truth will be known for better or worse :).
  • Err..... Impossible to say who or how many saw the press demo???? How about everyone at E3 that year and then everyone who saw it on YouTube and in all the game press online and in mags. Most of the gaming community saw the damn demo and then how truly bad and different the game turned out. Gearbox are a bunch of lying money grabs. If they would have FINISHED it themselfs instead of boycot it timegate non of this would have happened. The game was gearboxes responsibility and so gearboxes fault.
  • hope new aliens is better than that garbage that CM was
  • @8: A: I isn't even out yet so no-one can say for sure if it will be better or worse than CM until it's actually released.
  • Unless I'm mistaken this was a gearbox project that they chose to hand off to Timegate. For one, they abandoned it to focus on their own work, how are they even entertaining the idea of royalties, and if the game suffered because of bad communication and a poor handoff of a project they were commissions to do, how does profit favor into their responsibility in all of this? One day the truth will be out and clear but in the meantime I still hold my opinion that this is just as much on their hands, and real men(or women) should take responsibility for their actions.
  • This is one of them things you man never know the truth about but I find most of Sega games since they have been just making games have been poo anyway. I thought Aliens was ok, it could have been a lot better but it also could have been a lot worse. Home Front, Turning Point and Duke Nukem just to name three worse games.
  • Meh, they deserve being in this lawsuit with how much they false advertised that garbage.
  • where the fuck did the money go for this crap game? game was false advertised and gearbox has every right to complain
  • John Locke? Are we talking tabula rasa Locke or the one from Lost? Haha Based on the information we currently have, I don't think Gearbox can escape their hand in this. They were too heavily involved to try and claim no responsibility. But, as alway,s it's best to hold all judgmental opinions about those involved until knowing all the facts.
  • @1: The biggest Gearbox fanboy on the forum had a gut feeling that Gearbox was treated badly by SEGA and that's why Aliens was so bad, not because Gearbox massively fucked up. What a surprise. I mean never mind that Gearbox blew shitloads of SEGA's money on Borderlands instead of making this game and that if they had just made the game with the money SEGA gave them to make the game they wouldn't have had to use their own money on it, and never mind that SEGA didn't actually have any dealings with TimeGate at all as SEGA hired Gearbox to make the game and instead Gearbox hired TimeGate to do it for them while they blew all their time and SEGA's money on Borderlands, clearly SEGA is the lone Big Bad in this scenario and Gearbox is just an innocent victim. Yeah, fuck that. Gearbox is just as guilty as SEGA and both of them should rot. Randy Pitchford especially, as not only did he lie to everyone before launch, he defended his lies after launch.
  • @9: Are you kidding me. The only reason Colonial Marines wasn't the worst game of 2013 is because Ride to Hell Retribution also came out that year. Everyone knows Isolation will be better than Colonial Marines simply via the fact that it cannot possibly be worse. I will say it right now clear as day: Aliens Isolation WILL be better than Aliens Colonial Marines. If I'm wrong you can point and laugh at me or something, but I won't be wrong.
  • @16: I am nowhere close to being a Gearbox fanboy as there are plenty of Gearbox games that I can't stand, with Brothers in Arms in particular being one I hate. Ultimately the Courts will decide this matter for better or for worse and I'll it at that before I say something I'll regret.
  • Royalties... Gearbox should have to pay everyone that suffered through playing that game.
  • Aliens was always a bad series anyway. AvP was utter crap and one of my top 3 worst games ever played.
  • Gearbox have a habit of shooting their mouth when things are good, then sinking the boot in when things go bad. Let's face it, they don't have a great track record. They got lucky with Borderlands (thanks mostly to its art style) and essentially remade it for the sequel. This echoes the DNF fiasco. "We're so great, we're shipping the unshippable game!" Then when it turned out to be a complete turkey they got on the defensive and blamed everyone else.
  • How about Gearbox just accept that they appropriated money fraudulantly got what they deserved
  • BL2 was just more of the same. got really boring. the pre-sequel and the inevitable BL3 will just be more of the same boring crap
  • @3: Well, I bought it for, like, 5 bucks on a sale and I could imagine a lot of other people did it similarly. While I can understand people got upset about the false advertising, I think the hate the actual game is getting is a bit of an exaggerated hype. I really liked the game, even with all its flaws.
  • @23 Samehere mate, bought the big collectors edition for 75p at GAME. This was INCLUDING the season pass... Altogether it wasn't "bad", given how it's been patched and patched and patched into a working/playable state. But it's a poor game at best, graphically, storywise, and gameplaywise. The retcon was just the icing on the shit-sandwich IMHO.
  • Sega gives Gearbox a $60,000,000 budget and 7 years to complete the game. Gearbox squanders the money, claims they had to put millions of their own money in the project, then releases a game with the quality that rivals a college students school project. Now after saying no one saw the demo to compare the final to the demo, they wanna say: ok, we didn't get money, so were "NOT" responsible, take us off the lawsuit, let Sega take the blame and hey everyone, come buy our next Borderlands game. Any game thats stamped "Gearbox" will never get a purchase from me. I hope the go out of business. As for Alien Isolation, I have full confidence in that game. Reason? Because Creative Assembly has been spreading PLAYABLE demos like a virus, and has also been answering all questions regarding the game progress. Gearbox showed 1 e3 demo, answered no questions, and NEVER released a playable demo. Not even to game reviewers. They kept it silent until it was exposed on release date. Fuck Gearbox and Randy Dickford.
  • why didn't they say this in the first place i think they are just making excuses now
  • Funny, the guy in charge of it all, the guy who lied his ass off in every interview, was Randy Pitchford. Who works at Gearbox.
  • funny this game has popped up in the headlines again after all this time, i only just bought it this weekend.... for £2.99 brand new n still sealed ;D
  • @16 only just saw you comment, seems i bought the 2 worst games of 2013 this weekend LOL i got Aliens and Ride to Hell, both £2.99 each!!! LOL
  • The cheek of this company, Gearbox was paid to make ACM, used the money to fund Borderlands, while instead secretly farming ACM out to another company, then put out a bullshot video making the game seem much better than it really was. Scam artists.
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