News Article

Rumour: Aliens: Colonial Marines Had Resources Moved to More "Important" Projects

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Supposedly while still collecting cheques from SEGA

Aliens: Colonial Marines is a title that has rapidly moved from being a hyped blockbuster release to a poorly received disappointment. That hasn't necessarily damaged sales excessively — it went to number one in the UK charts — but it has nevertheless had a lot of negative press and gamer reaction.

Aside from rumours that Gearbox played a secondary role in development — which has been denied — and that the Wii U version could be the worst of all platforms, it's now emerging that Gearbox may have deceived publisher SEGA during the title's lengthy development and committed resources to other high-profile projects.

A developer from the game's early days, speaking to Destructoid on condition of anonymity, has spoken about how the team became smaller as resources were redirected, that SEGA did pull the plug temporarily in the past and that, apparently, Gearbox management may have deceived the publisher about the size of the team and development effort.

Gearbox was taking people off the project to put them on Borderlands 1. This was before the big art style change happened on Borderlands. Our team was getting smaller by the month, making it very difficult to get the game made. Ironically several of the team members were ex-3D Realms people who were saying [paraphrasing] 'Finally, we're going to Gearbox to make Aliens, and we're going to ship a f***ing game!' Hah.

At some point in 2008, SEGA temporarily pulled the plug on the game. They caught wind of Gearbox shifting resources (despite still collecting milestone checks as if the team were full size) and lying to SEGA AND 2K about the number of people working on each project. This led to the round of layoffs at Gearbox in late 2008.

The same source says that those still on the project in early 2012 were expecting further delays, so were likely to be surprised when the release date was kept. As quotes from an anonymous source — even thought it's speaking to a website rather than randomly appearing on a forum — we have to take these comments with a pinch of salt, but clearly this title has had a peculiar and messy road to release.

Of course, it's still coming to Wii U soon, so let us know your thoughts on this latest round of rumours and whether this is a game you're still interested in playing on Nintendo's system.

[via destructoid.com]

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User Comments (22)

Scollurio

#6

Scollurio said:

@Tsuchiya Well I don't agree, they are one of the best thins you can play on competing consoles/Pc, well if you like shooters that is. They have awesome humor and art direction. But again, tastes are different. And that said Iam not defending Gearbox in any way because if this is true, its a real low blow to the industry, the devteam and fans alike. Shame on you.

WhiteTrashGuy

#8

WhiteTrashGuy said:

For shame, Pitchford. My buddy Drew knows Randy and says he's a really fun guy, but with ALIENS turning out much like DUKE NUKEM FOREVER it is apparent that he places priority on their own original IPs. I was really looking forward to ALIENS...

scakko84

#9

scakko84 said:

That said, I will move my money to less shadowy Publishers and Developers.

The_Fox

#10

The_Fox said:

Seems like Sega should have been keeping a better eye on its investment, especially if they had an idea this was happening. Not smart, Sega.

zaphod

#11

zaphod said:

I'm still holding out in the hope that the WiiU version does indeed turn out to be the best, but with so many rumours flying around, who knows. Just hope they announce the launch date soon.

GiftedGimp

#12

GiftedGimp said:

I know at the moment Aliens is still on the Q1 release but considering that ends March 31st and no actual date has been given one of two things is going to happen
1, Because the WiiU version is as bad or worse than the other versions it will just quietly appear on the shop shelves without any mention.
2. A delay will be announced, in the hope yhe game can be fixed. tbh I'd quite happly take a 6 month delay if the game turns out to be great at the end.
of course there is a 3rd, unlikly option...
WiiU vesion is actually much better than the others but with all the bad press about the other vesions Sega are waiting for things to calm down and then will start push how the WiiU version is the superior version, maybe offering up a WiiU demo when the announce the release date.
After all wether the WiiU version is good or bad, the negativity surrounding the otjer versions is going to effect the WiiU versions sales.

Nintenjoe64

#13

Nintenjoe64 said:

I doubt Sega got duped in this debacle. They probably knew it was a turd too. I am almost tempted to get this game just to see if it is as bad as the reviews say.

I have no faith in the major game sites after buying most of the top rated games on each console this gen. People seem to be afraid to dish out anything less than 90% for a blockbuster despite the fact that the game is just an extension of the levels of the previous game.

Will-75

#14

Will-75 said:

And I was so looking forward to getting this game now I dont even want it , looks like my money is going to Monster Hunter and Need for Speed .

Rect_Pola

#16

Rect_Pola said:

With a pause to pray this is not true, assuming it is...
You lied and stole from your publisher; you lied and disrespected your customers with glizy marketing and press; and you knowingly doomed your project to fund other ones. Other ones that probably would have gotten funding legitmately if you made half the game you promised.
I don't know how much further you can really go. When I get mad at publishers, they're usually being soulless corporations, but rarely outside of their right to do it. If this comes to legal action, I hope you get what you deserve.
I'm going to play Wayforward's Aliens Game.

Ernest_The_Crab

#17

Ernest_The_Crab said:

@The_Fox If this was in their contract (which in most cases it is) Sega has a case. This would fall under misappropriation of funds, which can result in prison time AND paying back the damages.

tanookisuit

#18

tanookisuit said:

If this is real I hope Sega gets their team of lawyers all over gearbox as that's theft, fraud, and misallocation of Sega's resources there.

banacheck

#19

banacheck said:

Aliens i was going to get it before i played it at a friends house, i wouldn't say it awful tho. And i thought Randy said the Wii U was going to be the best version? what happen to that Randy?

Kage_88

#20

Kage_88 said:

Jeez, all these horror stories about the game...

They should make it into a tell-all book.

RikuzeYre

#22

RikuzeYre said:

Eh well if Demiurge used gearbox's original assets then maybe the game is better than the other ones.

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