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Aliens: Colonial Marines

Randy Pitchford photo
Randy Pitchford

Randy Pitchford on Gearbox's success: 'some people are sadists'


'A less sophisticated mind'
Jul 16
// Chris Carter
"You may know us from such quality games as Aliens Colonial Marines," Randy Pitchford opened with during his keynote at the Develop conference in Brighton. Oh boy. Pitchford goes on in his speech to boast of the accompli...
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#AssCandy

Did they think an open Twitter Q&A for Randy Pitchford would go well?


#AskRandy
Jul 14
// Steven Hansen
This morning, the Develop Conference tweeted, "Question for @DuvalMagic [Gearbox's Randy Pitchford]? tweet us and we'll put the question to him for the Q&A. Use the hashtag #askrandy." Unfortunately for Develop, people on...
Pitchford interview photo
Pitchford interview

Pitchford: Fans wrong to sue Gearbox over Aliens: Colonial Marines


Also talks why the game failed
Jul 10
// Brett Makedonski
Gearbox Software's 2013 Aliens: Colonial Marines is possibly the best recent example of a game gone completely awry. The reception was almost universally negative from fans and critics alike. The pre-release footage was ...
AVP 2010 photo
AVP 2010

Aliens: Colonial Marines and AVP 2010 are back on Steam after a snafu


The former could have stayed off
Jan 09
// Chris Carter
Last week, Steam removed Aliens: Colonial Marines and Alien vs. Predator 2010. Speculation arose as to why it happened -- was it because of all the Colonial Marines drama at Gearbox in the past, or is it because of ...

Aliens: Colonial Marines photo
Aliens: Colonial Marines

Sega outs Gearbox for lying in Aliens: Colonial Marines case


The plot thickens
Sep 04
// Brittany Vincent
Sega has released a statement placing the majority of the blame for the misrepresentation of Aliens: Colonial Marines to customers firmly on Gearbox, especially Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford. Sega has alleged that Gearbox did i...
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Aliens: Colonial Marines

Sega agrees to settle in Aliens: Colonial Marines lawsuit


Gearbox found crying by the toilet talking about how 'no one understands art'
Aug 13
// Brittany Vincent
Sega of America has tentatively agreed to pay out $1.25 million to settle a class-action suit brought against it and Gearbox Software that claimed the two companies falsely advertised Aliens: Colonial Marines by using fake ga...
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Gearbox

Gearbox thinks it should be dropped from the Aliens: Colonial Marines lawsuit


Gearbox throws Sega under the bus
Aug 01
// Brittany Vincent
Last year a class action lawsuit was filed against Sega and Gearbox accusing the companies that the press demo shown at E3 of Aliens: Colonial Marines was not indicative of the final product and was misleading. Gearbox has re...
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Resurrecting Aliens

What the Aliens franchise could learn from Outlast


Promoted from our Community Blogs!
Oct 23
// nickhorth1
[In light of the recent reveal of a new Alien game, I thought it appropriate to share this blog from Dtoid community member Nick Horth. Want to see your own blog appear on our front page? Go write something! --Mr Andy Dixon] ...
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Jimquisition happens every Monday!
You were promised an episode on season passes, in the wake of Jimquisition complaining about downloadable content. There is a season for all things, and that season has come to pass. Here is a nice little bit of shouting on why season passes are ridiculous, and why it would behoove you to pass up on the bloody things.

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The final part of the unthrilling saga
In the thrilling conclusion to a rubbish playthrough of a boring campaign, the noble Jim Sterling fights his way through Stasis Interrupted, fighting more Weyland Yutani mercs, having a close encounter with an alien Queen, and giving up on the last bit because it's dumb. It was going on far too long anyway.

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Hicks and his magical pants!
Lisbeth is dead, and we continue our boring journey through space with ... some other person! Witness the terror of aliens that stand around waiting to die. Be amazed by Hicks' magic pants! Feel shock at the comprehension of Weyland-Yutani's Danger Ammo!

