Gearbox Earned No Royalties for Aliens: Colonial Marines, Lawsuit Update
In an ongoing lawsuit filed for Aliens: Colonial Marines' being falsely advertised, Gearbox Software has distanced itself from Sega, claiming that it helped fund the game and never saw any royalties from the Sonic publisher.
Eurogamer reports that Gearbox has claimed it dropped millions of dollars of its own money into Aliens: Colonial Marines' development (which was published and originally funded by Sega), which was never paid back. On top of this, Gearbox claims that it never earned any royalties from the game's sales. The class action lawsuit, filed by Roger Damion Perrine and John Locke against both Gearbox and Sega, claims that the game was falsely advertised since its E3 press demo didn't resemble the final product (hopefully they never played Watch Dogs). Perrine had to drop his part of the lawsuit after being incarcerated due to an unrelated crime. Gearbox claims that it has nothing to do with Locke's lawsuit and should be removed from it completely.
"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," said Steve Gibson, Gearbox vice president of marketing. "Gearbox never received money from Sega's A:CM purchasers, nor has Gearbox received a single royalty from any such sales by Sega."
"Gearbox only received the milestone payments made by Sega during the game's development," Gibson added. "Those milestone payments were pre-set before any games were sold and the milestone payments to Gearbox were not tied to the number of units of the game that Sega ultimately sold."
Gearbox outsourced Aliens' development to multiple smaller studios and claims it holds no responsibility in how the game was marketed. Nevertheless, it was likely that Gearbox provided the gameplay demo used at E3. On the other hand, Gearbox claims that the E3 footage was used doing a different engine, and that Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3 was the only one used throughout the game's actual development.
"Sega approved every milestone submission from Gearbox throughout A:CM's development. Gearbox eventually completed and delivered the software in accordance with Sega's specifications, which Sega vetted, approved and accepted."
Gearbox also claims that the number of people who saw the press demos of Colonial Marines cannot be determined, making the plantiff's class too broad to narrow.
"[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 stated. "[The] plaintiffs' net was cast too wide."
"Worse still, those customers who were satisfied by the video game would be swept into plaintiffs' proposed class," the attorneys added.
We should also mention that Gearbox's claims distance itself from Sega, killing the likelihood that the two companies would ever work together ever again.
It's a rather touchy subject to see who could actually be at fault for the crap-fest known as Colonial Marines. It's even tougher to see whether or not Locke has a chance of winning, especially with Perrine having to drop out of being a plaintiff due to his incarceration. We expect a proper response from Sega soon. Nevertheless, stay tuned as we will provide up-to-date coverage of this lawsuit against Sega and Gearbox once more information is available.