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35. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuit Responses May 3, 2013, 15:15 Beamer
Despoiler wrote on May 3, 2013, 15:06:
I think the thing that people are forgetting is that in legal action you have a phase called discovery. The plaintiff can request every document pertaining to the game development that exists. If one email is found that says "this game is terrible, but we are shipping it anyways", it is it's going to seriously undermine the defendant's case that "work in progress" is enough to differentiate it from a bait and switch.

No. No it does not.

1) Odds are this case will end long before Discovery. Do you know how expensive Discovery is? Will this guy be willing to pay what would likely be at least $40k in fees to go into Discovery?
2) Someone saying "this game is terrible, but we're shipping it anyway" doesn't undermine the defense. Gearbox isn't saying that members of their team didn't think the game was terrible, and the suit isn't alleging that people didn't think it was terrible. You can walk into any fast food joint in America and find employees that think the food is terrible, but they're still serving it

What this suit is alleging is that Gearbox showed that footage knowing the game wouldn't look like that. That's almost impossible to prove. If the footage they showed was interactive and ran, which it almost definitely did, and the company hoped to get the full game looking like that, which they almost definitely did and all accounts thus far indicate was the plan, then they really didn't do anything wrong.

Showing something early, as a work in progress, then having the final version be nothing like it isn't illegal. Had those videos been from launch day then yes, you'd have an argument. But now? Damn near every industry that uses prototypes has prototypes that look better than the release version. Heck, look at the Rift - it's far uglier than the one we saw on Kickstarter.

If you buy something based upon a prototype you're taking a risk. I don't want to defend Gearbox here, but I want to defend the ability for companies to show off aspirational prototypes. Gearbox, again, is an extreme example, but it's impossible to draw a clear line, other than bad intent. Does anyone here think we can actually prove that Randy showed that E3 footage thinking "hehehehe, the game will never look like this, but no one will be the wiser!"
Music for the discerning:
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