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Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuit Responses

Kotaku has a response from SEGA to the lawsuit filed against them and Gearbox over differences between how Aliens: Colonial Marines was marketed and how the first-person shooter turned out. They say they cannot comment, and then proceed to comment: "SEGA cannot comment on specifics of ongoing litigation," they tell the site. "But we are confident that the lawsuit is without merit and we will defend it vigorously." They followed this up with a comment from Gearbox, who think it is less than without merit, saying they will defend the rights of entertainers: "Attempting to wring a class action lawsuit out of a demonstration is beyond meritless. We continue to support the game, and will defend the rights of entertainers to share their works-in-progress without fear of frivolous litigation."

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42. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuit Responses May 3, 2013, 15:35 Beamer
 
DangerDog wrote on May 3, 2013, 15:22:
Beamer wrote on May 3, 2013, 14:46:
DangerDog wrote on May 3, 2013, 14:34:
Attempting to wring a class action lawsuit out of a demonstration is beyond meritless.

but using fake gameplay footage from a demonstration and putting it in marketing videos that had "100% in game footage" text included is deceptive if not false advertising.

we'll see if the judge thinks it's without merit.

How can you prove it was fake gameplay footage?
Obviously if you have internal documents, but the story we've heard is that, at the time, it was absolutely real gameplay footage. But it didn't run well, was optimized only for what they showed, and it was scaled back considerably.

Here's something people seemed to know in the past but have all forgotten: virtually everything you see at E3 is optimized for the specific moment you're seeing and often running on more powerful hardware than it will ever be played on.

Again, this is an extreme example of this, but the general consensus is that, at E3 last year, Gearbox legitimately thought the game would look like that. They then got the outsourced stuff, saw it was crap, made it even worse, and released it.

But it isn't as if they were showing that footage at launch, were they? We were already seeing the footage that looked like garbage.

Gearbox handled this very poorly and deserves all the crap they're getting, but I don't think this can be proven as "illegal" instead of just "inept and shitty," and this is also just another reason why we haven't seen anything about HL3.

I call it fake because it didn't end up in the game, and they kept using footage from that e3 demo way past any reasonable time frame of knowing the game wouldn't look or play like that.

The biggest problem is that you're dealing with clips shown that last mere seconds, to anyone who hasn't played the game and then compared it very closely to the marketing videos you wouldn't be able to see the parts that are actually from the game and the ones spliced from the e3 demo.

I missed the announcement that Sega canceled the Wii U version, that speaks volumes in itself - not with regards to the lawsuit but that even Sega internally admit they put out a turd of a game.

Yeah, I mean, I'm loading up TV commercials and can't tell what footage is used because they're fast cuts, but everything is fast cuts. And, the parts that I can make out look like crap, anyway.

All the release promos I see look like final footage. It looks like ass. According to the "leaks" about the development, though, people are claiming that Gearbox basically ripped the game apart after Borderlands 2 game out. That, prior to that, it looked better, played worse, and sucked but in different ways. Possibly more than release, which is kind of amazing given how much everyone says it sucks.
 
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41. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuit Responses May 3, 2013, 15:34 McSterls
 
"But we are confident that the lawsuit is without merit and we will defend it vigorously."

Without merit? You showed us one game and released another. That's called fraud, and it has some merit to it.
 
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40. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuit Responses May 3, 2013, 15:32 Krovven
 
jdreyer wrote on May 3, 2013, 14:10:
Question on this. The big deal was being made about the way a demo looked 6 months (there was one back in 2011, too) before release. However, there were three trailers released right before the game shipped.

I don't own the game, but maybe someone can address it. Do these look better/different than what shipped?

It's exactly how the game looked at launch. Looks better after the 4gig patch. Everyone's complaints are based on the E3 Demo footage.
 
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39. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuit Responses May 3, 2013, 15:29 Caslon
 
Put a law into effect that devs who use bait and switch type demos to snare the public must put a disclaimer in big bold letters that what you're seeing may be completely different than what the final product will be. Will this cost them sales? Of course, and why not?  
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38. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuit Responses May 3, 2013, 15:23 Yosemite Sam
 
Beamer wrote on May 3, 2013, 15:15:
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.

Dude, they used the old didn't make the final cut game footage in their TV commercials which ran AFTER the game went gold AND after it had already shipped.


 
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37. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuit Responses May 3, 2013, 15:22 DangerDog
 
Beamer wrote on May 3, 2013, 14:46:
DangerDog wrote on May 3, 2013, 14:34:
Attempting to wring a class action lawsuit out of a demonstration is beyond meritless.

but using fake gameplay footage from a demonstration and putting it in marketing videos that had "100% in game footage" text included is deceptive if not false advertising.

we'll see if the judge thinks it's without merit.

How can you prove it was fake gameplay footage?
Obviously if you have internal documents, but the story we've heard is that, at the time, it was absolutely real gameplay footage. But it didn't run well, was optimized only for what they showed, and it was scaled back considerably.

