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Randy Pitchford only has time for Colonial Marines praise, [losing money on Aliens]

Wickerbasket

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Jul 16, 2009
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Or you know... come up with better contracts that don't allow this sort of company behavior?

2K and Ubisoft seemed to make out just fine with them...
You're right, SEGA should never have let it go this far. They were far too trusting with their money, maybe even naive, as they usually work with competent developers for the most part. They should have cut their losses when they saw how shit a job Gearbox was doing.

They've learnt a tough lesson and I'm sure they'll be more careful in future.

I'm hoping other publishers see what Gearbox have done though and avoid them in the future.
 

Forsaken82

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Oct 9, 2010
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You're right, SEGA should never have let it go this far. They were far too trusting with their money, maybe even naive, as they usually work with competent developers for the most part. They should have cut their losses when they saw how shit a job Gearbox was doing.

They've learnt a tough lesson and I'm sure they'll be more careful in future.

I'm hoping other publishers see what Gearbox have done though and avoid them in the future.
So you are hoping publishers see the success of Borderlands and avoid them in the future? 2K get out while you can!
 

Adam Blue

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First off, gearbox released at least 3 BiA titles under Ubisoft, where were Ubisoft's complaints then when the games seemed have both critical and commercial success?

Secondly, unless you have proof that Ubisoft dumped their BiA contract because of shady company dealings, than I am not sure you can even make this argument. That being said, the last I heard, Furious 4 was still in development, just no longer a BiA game.
Your secondly could be applied to your first. Gearbox may have been more competent then and the Borderlands success got to management? Also, the word is that F4 has gone through some drastic changes, but we don't know the before or after.

Bottom line is we know very little, except that Aliens is poor, and Sega did a great job getting Aliens: Infestation out there, so the argument doesn't work in Gearbox's favor, as much as you try.
 

Forsaken82

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Your secondly could be applied to your first. Gearbox may have been more competent then and the Borderlands success got to management? Also, the word is that F4 has gone through some drastic changes, but we don't know the before or after.

Bottom line is we know very little, except that Aliens is poor, and Sega did a great job getting Aliens: Infestation out there, so the argument doesn't work in Gearbox's favor, as much as you try.
Like i said, last I heard, it was still in development, just not as a BiA game. Not really sure what Aliens: infestation has to do with this entire argument however. Are you trying to say that Sega knew that there were issues with development on A:CM back in 2010 and decided to make a DS game to take its place in 2011 and still didn't say shit about A:CM until AFTER its release in 2013?

I do agree with you though, no one outside of Sega, Gearbox and perhaps the other studios involved in A:CM know the specifics behind what went on. We can speculate all we want but it won't mean shit until someone comes out and flat out says, heres what happens.

It can go one of 2 ways. Gearbox took advantage of a poorly written contract and Sega says fuck you and never works with them again, or Sega has a huge lawsuit on there hands, that I can't possibly see them losing. I like to be objective until I know facts.
 

CrankyKong

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Jim seems pretty embarrassed for having gone to gearbox and done a preview of the game.
He doesn't like knowing that he might have contributed to people thinking the game would be like the demo.
 

DeVeAn

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Feb 4, 2009
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I was following him but, fuck that. Don't be mean or I will block you? Get lost. I hope they get exposed more because this kind of stuff needs to stop. No more fucked up game for the love of game gods.
 

ezekielpacman

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Sep 29, 2009
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Basically, "We will use Aliens: Colonial Marines as a learning experience and move on from it" and "We're not making a profit on this game".

Both are which are questionable statements in their legitimacy.
Indeed. Even though I know Duke was a festering mess when they picked it up, this just seems a little bit too coincidental. I mean, they've effectively released the two most egregious examples of expectation falling sensationally short of reality this generation. Maybe they should buy Last Guardian off Sony to make it a hat trick.
 

Clear

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Feb 2, 2009
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Donutta said:
Stealing from the stupid doesn't make it any less deplorable.
Its just business, man! What kind of manager just assumes work is being done? And signs off on payments for it blindly? If they are that fundamentally incompetent and disinterested what makes you think they aren't equally useless in other areas? Areas that, you know, might actively impact the smooth development of a title...

Honestly, the degree to which people are bending reality in order to blame Gearbox for everything here really is something to behold. Sega is being personified as some kind of doddering codger outwitted by delinquent Randy and his gang of crafty dodgers...

