The game Aliens: Colonial Marines had the typical hype leading up to its launch. Unfortunately after launch the game looked like a bad zombie arcade game. The lighting was bad, the effects and graphics were bad and according to most review sites, the game play was embarrassingly horrid. The problem here is that Gearbox and Sega showed demo footage at E3 and PAX that Randy Pitchford (Gearbox Co-Founder) claimed was “actual footage”.
Sadly the footage was not even close. The demos showed a very polished game with good lighting and graphics. It also showed scenes and levels which did not make it to the final game. This is not an acceptable thing for any company to do when pitching a product and it is certainly one that Sega and Gearbox should be held accountable for. Many people did pre-order and purchase this game based on those demos and the coverage that lead up to the launch. They did not find out that they did not get what they paid for until they either read the almost universally damming reviews that came out the day of the launch or they got their new game home and played it. One way or the other the consumers were misled here.
Now there is a law suit against Sega and Gearbox for false advertising. The core of the complaint revolves around the claims made that the demo footage was "actual gameplay footage" which it clearly was not.
Maybe this single suit will morph into something larger forcing Gearbox and Sega to deal with it the right way and refund people’s money. If they do not and this slides it will really end up being another justification for piracy. We can see people choosing to pirate a game to “try it out” before dropping $60 because of something like this.
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