Developer Gearbox Software and publisher Sega are facing a class action lawsuit over falsely advertising Aliens: Colonial Marines.
Filed by law firm Edelson on behalf of one Damion Perrine, the suit states that both Gearbox and Sega showed ‘false’ demo versions of the game to get it to sell. The final product had little resemblance to what was actually shown and to top it all off, both firms are also accused of purposely withholding review codes for the game before its official launch. This is tagged as a scheme to get consumers to buy the game based on previous assumptions without letting anyone review the game first.
“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,” the claim reads. “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.”
Furthermore the suit cites Gearbox head Randy Pitchford who acknowledged the discrepancies a week after the game’s launch.
It’s not unusual for a firm to showcase demos which seem far different (better) than the actual product. However, in the case of Aliens: Colonial Marines both the developer and publisher kept on showing the exact demos over and over again. Not to mention the game came out plagued with bugs, a horrendously sluggish AI, average visuals compared to previous showings and what not.