Here's something people seemed to know in the past but have all forgotten: virtually everything you see at E3 is optimized for the specific moment you're seeing and often running on more powerful hardware than it will ever be played on.

Again, this is an extreme example of this, but the general consensus is that, at E3 last year, Gearbox legitimately thought the game would look like that. They then got the outsourced stuff, saw it was crap, made it even worse, and released it.

But it isn't as if they were showing that footage at launch, were they? We were already seeing the footage that looked like garbage.

Gearbox handled this very poorly and deserves all the crap they're getting, but I don't think this can be proven as "illegal" instead of just "inept and shitty," and this is also just another reason why we haven't seen anything about HL3.

I call it fake because it didn't end up in the game, and they kept using footage from that e3 demo way past any reasonable time frame of knowing the game wouldn't look or play like that.

The biggest problem is that you're dealing with clips shown that last mere seconds, to anyone who hasn't played the game and then compared it very closely to the marketing videos you wouldn't be able to see the parts that are actually from the game and the ones spliced from the e3 demo.

I missed the announcement that Sega canceled the Wii U version, that speaks volumes in itself - not with regards to the lawsuit but that even Sega internally admit they put out a turd of a game.
 
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36. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuit Responses May 3, 2013, 15:21 Beamer
 
Jivaro wrote on May 3, 2013, 12:27:
I think very nearly everyone feels like they were disingenuous. I am just not sure that constitutes as illegal. I will follow this with some interest, but I am not sure anger and some sort of misguided sense of revenge is a legitimate reason to hope a lawsuit succeeds. I don't want video game companies to stop making preview videos and releasing demos because of liability. Regulation has a way of doing that. Companies don't necessarily always conform to regulation, they just stop doing whatever it is that is being regulated unless it is necessary. It isn't like a lot of marketing and hype doesn't already get thrown out there without actually showing any gameplay.

If Gearbox goes down for this then that will be the result: we'll stop seeing ANY preview footage for any work in progress.

I think a lot of people here are seriously misunderstanding how these previews work:
The game is nowhere near complete. What ends up being completed is a section to be demoed. In most cases everything is faked, because you're a year or more away from going gold. If things such as animations or logic were ready for prime time the game wouldn't take so much longer to finish. So things get faked. It's a small slice and usually not very indicative of how resource intensive the final version will end up being. In some happy cases it's more intensive, and the final version can be polished and refined. In some cases it's much less intensive, and things have to be toned down. But, even though it says "actual gameplay," and it's true because it's technically a game and it's technically being played, you're looking at something that was rapidly worked on to be brought up to a presentable level while the rest of the game looks nothing like it. In some cases all that work ends up being thrown out, because, again, it's faked. Faked stuff can't be applied to the full game, but the artists making the full game will use that footage as the target they shoot for.

There's no solution to this, other than simply not showing games until you're sure everything will look the same, and that point is at best a handful of months before it hits shelves and, at worst, the day it hits shelves.
 
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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!"
 
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34. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuit Responses May 3, 2013, 15:07 Beamer
 
Tanto Edge wrote on May 3, 2013, 15:02:
Darks wrote on May 3, 2013, 10:18:
*snip*
you guys would fall over backwards and pass out if you saw all the game footage that's been cut from games while in production.

Take the new Bioshock infinity for example. The removed something like 2 games worth of levels from the game. I don't hear anyone bitching about that.

Wait till they're released as DLC. People will bitch plenty.

This whole deal stinks for the same reason the Thief situation stinks. Studios overstating themselves isn't a new thing but if somebody doesn't drop the hammer on these fucktards the whole industry is going to think it's okay to just put work in progress next to it and show ANYTHING.

Fuck me, I could release prescripted or even prerendered gameplay sequences, stick "work in progress" next to it, and when people are confronted with a box of shit I just laugh all the way to the bank?

I love how people argue that there's nothing wrong with this.

There's nothing wrong with it because it's unavoidable in most cases. If you're showing something a year or more before release it's going to look next to nothing like the final version. In most cases, in order to show this, you're spending a month working solely on one 15 minute section of the game. Polishing it like mad. When you extrapolate that polish out to an entire game it often falls apart.

The true solution here is to show absolutely nothing prior to release, but then people flip out and whine and come up with conspiracies that no one feels like working on the game.

Should Gearbox have been more upfront about the changes? Of course.
Should commercials on TV show actual footage? Of course.
Should companies be forced to release products that look like E3 demonstrations that are years before launch? No, because that's an impossibility.

What we're doing is looking at an extreme case of something that's common and 100% unavoidable.
 
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33. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuit Responses May 3, 2013, 15:06 Despoiler
 
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.  
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32. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuit Responses May 3, 2013, 15:02 Tanto Edge
 
Darks wrote on May 3, 2013, 10:18:
*snip*
you guys would fall over backwards and pass out if you saw all the game footage that's been cut from games while in production.

Take the new Bioshock infinity for example. The removed something like 2 games worth of levels from the game. I don't hear anyone bitching about that.

Wait till they're released as DLC. People will bitch plenty.

