News Article

Rumour: Gearbox Played Secondary Role in Aliens: Colonial Marines Development

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Game over, man?

For a number of months — or years, depending on how much you follow the franchise — Gearbox software has been plugging Aliens: Colonial Marines, a title taking on the branding of one of the most treasured sci-fi movies ever released. We've been watching closely as it's also coming to Wii U, with Gearbox's Randy Pitchford even going so far as to make bold claims about the upcoming Wii U release being the best-looking version. For fans of the movie, excitement about the concept was probably given reassurance by the thought of the team behind the Borderlands games being involved.

It seems, if an anonymous forum post is to be believed, that we may have been victims of a bit of press spin in the build-up to this release, with much of the title (notably its single player component) apparently being out-sourced to TimeGate Studios. While its part in the development was already known, it had previously been suggested that the highly regarded Gearbox team was doing much of the work; not so according to the former team member, whose post was actually tracked down today from last year.

Hate to say it, but I wouldn't get your hopes up too high for Colonial Marines. I used to work at Gearbox, and the development of that game has been a total train wreck, going on what, six years now?

Gearbox isn't even making the game, except for the multiplayer. Primary development was outsourced to TimeGate Studios, which has a less than stellar past.

The suggestion that TimeGate Studios has done much of the work is reinforced, in part, by its prominent placing in the opening cinematic credits.

Sega presents
With 20th Century Fox
A Gearbox Software production of
A TimeGate Studios
Demiurge Studios
Nerve Software
and Gearbox Software game.

While we're waiting for the Wii U version and will be giving our view then, this title's PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 release has been met with harsh judgements from many critics; appropriately its multiplayer mode, apparently assigned to Gearbox, has been highlighted by some as its sole saving grace. has compiled a summary of reviews, with the majority awarding low scores that have contributed to a metacritic rating — at the time of writing — of 50% for the Xbox 360 version, based on 23 reviews; the PS3 rating is currently lower. Eurogamer, for its part, has awarded a rather damning 3/10 review score.

It'll be interesting to see how this one turns out on Wii U, though if that release has a review embargo until after the game hits stores — as the current versions did — then there may potentially be a monstrous disappointment lurking in the air ducts. We'll keep our motion tracker focused on it until then.

Let us know if you intend to buy Aliens: Colonial Marines when it eventually hits the Wii U in our poll below.

Do you intend to buy Aliens: Colonial Marines on the Wii U? (135 votes)

Yes, sign me up


I might buy the Wii U version


I'll buy the Xbox 360 / PS3 version instead




Please login to vote in this poll.


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User Comments (47)



Azikira said:

Well this is a huge disappointment. I guess I'll just be buying more ports now. :/



Void said:

I wasn't planning on buying it in the first place, actually, because I'm not 17 yet.



6ch6ris6 said:

seems like it was doomed from the beginning since the development wasnt clear



Nareva said:

That's a shame. I would have bought this if the reviews weren't so terrible.



element187 said:

I'll probably get it because there is no games releasing in the month of February and not until late March... If SEGA can get it out soon it will get the money I had set aside for Rayman just so my Wii U can get some gaming love.



datamonkey said:

Yeah and here's Sega's response to this claim:

“Absolutely not, the game has been developed by Gearbox Software. Other studios [like Timegate] helped Gearbox on the production of single and multiplayer.” - SEGA’s senior producer, Matthew J. Powers




Chomposaur said:

@Void What ... ? your kidding me you wont play 18+ games because your not at that age ? You serious ?

what has happened to this generation ? me and my friends used to get a huge buzz playing a game we are not supposed to be playing .. or something cant quite put it into words Sigh



russellohh said:

On Timegate's own website, it lists Colonial Marines as their game. It doesn't even mention Gearbox in the first few clicks of information.



The_Fox said:

Looks like I'll probably just rent the 360 version and wait and see if the Wii U version is any different.



Knux said:

Looks I better try the demo before I buy it, and wait until it hits the bargain bin if I actually do decide to buy it.



Kifa said:

I've got the PC version and well... It stinks, quite a bit. Poor presentation, mediocre voice acting, bullpoopy fights with HUMAN ADVERSARIES (Weyland-Yutani mercs are more common than xenomorphs in the first 2 hours of campaign), weak Aliens, terribly implemented multiplayer and very poor performance even on a quite beasty PC - that's my summary. And the bugs... Oh, the bugs, and I don't mean aliens. I killed myself once with a door. Seriously...