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Jim finally gets a gun!
Hell yeah, I finally gets a gun! After the crawling and dawdling of the first part of Stasis Interrupted, the next slice of Aliens: Colonial Marines action actually gets some action! Thanks for all the watching and feedback on part one! People are really digging this, which is great. Expect more!

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Your ol' pal Sterling plays through the 'final' Colonial Marines DLC
I woke up slightly before 5am this morning and thought to myself, "You know what the world needs? Another man with an annoying voice talking to himself while playing videogames on the Internet." So it is that I sold out and ...

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Aliens: Colonial Marines 'Stasis Interrupted' out now


Find out the truth behind a stupid retcon
Jul 24
// Jim Sterling
One of the dumbest elements of Aliens: Colonial Marines was the sudden appearance of Corporal Hicks, a move that undid the canon of the movies for no real reason other than the desperate need for a recognizable character. Hic...
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At least Square Enix is honest about Colonial Marines


See that disclaimer? That's how you do it!
Jul 17
// Jim Sterling
According to our friends at Tomopop, Square Enix is working on Aliens: Colonial Marines action figures. Now, while it might be surprising that the critically mauled game is getting toys (of the Spitter and Lurker aliens), the...
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Aliens: Colonial Marines campaign DLC uncovered


World excitedly anticipates paying more money for garbage
Jul 08
// Jim Sterling
Aliens: Colonial Marines is getting downloadable campaign content in the near future, with leaked PS3 trophies revealing all. Stasis Interrupted is the name of the DLC, and it'll be part of the Season Pass some people actuall...
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Pitchford encourages Aliens: Colonial Marines PR tactics


The School of Bullshit is open to new students
Jul 01
// Jim Sterling
Randy Pitchford is far from ashamed that Aliens: Colonial Marines looked nowhere near as good in real life as it did in highly scripted showcase demos, going so far as to encourage the industry to do it more. According to the...
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Aliens: Gearbox defends its right to mislead customers


Studio lashes back at 'frivolous litigation'
May 03
// Jim Sterling
Both Gearbox and SEGA have responded to a class action suit that alleges customers were lied to during the development of Aliens: Colonial Marines. Both companies are happy to defend themselves and seem unswayed by the threat...
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Aliens: Colonial Marines gets class action suit for lies


Gearbox and SEGA targeted for misleading advertising
May 01
// Jim Sterling
SEGA and Gearbox have been slapped with a class action suit for Aliens: Colonial Marines, accused of lying about the game to get it sold. It was only a matter of time.  Edelson LLC has taken the case, which alleges that ...