/facepalm

Clearly Gearbox aren't so thoroughly useless that they can't get a quality FPS out in a timely fashion (evidenced by 2 Borderlands titles), yet suddenly they turn to shit when dealing with Sega... hmmm...
 

Truant

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Apr 23, 2007
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Gearbox: We used one of the most beloved and sought-after franchises in the world to learn how not to make games!
 

Wickerbasket

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Clearly Gearbox aren't so thoroughly useless that they can't get a quality FPS out in a timely fashion (evidenced by 2 Borderlands titles), yet suddenly they turn to shit when dealing with Sega... hmmm...
That actually makes Gearbox look worse. They have the talent to put out a good game, but, instead, decided to con Sega out of as much money as possible while delivering a sub standard product. They can't even use lack of talent or technical abilities as an excuse, they're just thieves.

Shame on SEGA for their poor management though. They should never have let Gearbox take advantage of their good will.
 

thesolidshark

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Jan 20, 2013
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Its just business, man! What kind of manager just assumes work is being done? And signs off on payments for it blindly? If they are that fundamentally incompetent and disinterested what makes you think they aren't equally useless in other areas? Areas that, you know, might actively impact the smooth development of a title...

Honestly, the degree to which people are bending reality in order to blame Gearbox for everything here really is something to behold. Sega is being personified as some kind of doddering codger outwitted by delinquent Randy and his gang of crafty dodgers...

/facepalm

Clearly Gearbox aren't so thoroughly useless that they can't get a quality FPS out in a timely fashion (evidenced by 2 Borderlands titles), yet suddenly they turn to shit when dealing with Sega... hmmm...
The bolded I can easily accept, after everything that's gone down. If you really think Sega is at fault the most, you can not buy anymore games they publish while probably me and others avoid Gearbox.

Only thing I was interested in in regards to Gearbox was Aliens:CM. The way people talk about Borderlands, I can see there a competent developer on some level, but I'm pissed that Aliens of all titles had to come out the worst, especially when Aliens if done right (or at the very least by the standards of the very-toted demo), their profit and reputation might've gone even higher than before.

Now...?

And between AVP2010 and Aliens: Infestation, for me, 2 out of three ain't bad in Sega's corner, as an Alien franchise fan. Meanwhile, Gearbox seems 0 for 1.


Randy Pitchford = Carter Burke (screwing people over for a percentage)
I don't know why, but the first part of Clear's post seems Burke-ish too.

"It's just business!" What happened to the "We're all fans of Aliens"?
 

ezekielpacman

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Sep 29, 2009
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Its just business, man! What kind of manager just assumes work is being done? And signs off on payments for it blindly? If they are that fundamentally incompetent and disinterested what makes you think they aren't equally useless in other areas? Areas that, you know, might actively impact the smooth development of a title...

Honestly, the degree to which people are bending reality in order to blame Gearbox for everything here really is something to behold. Sega is being personified as some kind of doddering codger outwitted by delinquent Randy and his gang of crafty dodgers...

/facepalm

Clearly Gearbox aren't so thoroughly useless that they can't get a quality FPS out in a timely fashion (evidenced by 2 Borderlands titles), yet suddenly they turn to shit when dealing with Sega... hmmm...
What evidence do we have that Sega have anything notable to do with this turning out shit? The only info I can find is the flaky reddit stuff around Gearbox working on Borderlands 2 and outsourcing.

If you mean that Sega should have allowed another extension after what sounds like a significant number already... well "it's just business man".
 

Wickerbasket

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What evidence do we have that Sega have anything notable to do with this turning out shit? The only info I can find is the flaky reddit stuff around Gearbox working on Borderlands 2 and outsourcing.

If you mean that Sega should have allowed another extension after what sounds like a significant number already... well "it's just business man".
I think he means Sega should have cancelled the project once they realised how inept Gearbox were.

I kind of agree, Sega should have been more watchful over the steaming shit Gearbox created.
 

GolazoDan

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Huh, Pitchford seemed like such a nice guy when people generally seemed to like his company's games. Twitter's really useful for exposing the "celebrities" with the thinnest skin.
 

plagiarize

Banned
May 24, 2006
41,133
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I haven't bought a Gearbox game since Duke Nukem Forever, and I don't think I'm going to again any time soon. I've bought three games from them. Their barely competent Halo PC port and Opposing Forces (as part of a massive game bundle... I don't like it). I'm immune to the addiction mechanics of games like Borderlands, so this is no problem for me.