This whole deal stinks for the same reason the Thief situation stinks. Studios overstating themselves isn't a new thing but if somebody doesn't drop the hammer on these fucktards the whole industry is going to think it's okay to just put work in progress next to it and show ANYTHING.

Fuck me, I could release prescripted or even prerendered gameplay sequences, stick "work in progress" next to it, and when people are confronted with a box of shit I just laugh all the way to the bank?

I love how people argue that there's nothing wrong with this.
 
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31. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuit Responses May 3, 2013, 14:46 Beamer
 
DangerDog wrote on May 3, 2013, 14:34:
Attempting to wring a class action lawsuit out of a demonstration is beyond meritless.

but using fake gameplay footage from a demonstration and putting it in marketing videos that had "100% in game footage" text included is deceptive if not false advertising.

we'll see if the judge thinks it's without merit.

How can you prove it was fake gameplay footage?
Obviously if you have internal documents, but the story we've heard is that, at the time, it was absolutely real gameplay footage. But it didn't run well, was optimized only for what they showed, and it was scaled back considerably.

Here's something people seemed to know in the past but have all forgotten: virtually everything you see at E3 is optimized for the specific moment you're seeing and often running on more powerful hardware than it will ever be played on.

Again, this is an extreme example of this, but the general consensus is that, at E3 last year, Gearbox legitimately thought the game would look like that. They then got the outsourced stuff, saw it was crap, made it even worse, and released it.

But it isn't as if they were showing that footage at launch, were they? We were already seeing the footage that looked like garbage.

Gearbox handled this very poorly and deserves all the crap they're getting, but I don't think this can be proven as "illegal" instead of just "inept and shitty," and this is also just another reason why we haven't seen anything about HL3.
 
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30. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuit Responses May 3, 2013, 14:34 DangerDog
 
Attempting to wring a class action lawsuit out of a demonstration is beyond meritless.

but using fake gameplay footage from a demonstration and putting it in marketing videos that had "100% in game footage" text included is deceptive if not false advertising.

we'll see if the judge thinks it's without merit.
 
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29. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuit Responses May 3, 2013, 14:29 Yosemite Sam
 
Um ya the "work in progress" argument isnt going to work seeing as they used that footage in their TV commercials. Blatant false advertising.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7BkqmMNQWA

I wish game devs could get their asses sued off for knowingly releasing a buggy product... but it'll never happen. There are no consumer rights only corporate rights and I expect the courts to shaft the consumer as per usual.
 
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28. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuit Responses May 3, 2013, 14:19 saluk
 
I saw the trailer for Hangover 2. It was soooo funny! But then, I went to the movie, and the rest of it was horrible! Even the bits from the trailer were not funny in the context of the movie. Also, my favorite joke wasn't even in the movie! Why would they put a great joke like that in the trailer and not in the film? I went the first showing, and I paid a full 10$ for my ticket on fandango - I made sure to order early because I didn't want to miss the first showing.

I am disappoint.

False advertising. Pay up you lying evil greedy movie studios.
 
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27. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuit Responses May 3, 2013, 14:16 WyldKat
 
What still upsets me about all of this is that not ONCE did they ever admit to releasing a bad game nor did they try to make up for it by providing the horde mode which was stripped from the game before release to player for free to make up for it. Or level tools... or anything else that would have made up for this.  
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26. Re: More Big Picture Details May 3, 2013, 14:14 HorrorScope
 
If won, Sony better watch out, those PS3 trailers prior to the PS3's release are still the all-time holders of over-stating games.  
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25. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuit Responses May 3, 2013, 14:12 Mac
 
Jivaro wrote on May 3, 2013, 12:27:
I think very nearly everyone feels like they were disingenuous. I am just not sure that constitutes as illegal. I will follow this with some interest, but I am not sure anger and some sort of misguided sense of revenge is a legitimate reason to hope a lawsuit succeeds. I don't want video game companies to stop making preview videos and releasing demos because of liability. Regulation has a way of doing that. Companies don't necessarily always conform to regulation, they just stop doing whatever it is that is being regulated unless it is necessary. It isn't like a lot of marketing and hype doesn't already get thrown out there without actually showing any gameplay.

Even if this lawsuit is successful it will not stop dev teams posting alpha/beta videos of their game. The difference with Aliens: Colonial Marines is that they posted videos of a different game and claimed them to be in game footage - when the changes to the game were made, they "forgot" to tell anyone to ignore what they had seen to date and decided to trade off a lie!
 
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24. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuit Responses May 3, 2013, 14:10 jdreyer
 
Question on this. The big deal was being made about the way a demo looked 6 months (there was one back in 2011, too) before release. However, there were three trailers released right before the game shipped. Links: trailer 1, trailer 2, trailer 3. I don't own the game, but maybe someone can address it: Do these look better/different than what shipped?  
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23. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuit Responses May 3, 2013, 13:05 Drazula
 
Gearbox should be ashamed to have their name on that POS. Defending ACM by calling it "art" is like taking a crap and calling it food. In both cases they're saying "Eat it!".  
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82 Replies. 5 pages. Viewing page 3.
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