Things are heating up in the battle between Sega and Gearbox over Aliens: Colonial Marines
. Though the developer has tried to extricate itself from a lawsuit brought by buyers of the much-maligned game, its publisher is now saying "not so fast" -- and alleging that Gearbox is very much to blame for the situation.
A little background: Last year, a suit was filed
which alleged that Colonial Marines
was deceptively marketed, since the pre-release versions of the game shown to the press and public was substantially better than what hit shelves.
This July, Aliens: Colonial Marines
developer filed a motion
attempting to get itself out of that class action lawsuit. How, you ask? The studio said that the responsibility for marketing the game rested with its publisher, Sega, and that the suit didn't make sense, since it's effectively impossible to track who bought the game and why, anyway.
However, Sega agreed to pay
a settlement to the class last month. And now, the publisher has fired back at Gearbox in a new motion that alleges the developer participated directly -- and uncontrollably -- in the game's marketing.
"Gearbox's opposition to the settlement agreement is replete with false and misleading statements," the new motion reads
. It goes on to say: "in fact, Gearbox was jointly responsible for marketing ACM
, often acted independently to promote it, and frequently acted without Sega's approval."
Sega says that this is baked into the contracts (which specified that the two companies would work together on "all marketing activities") and extends to the actions of Gearbox president Randy Pitchford, who -- according to an internal Sega email from 2012 -- does "whatever the fuck he likes" when it comes to talking about and showing the game in public, Polygon reports
At the crux of the issue seems to be the fact that Gearbox had control over community-focused marketing: "Gearbox took this power and ran with it, often making announcements to the press and public without Sega’s approval -- and sometimes in the face of Sega’s explicit disapproval," the motion states. This lead to "leaks" and -- importantly for the case -- Sega says it's proof that it was far from alone in marketing the game.
You can read the whole filing below; Kotaku has a story
with some entertaining extracts from the legal documents, including toe-curling internal marketing and PR plans.
Sega Gearbox 1 by EvNarc