If Randy leaves and someone else takes over, I will take them off my shit list.
 

NotLiquid

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If this is true, how did Sega not pull the plug on Gearbox and/or this title once this happened? How did they give the reigns back to Gearbox and manage to let Colonial Marines slip so low under the radar?

Gearbox have been rightfully painted like complete twats at this point but Sega's actions throughout this entire ordeal have just baffled me. The quality control and funding they put into this seems rather irresponsible. Were they really that desperate and convinced that this game would go anywhere without their involvement in what is supposed to be one of their "big" game franchises?
 

thumb

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Jun 17, 2012
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Huh, Pitchford seemed like such a nice guy when people generally seemed to like his company's games. Twitter's really useful for exposing the "celebrities" with the thinnest skin.
It really is fine to filter one's personal twitter account to only friends or friendly people. But if you use that account to communicate official company positions/information, it becomes less defensible. I don't think Randy needs to tolerate harassment, but he also needs to understand that people are upset, and that blocking journalists is not a good move.
 

Donnie

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Mar 24, 2005
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Even if you like Aliens: Colonial Marines, it's undeniable something went wrong with its development, and Gearbox needs to tell people why they allowed customers to keep believing the game looked much better than it actually did.
Are they serious? These people are trying to sell a product. Does anyone really expect to hear Gearbox say "well development isn't going well at the moment, looks like the game might end up being crap so if I were a gamer I'd give it a miss"??

By all means don't trust a word he says in the future (or dont trust Gearbox's ability to design games in future, as a PR guy for any company would do as Pitchford has done). But why are people acting upset like Mr Pitchford is their friend who let them down and now needs to explain himself?, its utterly ridiculous.
 

bishoptl

Banstick Emeritus
Jun 6, 2004
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Borderlands is a mish-mash of references to other video games, movies, and pop-culture. Whatever the value of this approach, that is its MO. One of the properties Borderlands alludes to is Code Hunters, both in art style and opening cinematic. I find this no more offensive than if the opening shots of Borderlands were taken from the original Star Wars. The intent is to reference a broad base of media that the developers enjoy and think can be remixed into something different.
The argument being made is that the Code Hunters-esque art direction was much more than an "homage" to the original.

In fact that it was a wholesale rip-off, especially when taking into consideration that the original creator was approached to work with GBX, then dumped while his art remained.

So no, I don't think your analogy applies here.
 

BigDug13

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Dec 20, 2006
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Are they serious? These people are trying to sell a product. Does anyone really expect to hear Gearbox say "well development isn't going well at the moment, looks like the game might end up being crap so if I were a gamer I'd give it a miss"?? Why are people acting upset like Mr Pitchford is their friend and let them down?, its utterly ridiculous.
Would it have been any worse than what actually happened, where they showed a fake demo to drum up preview praise and preorder sales, then proceeded to release a poor quality game under the Gearbox label, doing irreparable harm to their company reputation?

Game should have been pushed back again. When it wasn't because SEGA didn't want to wait any longer, Gearbox scrambled to throw other people under the bus by doing something they normally do not do, slapping the outsourced companies names in the opening intro.
 

Etnos

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Oct 21, 2012
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Randy Pitchford and George Broussard are man-child buffoons better suited to be a used car salesman. Anachronistic relics of the 90s game dev mindset.
 

Donnie

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Would it have been any worse than what actually happened, where they showed a fake demo to drum up preview praise and preorder sales, then proceeded to release a poor quality game under the Gearbox label, doing irreparable harm to their company reputation?

Game should have been pushed back again. When it wasn't because SEGA didn't want to wait any longer, Gearbox scrambled to throw other people under the bus by doing something they normally do not do, slapping the outsourced companies names in the opening intro.
The article didnt mention a fake demo. If he actively participated in showing off a demo that was deliberately faked then that does need to be explained for the sake of the company itself. As far as his general praise for the game pre-release (which is what I thought this article was referring to), well that doesnt.
 

Nekofrog

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Nov 3, 2007
13,587
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I honestly believe that until near the end, SEGA had been actively deceived by GearBox. If they could create an entire fake demo, they could certainly bait and switch milestones when needed. I'm guessing SEGA finally caught on after 6 years and said "now or litigation".
 

~Kinggi~

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Oct 22, 2006
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This wont go well for Randy. Idiot.

