Aliens: Colonial Marines alleged false advertising leads to court case
The launch of Aliens: Colonial Marines was met with plenty of outrage. Gamers were highly disappointed due to the final product being subpar compared to the game’s early demo footages.
It was revealed today that that Californian law firm Edelson LLC on behalf of one Damion Perrine is filing a lawsuit against Sega and Gearbox claiming the final product was incomparable to what was advertised at demo shows like PAX East and E3.
Gearbox co-founder Randy Pitchford previously claimed that the demos were “actual gameplay.” The suit filed includes criticism of Aliens: Colonial Marines‘ visuals, AI behaviour and maps that were not featured in the final product.
“Each of the ‘actual gameplay’ demonstrations purported to show consumers exactly what they would be buying: a cutting edge video game with every specific features and qualities,” wrote Edelson LLC.
“Unfortunately for the 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 larger community of unwitting purchasers.”
Last month, a complaint to the Advertising Standards Agency in the UK led to SEGA adding a disclaimer to Aliens: Colonial Marines which made clear that the early footages of the game doesn’t reflect the final product.
Aliens: Colonial Marines was launched in February on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. Gearbox has since been releasing patches as an attempt to fix the game.
Analysis – Michael Cromwell
It’s likely anyone talking on behalf of Gearbox et al will argue that the E3 demo footage was indicative of gameplay as it was then. Since the time between E3 and release was spread out, the developer will likely argue that, as usual, things change. They will then outline exactly what was changed, and why. It seems reasonable that they’ll be asked why they didn’t make these changes apparent, which is where the meat of the argument begins.