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Liars Who Lie

Delta Six controller photo
Delta Six controller

Backers of crowdfunded Delta Six controller hit by friendly fire

It's all fun and games till someone shoots their eye out
Feb 21
// Jason Faulkner
The Delta Six controller is the latest entry in my inadvertent series on crowdfunding drama. Hot on the heels of news that The Stomping Land was abandoned by its development team, details have emerged of project mismana...
Deaf jam photo
Deaf jam

Deaf Resident Evil composer admits he is no longer deaf

After twenty years of fame and money for works someone else created
Feb 13
// Steven Hansen
"Japan's Beethoven," the famous, deaf composer who for two decades has passed off someone else's work as his own, has admitted that he is no longer deaf, but maintains that he really was deaf. This statement comes after alleg...
wth photo

Ghost writer: Fraudulent Resident Evil composer not deaf

Famed deaf composer recently exposed for not having written his own works is allegedly not even deaf
Feb 06
// Steven Hansen
Yesterday, we found out famed deaf Japanese composer Mamoru Samuragochi (Resident Evil Director's Cut: Dual Shock Version, Onimusha), known as "Japan's Beethoven," has actually had someone writing his compositions for the las...
Composer fraud  photo
Composer fraud

Deaf Resident Evil composer didn't write his own music

Lied about it for almost 20 years
Feb 05
// Steven Hansen
Here's a weird one. Mamoru Samuragochi, composer for Resident Evil: Director's Cut (1997) and Onimusha: Warlords (2001), was hailed as "Japan's Beethoven." Like the troublesome St. Bernard, Samuragochi lost his hearing comple...


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...

Study claims piracy isn't as bad as publishers tell you

Shocker, the ESA cannot be trusted!
May 16
// Jim Sterling
The Electronic Software Association will tell you piracy is so bad, 10 million nefarious downloads of 200 games can happen in a single month. According to an independent study, the ESA might be overestimating by a c...

Hypocrisy: The Sun calls 3DS the greatest console ever

Tabloid reverses its '3DS is dangerous' stance
May 13
// Jim Sterling
British tabloid The Sun came out strong against the 3DS when it first launched several years ago, going above and beyond the call of sleazy duty to try and prove it was harmful, disorienting, and unpleasant to use. Today? Tod...
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...

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]
Gearbox shenanigans photo
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...

Developer: Gearbox lied to SEGA, 2K over Colonial Marines

Feb 19 // Jim Sterling
"Gearbox was taking people off the project to put them on Borderlands 1," he says of his time on the job. "This was before the big art style change happened on Borderlands. Our team was getting smaller by the month, making it very difficult to get the game made. Ironically several of the team members were ex-3D Realms people who were saying [paraphrasing] 'Finally, we're going to Gearbox to make Aliens, and we're going to ship a fucking game!' Hah." According to our man with the inside track, it was later learned that SEGA actually canceled Colonial Marines, deciding to cut its losses after such a long development cycle.  "At some point in 2008, SEGA temporarily pulled the plug on the game," he said. "They caught wind of Gearbox shifting resources (despite still collecting milestone checks as if the team were full size) and lying to SEGA AND 2K about the number of people working on each project. This led to the round of layoffs at Gearbox in late 2008." The developer confirms he later spoke with people attached to the project at the beginning of 2012, and learned they actually didn't expect the game to ship in February, given its current state. It would appear staff on the game knew the thing was a bust, and were prepared for a fresh delay. Obviously, that never happened, and now we're here. Naturally, and like so much about this situation, information was provided on the hush-hush and cannot be taken as factual evidence of any wrongdoing on anybody's part. It is, however, yet another perplexing piece of the puzzle, one reflective of other things we've been hearing over the past week. Meanwhile, as SEGA and Gearbox both maintain a poker face, these whispered words are really all we have to go on.
Gearbox lied photo
Anonymous Aliens whistle blower blows whistle anonymously
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 contro...


Randy Pitchford has only time for Colonial Marines praise

Still zero explanation for the game itself
Feb 19
// Jim Sterling
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...

Randy Pitchford doesn't like being called a liar

Gearbox CEO breaks radio silence after Colonial Marines launch
Feb 15
// Jim Sterling
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...