But really folks, when your DICE speech is doing a magic trick, that should tell you something about the misdirection employed with ACM
 

gabbo

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Jun 25, 2011
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Randy Pitchford and George Broussard are man-child buffoons better suited to be a used car salesman. Anachronistic relics of the 90s game dev mindset.
The situations aren't even remotely the same, so why throw Broussard under the bus here?
 

Jedi2016

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I honestly believe that until near the end, SEGA had been actively deceived by GearBox. If they could create an entire fake demo, they could certainly bait and switch milestones when needed. I'm guessing SEGA finally caught on after 6 years and said "now or litigation".
At this point, I'd be surprised if there wasn't some form of litigation anyway. If Sega can prove that GBX was actually funneling ACM money to Borderlands, that's an easy breach of contract, regardless of whether they eventually shipped the game that they were contracted for.

But I wonder there will be any real fallout from this, or whether it'll all just blow away in a couple years, and things will just keep on as they're going.
 

Ace Harding

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Man, what a great example of how the tides of popular opinion can change so quickly on a developer.

I've said this elsewhere, but Gearbox better have something up their sleeves if they want to avoid a monumental fall from grace. Borderlands 3 will sell, but I don't know how sustainable it will be to ride on the popularity of that franchise alone. Without BL, they have a terrible track record.

Will they be a one-IP wonder?
 

Dram

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Jun 21, 2004
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Have there been any other video game incidents, similar to what Gearbox is being accused of? I.e. Using Sega's money on other projects? Were those companies sued?
 

FateBreaker

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So you are hoping publishers see the success of Borderlands and avoid them in the future? 2K get out while you can!
Who said anything about Borderlands? He was talking about Aliens, and he's absolutely right. This whole Aliens fiasco has tainted their name. It's one thing to have a bad game every once in a while -- not a big deal -- it's another to have inexplicable reactions and behavior towards it.
 

wrowa

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Eh, this is a bad story for them, but not terrible.

Sega probably won't work with them again unless they can really put the whip to them, but most publishers are probably going to assume they are getting a Borderlands and not a Colonial Marines.
Can't say I agree with this. Publishers, especially in this day and age, hate to take any kind of risks and even though rumors are rumors it would be naive to assume that these didn't reach the ears of all major publishers. Why would you trust a company with millions when there are nasty rumors around about said studio using publisher money to fund other, unrelated projects? Stuff like this makes everyone cautious and it's not like there aren't any alternatives to Gearbox.

My stance: Most publishers at this point won't expect another Borderland, but that Gearbox accepts their contract when 90% of the company is actually busy with the development of Borderlands 3 and incapable to work on something else at the same time. Gearbox' resume is getting increasingly worse: While both Borderlands were very successful, both Duke Nukem and Aliens were bad and then there's the mysteriously lost Brothers in Arms project. It doesn't take much for people to expect that BiA faced a pretty similar situation to Aliens -- with the difference that Sega stood back and watched while Ubisoft pulled the plug.
 

Revven

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Jul 24, 2011
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The article didnt mention a fake demo. If he actively participated in showing off a demo that was deliberately faked then that does need to be explained for the sake of the company itself. As far as his general praise for the game pre-release (which is what I thought this article was referring to), well that doesnt.
They showed off the E3 demo at every preview event for journalists as well as PAX acting as if it would represent the final product. Not to mention they still use the demo screenshots to advertise this game post-release on some websites.

It was a faked demo.
 

Forsaken82

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Oct 9, 2010
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Who said anything about Borderlands? He was talking about Aliens, and he's absolutely right. This whole Aliens fiasco has tainted their name. It's one thing to have a bad game every once in a while -- not a big deal -- it's another to have inexplicable reactions and behavior towards it.
Clearly you missed the comment I quoted.

He said:

I'm hoping other publishers see what Gearbox have done though and avoid them in the future.
I in turn responded with

So you are hoping publishers see the success of Borderlands and avoid them in the future? 2K get out while you can!
in reference to 2K being one of the "other publishers" that work with Gearbox and have seen what they have done with "Borderlands", a highly successful franchise both Critcally and commercially.

So as you can see, the comment I quoted had NOTHING to do with A:CM, and everything to do with Gearbox and there relationship with publishers. Let me know if you still can't figure out the context of the post, because the person I quoted was able to, and his repsonse made sense.
 
