Gearbox and Sega sued for false advertising over Aliens: Colonial Marines press demo


Remember that shiny, slick sci-fi shooter Gearbox demoed at various points last year? And the crummy Aliens also-ran that TimeGate developed? Get this: they were supposed to be the same game. Yesterday, a class-action suit was filed in California alleging that both Gearbox and publisher Sega misled early buyers of the game that was eventually released – Aliens: Colonial Marines.

Polygon have had a look at the suit from plaintiff Damion Perrine, which claims that Gearbox and Sega falsely advertised Aliens by showing demos at trade shows like PAX and E3 which, it transpired, were inaccurate representations of the finished product.

“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,” reads the claim.

“Unfortunately for their fans, Defendants 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.”

Because Gearbox and Sega set a review embargo for the morning of Aliens: Colonial Marines’ release date on February 12, says the claimant, fans had no way of knowing about the discrepancy between the demos and the game itself. As such, the suit seeks damages for anybody who bought the game on or before release.

The claim also cites a tweet from Randy Pitchford, written in response to a question about differences between the press demo and the game.

“That is understood and fair and we are looking at that,” said Pitchford a week after Colonial Marines’ release. “Lots of info to parse, lots of stake holders to respect.”

Are you somebody the suit hopes to represent? If so, what do you think about it?