We reported the other day how both SEGA and Gearbox had been sued, not by another company, but by someone who bought Aliens: Colonial Marines and was not happy with the final product. Now, from a consumer’s standpoint, the lawsuit does sort of seem justified – as the demonstrations which Gearbox showed off at various exhibitions and events looked and seemed to play alot better than the final retail version.
However, from a developer/publisher’s standpoint the lawsuit is somewhat asinine, with is what both SEGA and Gearbox seem to think. Both companies left comments with Kotaku today, stating:
“SEGA cannot comment on specifics of ongoing litigation, but we are confident that the lawsuit is without merit and we will defend it vigorously,” SEGA told Kotaku.
Gearbox commented: “Attempting to wring a class action lawsuit out of a demonstration is beyond meritless. We continue to support the game, and will defend the rights of entertainers to share their works-in-progress without fear of frivolous litigation.”
This whole lawsuit thing is a bit of a grey area. One the one hand, yes – the ‘advertised’ product did not end up being what consumers were expecting. The game definitely looked and played better in the E3 and PAX demonstrations.
But, from the perspective of developers and publishers – they cannot guarantee the final results of a product from what they initially show. So many things can happen during development and Aliens: CM is certainly not the first game to change dramatically during development and I highly doubt it will be the last.