Gearbox Software claims innocence in Aliens lawsuit

Gearbox Software has claimed that it was hurt by Aliens: Colonial Marines too, as it launches its defence against a class-action lawsuit.

The lawsuit focusses on the way Aliens: Colonial Marines was shown off at trade and consumer events, claiming that Gearbox falsely advertised the game.

Gearbox, on the other hand, claims it should never have been named in the lawsuit, because the allegations surround marketing and promotional activities, which were handled by Sega and not the developer.

Gearbox never belonged in this lawsuit. Gearbox is a video game software developer. It was neither the publisher nor seller of the video game at issue. For more than a year, Gearbox has quietly abided the plaintiffs’ claims so that Sega, the game’s publisher and the party responsible for the game’s marketing and sale, could assume the defense of this lawsuit. Gearbox has honored its publisher’s request in spite of plaintiffs’ highly-publicized-and highly-misplaced-claims against Gearbox. At this point, however, Gearbox is obligated to pursue its rightful departure from this case.

Gearbox stands accused of creating its own engine just for pre-release demonstrations, something the studio fervently denies.

The developer goes on to say that it sank millions of dollars into the project, and has not seen a cent since.

During the development process, Gearbox supplemented Sega’s development budget with its own money to help Sega finish its game; Gearbox’s contribution to A:CM totaled millions, none of which was ever repaid.

Gearbox allegedly also has not seen any money from gamers who bought Aliens: Colonial Marines, or royalties on those sales from Sega.

Apparently, Sega paid Gearbox contractual milestone payments throughout development, but when the game failed to meet contractual sales targets, no further payments were triggered.

Regarding the lawsuit as a whole: Sega and plaintiffs were reportedly close to reaching a resolution (which would have dropped Gearbox from the case), but one of the plaintiffs could not be found. Turns out he’s in jail on unrelated charges, and unable to take part in the lawsuit. If he is dropped (as requested by attorneys), the case may lose its class action status. The suit continues.

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