SimCity, Colonial Marines, and The Silence

Apr 23 // Jim Sterling
The trouble with games media -- and indeed most news-based media -- is that it's predominantly reactionary. If there is action in the industry, the bloggers and journalists can react. Conversely, without action, there can be no reaction. During SimCity's launch, Electronic Arts and EA Maxis made all sorts of statements and promises -- activities we could react to, in order to keep the story going and add to the pressure being applied to the companies involved.  As soon as EA and Maxis keep their heads down, however, the story largely goes away, almost instantly. After all, most of the information comes directly from the companies, so if they stop giving out, there's nothing to take. A number of outlets can continue to ask for comments from these companies, but with launch period over and a reduced need for promotion, the chances of getting a response start shrinking at a rapid pace. Rock, Paper, Shotgun learned this -- it's attempted to get a comment repeatedly, but to no avail. Neither EA nor Maxis have to say anything anymore -- they had their SimCity launch, they got their money, now they just need to sit back and let the bad press shrivel into oblivion.  Aliens: Colonial Marines is another fine example. During launch, there was plenty to dig up about what I still maintain is one of the most fascinating screw-ups in recent videogame memory. At first, it was amazing to see how deep the rabbit hole went, to try and work out how six years of Gearbox time led to such an unfinished mess of a game, attempting to fathom how much of the project was outsourced to TimeGate, and who developed what. But during this time, Gearbox was largely maintaining a stonewall of silence, and even outspoken developer Randy Pitchford limited himself to a tiny handful of Twitter outbursts.  Nowadays, Pitchford spends his time retweeting positive comments about Colonial Marines, talking up the fanbase and boasting about how many people like it. As negative coverage dries up, these tactics begin to succeed, rewriting the narrative to shut out the criticism and portray a story where only positivity exists. People like me, who covered the debacle extensively, get referred to as harmful individuals, out to personally injure the studio for some vindictive agenda. This is the second major problem with covering these kinds of controversial games -- do it enough, and publishers start to paint you as a lunatic.  We saw this recently with Peter Moore, responding preemptively to its "victory" in The Consumerist's Worst Company of America competition. Moore, having already guessed EA would clinch the prize, wrote a blog demonizing EA's critics, suggesting that most people who dislike the company are homophobes angry about Mass Effect's same-sex romance, or irrational maniacs upset over certain athletes appearing on Madden box art. While EA maintains total silence over legitimate complaints -- such as knowingly launching a game that would be broken by design -- Moore pens self-serving fan fiction in which EA's raked over the coals exclusively by bigots and bedlamites.  The real kicker is, if you want to keep these stories alive, if you care about industry bullshit and feel it's too important to simply forget, you have no choice but to reinforce the publisher's narrative and look like a vindictive crackpot. After all, if publishers are staying quiet, if they're ignoring your requests for comments, what can you do? At that point, your options are limited, and mostly involve inventing new articles from whole cloth -- be it a no-news post that simply reminds people a certain problem still exists, or finding some contrived way to pen a "fresh" op-ed on things people already know about. At that point, you end up becoming the very fanatic publishers say you are.  Most writers don't want to do that. They don't want to become some raving demagogue, and I do find it hard to blame them. Some games writers want to just write about the software and blot out the seedy surroundings -- and I get that. Hell, many readers want that, and I understand it completely. In fact, if you cover a topic too many times, most readers will start a backlash, which is another issue that cripples one's ability to keep the pressure on.  A cat may love being petted, but if you do it to the point of over-stimulation, they start to bite the hand that's stroking, and no matter how passionate gamers are about a subject -- they will grow tired of it in time. It's a natural reaction, and one that I can't blame anybody for, especially in an age of information overload, where news moves quickly and no subject can stick around for long.  Once a reader has had his or her fill of a topic, the backlash begins. The shitstorm surrounding SOPA was exciting to most people for a while, but it required a lot of coverage to truly communicate how vile it was, and a lot of coverage -- in the Internet age of aggressive apathy -- is too much coverage. It didn't take long for comments to go from intrigued to lethargic, with calls for Destructoid to "let it go" and "move on" and "just go back to talking about videogames." Be it about online passes, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Electronic Arts or harmful legislation, I've been told to "get over it" more than I can adequately remember. I've gotten told to "get over" almost everything I continue to care about, and I dare say it's a familiar phrase to anybody who's talked about a certain controversial subject for a long enough amount of time. Sadly, that's exactly what publishers bank on. It's just what they're waiting for. All they have to do is batten down the hatches, erect the flame shield, and wait for the community to turn on itself, to split between those who have gotten over it, and those who need to get over it. Eventually, apathy wins, everybody gets over it, and the publisher can hype its next unfinished piece of shit, that the cycle may begin anew.  So what can be done? Nothing, probably. Just keep on keeping on. However, I do hope that those who do "get over" these things, and angrily demand others join them, understand that they're essentially a brick in the publisher's stonewall. Nobody is obligated to be angry and indignant -- I would not be so arrogant as to demand any reader or fellow writer take up arms for a cause they don't believe in, and more than likely don't think matters. However, I do ask for an understanding equal to mine -- an understanding that it's equally arrogant to demand others stop caring about something, just because you don't care. There are many who continue to give a shit about SimCity, Aliens, and all sorts of other nasty industry crap, and they're having a hard enough time keeping the discussion alive with publishers attempting to drown them out and snootily dismiss them as a "vocal minority." And that goes double for the "game journalists" of the industry. Those whose job it is to cover the industry and serve the readers, yet tell other writers to get over it, to stop whining, and to just talk about videogame press releases. Those journalists who call angry gamers "entitled" and dismiss their complaints. Those journalists who join publishers -- often publicly laughing with them -- and sneer at anybody with a criticism. You know who you are. I know who you are. And I know Electronic Arts is not your friend, no matter how much you cuddle up to them.  It should, really, go triple for publishers themselves. It should be said that they'd be best served not looking like decadent aristocrats, smugly dumping on the "vocal minority" and boasting about how much money they've made, as if raking in ill-gotten dubloons is an automatic invalidation of any complaint, rather than a fallacious use of argumentum ad populum. It should be said, but what's the point trying to squeeze blood from that stone? After all, these are the words of a lunatic from the fringe minority, who really should get over it. But won't.
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Keep your head down, then rewrite the story
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 argume...