Jimquisition: A-LIE-ns: Colonial Marines

Emergency Jimquisition!
Feb 13
// Jim Sterling
Waking through Gearbox's walkthrough of Aliens: Colonial Marines. That is, the Aliens: Colonial Marines Gearbox wanted the world to believe in, not the one that actually happened. While demo footage is not represen...
Violence debate photo
Says we should all just be quiet while men like him do the talking
Leland Yee, a man famous for lying about videogames and draining huge amounts of tax money in his war on the industry, has suggested those affected by his bullshit should keep their mouths shut. According to the hypocritical ...

NRA attacks videogames in Sandy Hook response

Dec 21 // Jim Sterling
He would also go on to attack such recently released films as American Psycho and Natural Born Killers, as well as music videos that, "portray life as a joke and murder as a way of life."  "But is that what it really is," he continued. "Isn't fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography? "In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an ever-more-toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty into our homes -- every minute of every day of every month of every year." In this statement, the National Rifle Association has successfully exposed itself as the craven, spineless organization it really is. Unable to simply defend his group on its own merit, LaPierre instead tried to deflect blame, passing the buck onto a safe and easily identifiable target in the pathetic hope that people would stop paying attention to guns. And what's he fucking going on about, claiming the media has tried to "conceal" violence in entertainment? Within moments of the Sandy Hook news breaking, we had mainstream media falling over itself to criticize videogames. LaPierre knows this, and at once hopes to exploit the media's scapegoating of modern entertainment while claiming he's the only man brave enough to scapegoat modern entertainment. A liar, a hypocrite, and a fucking invertebrate. What a lovely combo.  Also, good job reaching for a 10-year-old flash game that nobody's ever heard of in order to try and make a point. Free advertising for an incredibly obscure game, plus a nice public indicator of how desperate you are to find some sort of vague connection between games and Sandy Hook. Mind you, that was undermined the moment you brought up a 20-year-old fighting game that doesn't have guns in it.  Whether you agree with gun control or not, the malingering attempts to drag videogames into the debate is intellectually offensive. Here we have a group that claims to stand for the constitution, while attacking one of America's most envied rights -- the right to free expression. The two-faced pusillanimity of these lily-livered poltroons ranks highly among the most nauseating examples of accountability deflection I've ever witnessed in my career -- and I've seen most of them.  Feel free to read the whole thing, in which one proposed solution to gun violence in schools is to put more guns in schools. In any case, I'd like to thank the NRA for eradicating whatever shreds of sympathy I might have ever had for its cause.  Fuck you very much.  [Image source: woodleywonderworks]
NRA attacks games photo
Lies and hypocrisy reach record levels
The National Rifle Association today held a press conference to cover its apparently cowardly hide in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, which media pundits have already gleefully pinned the blame for on violent videogames....

War Z Steam removal photo
Valve confirms temporary removal
Following complaints of wrongful advertising and mismanagement of the Steam community, controversial MMO The War Z is no longer available to buy from Steam. Yep, it's gone! The game is still listed as available, but any attem...


The War Z devs silence dissent, alter Steam store page

More microtransactions patched in, they went back in time and killed Jesus, etc.
Dec 19
// Jim Sterling
Following accusations of lying about its game, The War Z developer Hammerpoint has compounded its guilt by silencing dissent any way it can. On both their official forums and the Steam board, anybody criticizing the game...

The War Z launches on Steam amid accusations of fraud

Dec 18 // Jim Sterling
Although the game suggests you'll be staying alive against zombies, the undead are apparently of no threat whatsoever, while other players provide the actual challenge. Reddit breaks down some of the other alleged falsehoods, including claims of a "huge and persistent world" when there's only one map measuring 72 square km. Private servers are boasted of, but don't exist. It's claimed you can spend experience points on skills, but there's currently no skill system. Customers are told the servers support up to 100 players, but they only support 50. The game's apparently in a beta phase at best, but that's not mentioned at all on the storefront.  These all seem to be features the developer intends to put in at some point, but with the game still in development beyond the point of sale, it's not exactly fair to present them as already being in the product. Generally, games with upcoming features list them as, y'know, upcoming features, rather than let the paying user believe they're available right at launch.  Another criticism is the fact that it's set up like a free-to-play game, with credits that must be purchased, despite charging users an initial $14.99. Developer Hammerpoint has also been accused of getting users to buy the game directly from its site rather than Steam, by claiming it'd be raising the Steam price. However, after it launched on Steam, Hammerpoint went and lowered the price. As you might expect, folk aren't too happy about that little stunt.  As you might expect, the Steam forums are alight with criticism and outrage, with such topics as, "I feel like a sucker," "Report this game to Steam as a Scam/fraud and request it be removed," and, "This game literally gave me cancer." Some users are reporting having their posts removed and abilities to post banned after lodging complaints.  Naturally, there are users defending The War Z from complaints. One player says it is the critics who are lying, claiming they're little more than "raging" Day Z fanboys. However, even the defender admits the title is in beta. Others have also claimed that, while Hammerpoint made a 50-player deathmatch game rather than the promised zombie survival MMO, it's still pretty fun.  Whether it's still fun or not, it seems many paying customers feel cheated and lied to, and that's not exactly a healthy message accompanying the launch of the game. Even those sticking up for it seem hard pressed to demonstrate that what Hammerpoint promises in its sales pitch is the actual product folk are buying, so the only thing you can do at the moment is be careful before you consider forking over any cash.  Of course, seeing as it's currently Steam's top seller ... that warning might be coming a little late.
War Z accused of fraud photo
Hammerpoint said to be lying about game's key features
The launch of a survival-based zombie MMO should be a joyous occasion, with children singing songs of gratitude and greatness. With The War Z's arrival on Steam, however, the only songs being sung are those of deceit and...