Nov 20, 2008
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You're only as good as your latest release.
you're really not. people are still playing Borderlands 2 and having a great time. it's not like they are going to play this game and then burn their copy of BL2 in the fireplace. as long as they keep releasing DLC and tiding users over a bit the A:CM thing will blow over as far as Gearbox's reputation with the majority of their users is concerned.
 

Yasae

Banned
Jan 1, 2009
7,109
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The argument being made is that the Code Hunters-esque art direction was much more than an "homage" to the original.

In fact that it was a wholesale rip-off, especially when taking into consideration that the original creator was approached to work with GBX, then dumped while his art remained.

So no, I don't think your analogy applies here.
Christ, so he couldn't even sue. He would've won, too. This company is looking continually more scummy.
 

thumb

Banned
Jun 17, 2012
1,513
0
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Christ, so he couldn't even sue. He would've won, too. This company is looking continually more scummy.
There's a part of this story that is missing information. Bisoptl's post makes it sound like the artist submitted work to gearbox, or was working with them in some official capacity. Instead, they had conversations about the artist directing some cut scenes. That's all he says in the interview. So they didn't "dump him" in any formal sense (he wasn't employed) and his art didn't "remain" (he never submitted any).

Of course, we don't know all the details. But using someone's artstyle and making allusions to their work is not illegal. There would be nothing to sue over.
 

Wickerbasket

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in reference to 2K being one of the "other publishers" that work with Gearbox and have seen what they have done with "Borderlands", a highly successful franchise both Critcally and commercially.

So as you can see, the comment I quoted had NOTHING to do with A:CM, and everything to do with Gearbox and there relationship with publishers. Let me know if you still can't figure out the context of the post, because the person I quoted was able to, and his repsonse made sense.
Context is important; the text before what you quoted was about Aliens and Gearbox scamming SEGA. So it has EVERYTHING to do with A:CM.

I was talking about the situation they've created with their Aliens fuck up and how other publishers won't be likely to deal with them anymore.

I'm sure 2K will still want to publish the next Borderlands, but which other publisher would be stupid enough to trust them with their money after this?
 

HK-47

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Oct 24, 2007
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you're really not. people are still playing Borderlands 2 and having a great time. it's not like they are going to play this game and then burn their copy of BL2 in the fireplace. as long as they keep releasing DLC and tiding users over a bit the A:CM thing will blow over as far as Gearbox's reputation with the majority of their users is concerned.
You mean outsourcing DLC, and it shows.
 

Wickerbasket

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"Makes it sound like" is not the same claim as "said explicitly". I was trying to correct potential mis-interpretations.
BH: I was contacted by Gearbox prior to the re-design of the game – in 2008. They asked me if I would be interested to direct/design some cut-scenes for them. We exchanged a few emails but the project didn’t materialize in the end. I didn’t think much of it at the time – until I saw the final game in 2009.

MC: How did you feel when you saw what clearly looks like your ideas and design style being used in the game after they said the project that you [would have] been working on would be scrapped?

BH: To be absolutely clear – I have never created or designed anything for Gearbox or Borderlands. Gearbox saw my work and decided to reproduce it – make it their own – without my help or my consent. The hardest part for me when this happened was understanding why they wouldn’t ask me directly. We were already talking about doing some work together – it made no sense.

MC: I know it’s been a long time since then but Gearbox is still making Borderlands and it seems there’s plans to continue the series all while continuing to use an art style that’s been credited to Martel as an 11th hour stroke of genius. How do you feel about it now?

BH: I always think of the talented team of artists working at Gearbox – who could have created something original and bespoke instead of copying someone else’s short film… and I feel bad for them.
http://www.gatheryourparty.com/articles/2012/11/12/pound-of-flesh/

That's about as accurate as it gets really. Hope that clears up any misinterpretations.
 

mujun

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Dec 5, 2008
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This sucks. I really love Borderlands and like Brother's in Arms. Randy also seems like a cool guy, especially when I heard him on the Side Mission podcast.

That being said this shit is really shady. I can understand the silence (though, I don't like it), I'm sure he wants to avoid negative press for the game so soon after its release as it would impact sales. The twitter stuff is crazy, though. If it is as the OP describes it is not only blatant but really poor form. The type of shit that causes people to take a stand and never purchase from said company again.
 

Cheddahz

Banned
Aug 10, 2011
14,096
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Well... it seems like I've tricked him then! Hopefully he'll add me to the Borderlands 3 cast