Aliens: Colonial Marines photo
Aliens: Colonial Marines

Aliens: Colonial Marines Wii U canceled


What. A. Shock.
Apr 05
// Jim Sterling
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...
Aliens: Colonial Marines photo
Aliens: Colonial Marines

SEGA admits Colonial Marines trailers are unreflective


European branch of publisher 'fesses up
Apr 03
// Jim Sterling
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...
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Aliens: Colonial Marines 360/PS3 update released


Nope, still not 'getting over it'
Mar 21
// Jim Sterling
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...
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Aliens: Colonial Marines 'Bug Hunt' DLC out now


Extra content for this game is almost impressive in its arrogance
Mar 20
// Jim Sterling
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 ...
Aliens: Colonial Marines photo
Aliens: Colonial Marines

4GB Aliens: Colonial Marines patch available for PC


Oh man, remember this game? It wasn't very good!
Mar 19
// Jim Sterling
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...
Aliens: Colonial Marines photo
Aliens: Colonial Marines

Aliens: Colonial Marines update rolls out for Xbox 360


PS3 and PC updates are on the way too
Mar 07
// Brett Makedonski
Gearbox Software has taken steps to make its awful game slightly less awful. The studio's second update for Aliens: Colonial Marines is rolling out on Xbox 360 right now. The update covers issues and bugs found throughou...
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TimeGate layoffs

Aliens: CM co-creators TimeGate Studios hit with layoffs


As many as 25 people have been let go
Mar 04
// Patrick Hancock
TimeGate Studios, one of the development teams that worked on the poorly received Aliens: Colonial Marines, has had some of its staff laid off according to Polygon. The development of the game, its reception, and the story of...

Developer on why Aliens' E3 demo was better than game

Feb 25 // Allistair Pinsof
"We were constantly cutting back more and more in terms of texture, shader and particle fidelity, in order to fit into the jacked memory restraints," said a separate unnamed source. And that is how you go from "wow" to "2.5." From Dream To Disaster: The Story Of Aliens: Colonial Marine [Kotaku, image by VideoGamer]
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'There was a reason [the demos] were never playable.'
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...

