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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



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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3:00 PM on 02.18.2013

Jimquisition: Previewed, Preordered, Prescrewed

Preorder culture expects gamers to trust developers more than ever, but how does that work when they inspire so little faith? The "take cash now, provide content later" tactic is currently serving companies well, but with re...

Jim Sterling

11:45 PM on 02.15.2013

PlayStation 4, Watch_Dogs, Destiny, & Iwata's Luigi Hat

Hey guys, if you missed it, here's today's Destructoid Show, which was live earlier. Because we do that every Friday. Lots of news today: Naughty Dog delays The Last Of Us for an extra month. This thing is an actual prototyp...

Max Scoville

6:15 PM on 02.15.2013

Randy Pitchford doesn't like being called a liar

Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford raised his head above cover today, making a few indirect Tweets regarding the controversial Aliens: Colonial Marines launch. While he didn't provide an explanation or an apology, he did make it cle...

Jim Sterling





12:15 PM on 02.15.2013

Aliens: Colonial Marines not canceled for Wii U

In the fallout of the Aliens: Colonial Marines controversy, fact and fiction are difficult to separate. SEGA has, at least, put paid to one of the not-so-true suggestions, denying rumors that the Wii U version has b...

Jim Sterling

10:45 AM on 02.15.2013

Aliens: Colonial Marines 360 save wipe bug

Oh, Aliens: Colonial Marines could really use some bad press? Sure, why not? It's been such a long time since we heard anything negative about it. Try this one on for size -- players are reporting that Xbox 360 save files are...

Jim Sterling

8:00 AM on 02.15.2013

Aliens: Colonial Marines mods add better lighting

As usual, unpaid PC gamers have stepped up to the plate and finished what clearly inadequate developers started, adding improvements to the critically mauled Aliens: Colonial Marines. These enhancements add DirectX 10 feature...

Jim Sterling



Gearbox lied about Aliens: From E3 demo to retail product photo
Gearbox lied about Aliens: From E3 demo to retail product
by Allistair Pinsof

How often we forget that demos are sales tools, designed to pitch consumers a dream of what may be, not what actually is. Dull knives slice cans like butter, hamburgers perfectly cook on a budget grill, and Aliens: Colonial Marines looks like a next-gen title instead of last-gen.

To put it simply: We've been lied to by Randy Pitchford and Gearbox. We passed those lies onto the consumers. Is it our fault for putting trust that the demo was real? Is it our fault that we believed it to be real?

No, it's Pitchford's fault for being disingenuous in presenting his company's latest game.

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TimeGate exec: Aliens was developed 'horizontally'  photo
TimeGate exec: Aliens was developed 'horizontally'
by Allistair Pinsof

After the last couple days of dispute between anonymous Gearbox and TimeGate employees on Reddit, we have a quote that settles the capacity that the two companies worked under on Aliens: Colonial Marines.

"Whereas in a traditional co-dev situations, everyone gets a specific thing to work on; TimeGate and Gearbox do everything horizontally," Robert Siwiak, TimeGate’s VP of business operations said at a Houston IGDA event on August 22.

Horizontal development means each section was created through back-and-forth development with Gearbox. They were not outsourced to develop a particular part of the game, as several Gearbox employees claim.

I can also confirm, through my source, that the Reddit comments are coming from actual TimeGate employees.

This information comes from Houston reporter John-Henry Perera who interviewed Siwiak and tweeted the above quote.

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So ... who the hell DID make Aliens: Colonial Marines? photo
So ... who the hell DID make Aliens: Colonial Marines?
by Jim Sterling

Aliens: Colonial Marines has turned out to be more than just a bad game. It's a confusing story of allegations, outsourcing, and potential deception on a considerable level. The biggest mystery to come out of this debacle is the question of who actually made the game. Nobody's entirely sure.

It was rumored Gearbox outsourced development of at least the campaign to TimeGate Studios, a claim SEGA itself denied. However, with TimeGate, Demiurge, and Nerve Software all credited as having a hand in the project, this situation is as clear as a cracked window covered in black paint. 

Then there's a Reddit post by an anonymous writer who claims to be an ex-Gearbox developer, and a followup post from a self-titled TimeGate employee. These two posts really throw a wrench in the works. 

Here's a rundown of everything that's happened so far!

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7:00 AM on 02.14.2013

Hope for Fallout, doubt for Batman and sadness for Aliens

In another casual conversation from Destructoid's news room, Jordan Devore, Daniel Starkey and and I discuss the possible futures of Batman and Fallout. Plus, we marvel at how spectacularly wrong Aliens: Colonial Marines went.

Conrad Zimmerman