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SimCity, Colonial Marines, and The Silence  photo
SimCity, Colonial Marines, and The Silence
by Jim Sterling

Recently, John Walker at Rock, Paper, Shotgun wrote a compelling article on SimCity, and how Electronic Arts' maintenance of radio silence has demonstrated total effectiveness in getting everybody to shut up. The basic argument is that any controversy can be sufficiently buried, provided those involved keep their lips glued and wait for the media to wander off bored. 

"Silence is a powerful weapon in the industry," Walker wrote. "The mad truth is, when it comes to gaming controversies, if you ignore it it will go away. This article is a fairly futile attempt to not let it, and to make sure our readers know that EA and Maxis never spoke to us, never responded to any of our questions, and never sent so much as a statement."

This is, sadly, a very stark reality in the game industry. No matter how badly a publisher screws its customers, no matter how controversial a game release, all a company has to do is close ranks and hold a phalanx position until the attackers stop poking -- and they will

Being indignant, no matter how righteously, is a game of diminishing returns, one that always ends in silence. 

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12:45 PM on 04.05.2013

Aliens: Colonial Marines Wii U canceled

Those of you left caring may have noticed Aliens: Colonial Marines missed its Wii U release launch window. There's a very good reason for that -- SEGA finally decided to shoot the lame dog in the head, and has quietly cancele...

Jim Sterling

8:00 AM on 04.03.2013

SEGA admits Colonial Marines trailers are unreflective

Following an upheld complaint with the UK's Advertising Standards Authority, SEGA Europe has admitted that trailers for Aliens: Colonial Marines do not reflect the game's final (shoddy) content.  The complaint was upheld...

Jim Sterling

8:30 PM on 03.22.2013

Aliens vs. Predator Evolution gameplay demonstrated

Aliens vs. Predator: Evolution has been out on Android and iOS devices for a little while now, but a new dev diary video going over gameplay mechanics and the abilities of the Xenomorph and Predator characters has arriv...

Conrad Zimmerman

10:15 AM on 03.21.2013

Aliens: Colonial Marines 360/PS3 update released

I'm sorry, dear readers. I've still not "gotten over" Aliens: Colonial Marines. After a set period of time, gamers tend to get aggressively apathetic over certain situations, and seem to grow angry if someone else isn't as re...

Jim Sterling

8:30 AM on 03.20.2013

Aliens: Colonial Marines 'Bug Hunt' DLC out now

Aliens: Colonial Marines' long-awaited (haha) "Bug Hunt" downloadable content is now available on Steam, Xbox Live, and PlayStation Network. It's a wave-based survival mode that, given the general brevity of the game's hyped ...

Jim Sterling





6:00 PM on 03.19.2013

4GB Aliens: Colonial Marines patch available for PC

Gearbox continues to demonstrate that, contrary to popular idioms, you can actually polish a turd. Aliens: Colonial Marines is being made shinier -- but no less stinkier -- in a 4GB PC patch that improves textures, A.I. behav...

Jim Sterling



Review: Alien vs. Predator: Evolution photo
Review: Alien vs. Predator: Evolution
by Jim Sterling

When the makers of Alien vs. Predator: Evolution saw the negative press and subsequent fallout regarding Aliens: Colonial Marines, they must have laughed. I imagine them bellowing obnoxiously, roaring their gleeful approval that no matter what their game will be like, there's no way it could be considered anywhere near as bad. 

Sadly, these hypothetical developers are wholly mistaken. Evolution is ironically titled, as backward and inefficient as it is. It manages to do the seemingly impossible and rival Colonial Marines in its awfulness. Just when Aliens fans thought things could only get better, along comes Angry Mob Games to demonstrate that, no, the franchise isn't done being pissed on yet. 

In fact, the flood's only just begun. 

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Developer on why Aliens' E3 demo was better than game photo
Developer on why Aliens' E3 demo was better than game
by Allistair Pinsof

That Aliens: Colonial Marines E3 demo sure was neat, but you know what wasn't neat? The actual game. According to an anonymous source that spoke with Kotaku, this was always going to be the case since the demo ran on hardware that far outmatched the power of current gen consoles.

"We were told many times through demo production, 'Don't worry about performance, just make it awesome,'" said Kotaku's mysterious source. "There was a reason [the demos] were never playable."