Nintendo says third party games look much better on Wii U

Watch Reggie tell CNN a great big lie
Nov 26
// Jim Sterling
Reggie Fils-Aime took to CNN this weekend to deliver a steaming plate of juicy lies. In a talk with Kristie Lu Stout, the beefy boss of Nintendo of America claimed that the Wii U's third-party games looked "dramatically...

Molyneux struggles to see Nintendo do anything amazing

King of Promise Land not impressed by Nintendo's promises
Nov 09
// Jim Sterling
His Royal Highness, the Lord King of Promise Land, has issued a majestic decree that Nintendo is not doing anything impressive to his noble eyes. Claiming the Wii U does nothing to make him rush out and buy it, the creator of...

On-disc DLC allegedly found for Resident Evil 6

Capcom caught in a lie?
Oct 08
// Jim Sterling
Despite Capcom pledging to reassess its downloadable content practices and step away from selling stuff it's already shipped to us, modders claim to have caught it in a lie. According to those who've cracked into the code, Re...

Ubisoft, the worst PC publisher on the planet, is now claiming that it suffers a 93-95% piracy rate on the platform. As a response, CEO Yves Guillemot promises it will jump into the free-to-play market.  "The advantage o...


EA vs. Zynga: EA claims it's a game industry defender!

Aug 21
// Jim Sterling
Electronic Arts' delusions of grandeur have reached new heights this week, as the company continues to milk its lawsuit against Zynga for cheap applause and gamer cred. Its latest claim? The lawsuit positions Electronic Arts ...

Origin cheapening IP with discounts up to 87.5%

Jun 18
// Jim Sterling
Just the other week, Origin head honcho David DeMartini was having a pop at Valve by suggesting that its huge Steam sales cheapen the intellectual property involved and that we won't see EA's service playing a similar card. T...

Better Business Bureau says EA lied about Mass Effect 3

Apr 12
// Jim Sterling
A few weeks back, when the backlash over Mass Effect 3 was at its height, a complaint had been filed with the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau. The complaints alleged that Electronic Arts lied about Mas...

Molyneux accepts 'personal failure' for Fable III

Apr 11
// Jim Sterling
It's a glorious day, because I get to talk about the Molyneux Cycle once more. It's the method by which Molyneux attempts to make his next game look good by trash talking the last one he made -- the last game being one he hyp...

Molyneux: Milo was too emotional for the games industry

Mar 14
// Jim Sterling
Remember Milo, the digital child-creature that Peter Molyneux demoed at E3 so long ago? It promised interaction on a level that would make Skynet jealous, but it disappeared after all the hype. Why was it thrown on the scrap ...

PS3 has been 'hitting its stride' for the past four years

Feb 24
// Jim Sterling
Last week, Sony's Jack Tretton announced that the PlayStation 3 has just started hitting its stride. Does that corporate line sound familiar? It should do, because Sony's claimed that the PS3 has just "hit its stride" on thre...

The Sun accuses Microsoft of 'Cyber Fraud' cover up

Nov 24
// Jim Sterling
The Sun's cabal of sleazy liars hate being dismissed, and when they've got an axe to grind, they've demonstrated they'll pursue their victims with frightening obsession. Microsoft is the latest target, with the tabloid accusi...

After incurring Internet rage and a class action suit, Electronic Arts has finally given up and made good on its broken promise to give Battlefield 3 PS3 owners a free digital copy of Battlefield 1943. Every now and then, ang...

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