There are some cool parts, such as the very beginning of the campaign or the Hadley's Hope part, but otherwise it is just a poor-to-mediocre shooter which might as well have been released 7 years ago.

And the rumor? Gearbox is trying to wash their hands. No Randy, you are not gatting away with this one! ;/



AceTrainerBean said:

Maybe it will be good...I love the alien movies so unless the wii u reviews are absolutely terrible I will get it



Jukilum said:

Even though I meet the age requirement I don't play these kinds of games because I don't think they're appropriate for ANYONE to play.



AbeVigoda said:

I planned on getting this one, but not anymore! I guess my next purchase will be monster hunter 3 for wii-u



Dreamcaster-X said:

The reviews are HORRENDOUS on this game!!! Even a good Wii U port can't save it . I was so looking forward to it but scratch another one off my list!!! Gives me more time to play Monster Hunter 3 next month now!!



Neram said:

Either that or this is a spin Gearbox is putting on it because of all the harsh reviews. Between this and Duke Nukem Forever, Gearbox may lose some credibility, so maybe they're trying to point the blame someplace else?



Bulbousaur said:

If a Gearbox game has a development cycle of over 5 years, its gonna be bad.
If a Gearbox game has a development cycle of over 10 years, its gonna be a piece of bullpoop.



Shanksta said:

@Jukilum So I assume the movies aren't appropriate for ANYONE to watch then?

I'm sick of hearing about this being compared to Duke Nukem. Gearbox did Duke because it was mostly finished when they purchased it. This game may end up being crap(I hope not, since I don't listen to reviewers) and if it does it will be Gearbox's fault because they completely made this one. Also there's no way that this game will be worse than 007 legends (which I played) so I'll be fine with it.



jayblue said:

hope it not rubbish was looking forward to this,if it is might get monster hunter 3 tri super hd version which is the same game as was on the wii good job i didnt play wii ordinary washed out on pal tv version.



ToxieDogg said:

And when the Wii U version fails to sell in any significant numbers because we've already seen how bad the Xbox 360/PS3 versions are, all the so 'industry experts' will then claim that there's no market for mature games on Wii U, or that the Wii U is doomed.



Gen0neD said:

Just cancelled my WiiU version. Which really sucks, because it's the reason I bought a WiiU.



gaDronilDdos said:

I'm still hoping for them to pull Ninja gaidens again.
Just beta test it on other platforms and then release a full polished game on the Wii U.



Yanni said:

I'll buy it on Steam. Yes, for PC. Believe it or not, PC version actually exists, NintendoLife!



ThomasBW84 said:

@Yanni Darn, I guess we're only human after all, missing PC in the poll and all...

But yes, we often mention PC versions when we know of them.



Vehemont said:

This is disappointing indeed, as I had the game on my radar for some time now.... Not anymore, due to horrible overall reviews.



BJQ1972 said:

Cancelled my pre-order as soon as the reviews started appearing yesterday. In this case the delay of the Wii U version was very lucky.



Shanksta said:

I'll buy it on day one, gameplay videos I've seen look fun enough. I'm a huge aliens fan and so are my friends, so we'll probably play some of the multiplayer modes. I tend not to listen to reviews anymore, since most people are biased against certain games.
Example: A couple people on metacritic have related this game to COD and said that the sound effects on the assault rifles are dumb. That's how they sound in the movie, so who cares? Also IGN sucks.



Reef7009 said:

The games good. playing it now on ps3. The graphics get better as you progress



JebbyDeringer said:

Gearbox has minimal street cred only due to Borderlands, really they've never done anything ground breaking. Borderlands is solid but really repetitive. Also how good can you expect a game to be based on a movie series which has only declined to complete garbage?



Dogpigfish said:

I haven't seen anything I didn't like, but heard the reviewer ramble on. Nothing they said made me not want to buy it. Shooters really are usually mindless, not sure what is truly wrong with the product. I recently played some shooters that got horrible reviews, but were pretty decent.



Lopezdm said:

I think it's really funny a game that was kind of tailor made for the WiiU sucks on other consoles. From what I've seen it just looks better on the WiiU in videos. That could just be me though. The Wii U ver is being handled by Demiurge Studios and I don't see it the same game at all.



misswliu81 said:

despite the reviews, i'm keeping my fingers crossed demiurge studios will do a better job for the wii U version. would be interesting to see if the wii U version turns out to be the best version of this game.

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