Aliens: Colonial Marines lawsuit loses class status, Gearbox dropped from suit

Pathfinder

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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.
SOURCE: http://www.polygon.com/2015/5/28/8683827/aliens-colonial-marines-lawsuit-loses-class-status-gearbox-dropped
 

biteren

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i...kinda still dont understand what happened, so is Gearbox not getting sued anymore?
 
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i...kinda still dont understand what happened, so is Gearbox not getting sued anymore?
What it seems like is that Sega is, is the end, responsible for approving or releasing a product whereas Gearbox is the developer and will do what the publisher wants. They might be revealing things like they were forced by Sega, or that Gearbox has nothing to do with the release, etc etc.

All in all, Sega is the bigger fish here who is willing to settle for far more than what these guys paid for.

So I'll ask again, are they suing them on behalf of everyone who bought the game? If so, I want to know where I can get a piece of the pie.
 
Dec 11, 2012
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i...kinda still dont understand what happened, so is Gearbox not getting sued anymore?
we don't know.

My guess is either
1) Backdoor negotiations were made, Sega will settle out of court and Gearbox will not deal with this, as well as class action being dropped.

or the more likely

2) Gearbox wasn't playing ball because they might had a greater legal basis than we knew of. Class action people went "well this is too much of a risk, bail out" and now the original people are talking with Sega to get it over with, considering they released the product and were the final QA.

And like most big companies, Sega will settle because settling almost always costs less.
 

sturgboski

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Ah well in the end the court documents revealed a lot of what Gearbox did to screw Sega and the fans in order to fund BL2 where they made even more money.
 

TheRedSnifit

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So I'll ask again, are they suing them on behalf of everyone who bought the game? If so, I want to know where I can get a piece of the pie.
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.
.
 

eyeball_kid

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How does a case lose class-action status? That's new to me. Can the original plaintiffs drop everyone, or did the judge do this, or...?
 

liquidtmd

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This makes me sad. Sega got out a fairly decent apology with Alien Isolation through Creative Assembly whilst the amount of direct lies, exaggeration, bullshots and bullshit coming out of Gearbox during the development of CM was explicit.

They should be the ones nailed to the wall for their shitshow.
 

Rated-G

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Ah well in the end the court documents revealed a lot of what Gearbox did to screw Sega and the fans in order to fund BL2 where they made even more money.
Did they though? All they showed to me was that Gearbox allocated those funds to pay studios that SEGA approved for outsourcing. Borderlands 2 was made entirely on 2K and Gearbox money. Aliens was SEGA and Gearbox money. That was pretty clearly detailed pretty early on in this thing.

I'm guessing Gearbox was dropped because it's become clear through this case that SEGA encouraged outsourcing and had their own QA look at builds from Timegate and Gearbox, well aware of both the state of the game and who was doing what, AND as a result of negotiations between SEGA and 20th Century Fox, kept Gearbox contractually obligated to continue touting the game as SEGA and 20th Century Fox saw fit.

It's also pretty evident that Fox going back and forth between what canonical content the game could involve and how tied it would be to Prometheus caused the game to have to be reworked as many as four times. It's no wonder the game took as long as it did when you've got the publisher and the producers involved as well as the studio execs and producers having more say in the game than the people making it.
 

Kieli

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Edit: ^ Hrmm, it would make more sense for the devs to use internal money to make Borderlands 2. Otherwise, how could the reveal of supposed court documents not land Gearbox in legit trouble?
 
Jun 5, 2013
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This makes me sad. Sega got out a fairly decent apology with Alien Isolation through Creative Assembly whilst the amount of direct lies, exaggeration, bullshots and bullshit coming out of Gearbox during the development of CM was explicit.

They should be the ones nailed to the wall for their shitshow.
Alien Isolation would have happened either way. They're not connected. Sega lied too, probably a lot worse than Gearbox.
 

TheRedSnifit

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How does a case lose class-action status? That's new to me. Can the original plaintiffs drop everyone, or did the judge do this, or...?
The judge threw it out because "there's no reliable and manageable way to figure out who was mislead and who wasn't." Says it right in OP's article.
 

IvorB

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What it seems like is that Sega is, is the end, responsible for approving or releasing a product whereas Gearbox is the developer and will do what the publisher wants. They might be revealing things like they were forced by Sega, or that Gearbox has nothing to do with the release, etc etc.

All in all, Sega is the bigger fish here who is willing to settle for far more than what these guys paid for.

So I'll ask again, are they suing them on behalf of everyone who bought the game? If so, I want to know where I can get a piece of the pie.
Well the answer would appear to be 'no' since it no longer has class action status.
 

Agent Gibbs

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How did Gearbox the developer of said game get dropped? especially given the widely believed rumours about fund diversions...

Maybe some of those diverted fund got diverted to a certain judge
 

duckroll

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How did Gearbox the developer of said game get dropped? especially given the widely believed rumours about fund diversions...

Maybe some of those diverted fund got diverted to a certain judge
Gearbox was likely dropped from the case because they refused to budge and it looked likely that the judge was going to dump the entire case if they kept going. The lawyers probably advised them to basically take what they can at this point and move to settle. The class action status was dropped, Gearbox was dropped, Sega is probably willing to settle for some minimum sum at this point just to make it all go away, but I doubt they'll be getting anywhere near the $1.25 million which Sega put on the table earlier.

I would say it reads like they've basically lost the case.
 

Percy

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So... am I reading this wrong or did Gearbox basically pull some of the sleaziest bait and switch bullshit in the history of the industry and now they get to walk away consequence free for doing so?

Wowee... that's pretty maddening
unless you are EGM obviously