Before SEGA and Gearbox Software released Aliens: Colonial Marines, many gamers were under the impression they would finally be able to experience the definitive first-person shooter treatment that the iconic science fiction franchise deserved. However, due to myriad problems such as a poor story, bad graphics, and clunky gameplay, even SEGA owned up to the game’s trailers being false advertising. In fact, the launch for Aliens: Colonial Marines was such a failure that it resulted in a legal dispute between SEGA and Gearbox Software, as the former filed a lawsuit against the latter claiming the developer didn’t put enough effort into the FPS before release.
Even though the proceedings for Aliens: Colonial Marines became rather lengthy, with additional complaints being filed to say the title’s trailers were intentionally misleading, Gearbox Software eventually got their name dropped from the lawsuit on the condition that they wouldn’t seek legal fees. However, a judge ruled that the case still has the potential to make it to court, but not as a class-action lawsuit. With so much drama surrounding what Game Rant dubbed one of the biggest video game disappointments of 2013, Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford makes the situation even more depressing by claiming he invested $10 million of his own money into Aliens: Colonial Marines, and lost it all.
The figure was revealed by Pitchford today during a contentious Twitter debate in which the Gearbox CEO stepped up to defend Aliens: Colonial Marines, saying “The game actually changed for the better in tons of ways. IMO, the never demo’d areas are among [the] best and I like the meta game.” Pitchford also adds that the game needed to move 3 million units just to climb above the red margins, but it only shipped 1.3 million, ultimately making the title a flop.
In response to some of his comments, Twitter users go on to argue that Pitchford is lying about certain assertions he made in the past, contending that he purposefully “misused funds” and “outsourced large chunks of the game”. Making a case for himself, the Gearbox GEO says such views are “not true” and “hurtful and unhelpful”.
While it’s possible that Pitchford’s claims may be inaccurate, it makes one wonder why he even engaged in the online flame war at all, especially after escaping a high-profile legal battle regarding the matter. Truthfully, he should know that he doesn’t have to answer to Twitter users, of all people.
Should one wish to wade through the full “discussion”, head on over to Pitchford’s Twitter page, as he has a lot to say on the issue. At any rate, the lesson here should be clear to everyone: Don’t feed the trolls.
Aliens: Colonial Marines is available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.