It’s all too often that you hear about corporate greed and shady business, but for some reason, it seems to always hurt more, when you hear about it happening in an industry that you love so much.
Several anonymous employees have recently taken to blogs and reddit, to reveal what really happened to the development of Aliens: Colonial Marines.
In this post, an anonymous SEGA employee explains SEGA’s part in this whole fiasco.
“SEGA is at fault for: Announcing the project in 2007 when no work was done at all. In my views, a game project should be announced publicly when it is 50% – 60% done, so you won’t have to wait 6 years for a game that turns out to be shit.
SEGA is also responsible for not permanently cancelling the game in 2008. I don’t know who found out about the mishandling of funds by Gearbox, but it had to be one of the few right decisions the board has done, or this person is one of the few board members who knew what they were doing (from what I heard, this person may have left the board a while ago when SEGA decided to start the project again). This game should have been cancelled permanently, and the final product is undeniable proof of it.
Despite that, I believe SEGA wanted to try to get some of the money back, at the fans’ expense. So another blame for SEGA there. SEGA should have also watched the project and development a lot better, because there were a lot of warning signs that said this was a disaster in the making. So whoever was assigned to watch Gearbox and the game has some responsibility too, unless the board was forcing him to do it. SEGA and their lawyers also have some blame on the wording of the contract too, but more on that later.”
The blog then proceeds to outline GearBox Software’s involvement in this whole ordeal.
“Now here is the company that should get most of the blame: Gearbox Software and Randy Pitchford. Gearbox stole from SEGA, they robbed us, lied to us about the game, and tried to get another company to make the game instead. Let’s see where the funding went shall we? Everyone said the game went to both Borderlands games, but Duke Nukem Forever gets a mention as well, but it’s pushed out of the spotlight, because people want to forget about that game, and I don’t blame them! Duke Nukem Forever had a big impact on Aliens: Colonial Marines as well.
It clearly shows that Pitchford and Gearbox wanted to focus heavily on Duke Nukem Forever, but how would they get the money to hire some of the 3D Realms team and even buy the intellectual property? Sure, they made a lot from Borderlands, but guess where they got the money to fund Borderlands in the first place? Yup, SEGA.
So Gearbox essentially lied to SEGA, mishandled funds, broke agreements and contractual obligations to work on other projects, didn’t want to work on a game they were contractually obligated to work on and gave it to another team, poor organization and direction on ACM, took on too many projects from different companies at once, and other things that we may not even know about. Hell, part of me believes that Gearbox wanted this thing delayed as much as possible so they can get more funding money to embezzle from SEGA.”
Bryan Danielson, the pseudonym for the anonymous blogger, ends the post by mentioning that SEGA might take legal action against GearBox.
“In this case, what happened clearly was SEGA had a decent eye on the project, rightfully cancelled it, when they saw the problems, then someone decided to restart the project, leading to this massive mess,” he concludes. “Where is our money Randy? We should get sales from Borderlands 1 and 2, since it was our money that funded it.”
Indeed, this is a sad day for gaming. It seems that of all the people who got the wrong end of the deal on this one, it was the fans who got screwed the most.