Anonymous whistle blower claims Gearbox stole from SEGA

Feb 24 // Jim Sterling
"TimeGate is at fault for: Wanting to even take on this project and their shoddy work," Danielson wrote. "Granted, I heard about their claims about Gearbox having full creative control, but they should have tried to show their side of the argument and fight more if they had problems with Gearbox's creative control and creative direction. "Honestly, I thought they should have risked some arguments and the possibility of losing the contract, if they had problems with the project like the Reddit poster said. However, there still is a chance of their claims being a lie or a half truth, but as I said above, TimeGate has some responsibility." The whistle blower addressed the idea of TimeGate throwing out Gearbox's original project work when it took over, but could only offer speculation. The possibility is entertained that TimeGate may not have been legally allowed to use Gearbox's work, but it's also entirely possible the new studio decided to start again from scratch for some other reason. "SEGA is at fault for: Announcing the project in 2007 when no work was done at all," he continued. "In my views, a game project should be announced publicly when it is 50-60% done, so you won't have to wait 6 years for a game that turns out to be shit. "SEGA is also responsible for not permanently cancelling the game in 2008. I don't know who found out about the mishandling of funds by Gearbox, but [canceling Colonial Marines] had to be one of the few right decisions the board has done, or this person is one of the few board members who knew what they were doing (from what I heard, this person may have left the board a while ago when SEGA decided to start the project again). This game should have been cancelled permanently, and the final product is undeniable proof of it. "Despite that, I believe SEGA wanted to try to get some of the money back, at the fans' expense.  So another blame for SEGA there. SEGA should have also watched the project and development a lot better, because there was a lot of warning signs that said this was a disaster in the making. So whoever was assigned to watch Gearbox and the game has some responsibility too, unless the board was forcing him to do it. SEGA and their lawyers also have some blame on the wording of the contract too, but more on that later." The blog then moves onto the main event, addressing the involvement of Gearbox Software and its CEO, Randy Pitchford. In no uncertain terms, the studio is accused of robbing its publisher and lying to its face.  "Now here is the company that should get most of the blame: Gearbox Software and Randy Pitchford. Gearbox stole from SEGA, they robbed us, lied to us about the game, and tried to get another company to make the game instead. Let's see where the funding went shall we? Everyone said the game went to both Borderlands games, but Duke Nukem Forever gets a mention as well, but it's pushed out of the spotlight, because people want to forget about that game, and I don't blame them!  Duke Nukem Forever had a big impact on Aliens: Colonial Marines as well." A Gamasutra article was used to back up the claim. The article in question is an interview with Pitchford, in which he explains how his studio got the rights to Duke Nukem Forever.  "It clearly shows that Pitchford and Gearbox wanted to focus heavily on Duke Nukem Forever, but how would they get the money to hire some of the 3D Realms team and even buy the intellectual property? Sure, they made a lot from Borderlands, but guess where they got the money to fund Borderlands in the first place? Yup, SEGA. "So Gearbox essentially lied to SEGA, mishandled funds, broke agreements and contractual obligations to work on other projects, didn't want to work on a game they were contractually obligated to work on and gave it to another team, poor organization and direction on ACM, took on too many projects from different companies at once, and other things that we may not even know about. Hell, part of me believes that Gearbox wanted this thing delayed as much as possible so they can get more funding money to embezzle from SEGA." Danielson concludes by saying he's heard rumors of possible legal action being taken by SEGA, but admits the contract may preclude such a step from being taken. All Gearbox apparently had to do was ship the game to fulfill the agreement, which it's now done. He added that SEGA should have canceled A:CM and taken the studio to court, rather than try to make the fans pay for the investment. The writer even goes so far as to suggest SEGA ought to have published Borderlands, given it paid so dearly for it.  "In this case, what happened clearly was SEGA had a decent eye on the project, rightfully cancelled it, when they saw the problems, then someone decided to restart the project, leading to this massive mess," he concludes. "Where is our money Randy? We should get sales from Borderlands 1 and 2, since it was our money that funded it." That eventual Aliens: Colonial Marines post [SEGA Awakens]
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Secret SEGA blogger says Duke Nukem Forever had a big impact on Aliens' failure
[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 respon...

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TimeGate resumes show a LOT of Colonial Marines work


Studio more than 'helped' Gearbox, according to TimeGate employees
Feb 21
// Jim Sterling
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...

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