The plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Gearbox Software and Sega, claiming the developer falsely advertised Aliens: Colonial Marines with unrepresentative trade show demonstrations, have agreed to drop Gearbox from the suit, according to court documents obtained by Polygon today.
The judge in the case also ruled that the suit, which still stands against publisher Sega and once nearly reached a $1.25 million settlement, is no longer a class action and will only be representative of the two original gamers who filed the suit through law firm Edelson LLC in the Northern District of California in April, 2013.
Aliens: Colonial Marines was released Feb. 12, 2013, to harsh criticism and low review scores. Some players and reviewers noted that the game's visuals didn't match what Sega and developer Gearbox showed off of the game prior to release at fan and press events.
These demos, which Gearbox co-founder Randy Pitchford called "actual gameplay," according to the original court filing, were criticized after the game's launch for featuring graphical fidelity, AI behavior and even entire levels not featured in the game. Our review of Aliens: Colonial Marines featured a gallery highlighting some of the differences between a 2012 video walkthrough of the title, and the same level in the final version of the game.
The court notes from the May 27 meeting between the attorneys doesn't explain exactly why the plaintiffs dropped Gearbox from the suit. But it does seem to indicate that the developer's unwillingness to settle and the loss of class action status forced the hand of the plaintiff's attorneys who are now in renewed settlement discussions with Sega.
The plaintiff's now have until June 3 to tell the court how they intend to proceed with respect to Sega, according to the document.