Got your popcorn and your mega-size cola? Good, because it's time for the Sega/Gearbox Jerry Springer Special. In, Sega have got the knives well and truly out for Gearbox and specifically its CEO Randy Pitchford.
According to Sega it was Gearbox who were responsible for the unrepresentative demos of Aliens: Colonial Marines that are the sticking point of this whole sorry mess.
In fact, they claim that Gearbox often kept them in the dark about several key decisions regarding marketing and quality of content. Their most recent filings suggest that the developer made announcements and revealed information to the press "in the face of Sega's explicit disapproval." They also claim that Gearbox told Sega officials that the E3 2011 trailer for Colonial Marines, which was radically different in both content and graphical quality from the final product released in 2013, was actually representative.
"During one of my conversations with Gearbox today I verified that the E3 Demo is indeed the bar that we should use to determine where the entire game will be," wrote senior producer Matt Powers of Sega America to several colleagues at the time. "That is Gearbox's plan and what they believe in. I just wanted to double-check with them and since I did I figured I would pass that along to you."
Randy Pitchford, who Sega initially saw as a "respected development celebrity" who would bring positive attention to their game, allegedly began to leak announcements to the press without Sega's permission. Another internal email from Sega PR manager Matt Eyre accuses Pitchford of doing "whatever the fuck he likes”.
After initially facing this ongoing lawsuit from a group of disgruntled customers together, Gearbox and Sega quickly began to snipe at each other. Sega tried to reach a $1.25 million settlement that would see itself - but not Gearbox - removed from the lawsuit.
For their part Gearbox accused Sega of taking funds from them for marketing and promotion and not repaying them, and then also tried to get Colonial Marines, though Sega has admitted they were at least partly to blame.from the lawsuit. Both accuse each other of being responsible for the false advertising of
Basically it's still a big mess with no sign of any resolution. The case continues. I've always wanted to write that.