According to Kotaku, the E3 demo was built by TimeGate with animation by Gearbox and it ran in real time. Due to budgeting and the realities of current gen hardware, the development team (jury is still out on who exactly that is; TimeGate or Gearbox) had to cut back on visuals for the final product and don't the results show:

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Anonymous whistle blower claims Gearbox stole from SEGA photo
Anonymous whistle blower claims Gearbox stole from SEGA
by Jim Sterling

[Update: Just to make it clear, I have been able to corroborate the basic information presented by "Danielson," not his more editorialized opinions. I can't back his claims of "embezzlement" -- likely more an emotional response on his part than anything else. I cannot vouch for the blogger firsthand, only the information I've been able to double check with my trusted sources -- chiefly that Gearbox had at least tried to present SEGA an unfavorable contract, the game was slated for cancellation and later resurrected, and that Gearbox was not fully truthful with the publisher on how much work it was putting into Aliens. Naturally, with no official word, this is all still just off-record stuff until someone can actually explain something publicly.

After chatting with some developers from various studios, I've edited the headline to be more clear, and am adding this update.]

An anonymous writer, who has been regularly spilling details from within SEGA on the blog SEGA Awakens, has addressed the ongoing Aliens: Colonial Marines saga, adding fresh perspective and blaming SEGA, TimeGate, and Gearbox in different ways. Mostly Gearbox, though. 

I've independently corroborated the blogger's information using my own resources, which is why I'm confident enough to share his rather valuable insight. In his blog, the man writing under the alias "Bryan Danielson" states that the torrent of rumors following Colonial Marines' release are "99% true," but wished to correctly apportion the blame. 

In an engrossing read, the writer separated the culpability of the three main entities involved, detailing exactly how SEGA, TimeGate, and Gearbox messed up. He begins with TimeGate, the studio rumored to be responsible for most of Aliens' development under Gearbox's command.

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9:00 AM on 02.21.2013

TimeGate resumes show a LOT of Colonial Marines work

The Aliens community has been digging hard to get to the bottom of the ever-winding Aliens: Colonial Marines story. The latest development involves the unearthing of a number of resumes attributed to TimeGate employees, revea...

Jim Sterling

12:30 AM on 02.21.2013

Previewing a Crysis on Infinite Universes

Had your fill of all the Sony news? If so, awesome, because we recorded this episode of Office Chat before any of that could happen! In this conversation from Destructoid's news room, Jim Sterling, Jordan Devore and I someho...

Conrad Zimmerman



Developer: Gearbox lied to SEGA, 2K over Colonial Marines photo
Developer: Gearbox lied to SEGA, 2K over Colonial Marines
by Jim Sterling

It's fair to say the Aliens: Colonial Marines story has been a fascinating one. From the years of hype, to the negative reviews, to the later confusion over who actually developed the game, there's a lot of mystery and controversy afoot. Here's Destructoid to add a little more.

We've recently been chatting with a developer who -- as you might have guessed -- wishes to remain anonymous. Under this condition, he agreed to let us publish the things he's witnessed personally and learned from fellow project members in the time he spent working on Colonial Marines

Our man was involved with the game only briefly, between 2007 and 2008, but in just that short time he had some interesting reading for us. If his words are indeed to be believed, they further fuel the suggestion that Colonial Marines was increasingly sidelined for more "important" projects. 

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12:15 PM on 02.19.2013

Gearbox 'looking at' an explanation for Colonial Marines

After breaking his radio silence this morning to respond to lots of praise for Aliens: Colonial Marines, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford went on a bit of a blocking spree, cold-shouldering yours truly and a number of other people...

Jim Sterling

6:20 AM on 02.19.2013

Randy Pitchford has only time for Colonial Marines praise

While the Internet at large still waits for Randy Pitchford -- or anybody -- from Gearbox to come clean and explain what went wrong with Aliens: Colonial Marines, the studio CEO has decided his best course of action is t...

Jim Sterling



Co-op and horror don't work together in Dead Space 3 photo
Co-op and horror don't work together in Dead Space 3
by Taylor Stein

The room is dark, cold, and unusually calm. The once bare walkways are now riddled with blood and severed limbs. In the distance, a faint hum can be heard echoing throughout the metal encampment. Its repetition is a solid reminder that you are alone. A solitary light flickers in the corner, and shadows crisscross the floor. You take a step forward. Then pause. After a brief intermission your pace continues. With another wary stride you've nearly traversed the makeshift graveyard. As tensions begin to lift, the door beckons you to embrace its promise of safety.

Apprehension shifts to resolution, and you make a quick dash for the exit. In a split second, the uneasy stillness is transformed into utter chaos. Mangled bodies emerge from the vents above and behind, cutting off your escape. You are surrounded and a flurry of trigger-pulls will not save you. Just as all is lost, as waves of red pulse around the corners of the screen, your friend who has been too busy texting the whole time, picks up the controller and easily trumps the creatures encroaching on your position. Phew, lucky there were two of us.

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