Class action lawsuit is filed against SEGA and Gearbox Software over Aliens: Colonial Marines
It’s no secret that the final release of Aliens: Colonial Marines lacked much of the visual fidelity that the demos and advertising footage shown prior to launch boasted. Already, SEGA has been made to own up to this, adding disclaimers to trailers for the game. But some are apparently not keen at letting the publisher off so easy, as a class action lawsuit (discovered by Polygon) has been filed against SEGA and developer Gearbox over Colonial Marines.
According to plaintiff Damion Perrine, on behalf of law firm Edelson LLC, SEGA and Gearbox “falsely advertised Aliens by showing demos at trade shows like PAX and E3 which didn't end up being accurate representations of the final product.” The suit accuses the two for advertising the demos as “actual gameplay,” while pointing to a tweet from Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford that acknowledges the discrepancy between demo and final versions of the game, saying that it is “understood and fair and we are looking at that. Lots of info to parse, lots of stake holders to respect.”
Additionally, the suit claims that by having press reviews under an embargo that lifted the day of the game’s release (February 12), SEGA prevented consumers from learning of the inferior quality of the final game until it was too late. To that end, the suit seeks damages for everyone who purchased Colonial Marines before or on launch day.
"Each of the 'actual gameplay' demonstrations purported to show consumers exactly what they would be buying: a cutting edge video game with very specific features and qualities," the suit argues. "Unfortunately for their fans, [Sega and Gearbox] never told anyone — consumers, industry critics, reviewers, or reporters — that their 'actual gameplay' demonstration advertising campaign bore little resemblance to the retail product that would eventually be sold to a large community of unwitting purchasers."
When asked by Polygon why Edelson LLC decided to take on Perrine’s case, the firm’s Ben Thomassen responded, "The gaming community had a strong reaction to the release of Aliens: Colonial Marines. We think the video game industry is no different than any other that deals with consumers: if companies like Sega and Gearbox promise their customers one thing but deliver something else, then they should be held accountable for that decision."
A writer, journalist, and aspiring storyteller, Peter Grimm has been gaming since the days of the Nintendo 64, and reporting on the goings-on in the World of Gaming since late 2011. His base of writing operations is located within the void between Here and There, or so he would have you think.
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