Forums - Gaming Discussion - Gearbox 'embezzled' Aliens: Colonial Marines money

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An anonymous writer, who has been regularly spilling details from within SEGA on the blog SEGA Awakens, has addressed the ongoing Aliens: Colonial Marines saga, adding fresh perspective and blaming SEGA, TimeGate, and Gearbox in different ways. Mostly Gearbox, though. 

I've independently corroborated the blogger's information using my own resources, which is why I'm confident enough to share his rather valuable insight. In his blog, the man writing under the alias "Bryan Danielson" states that the torrent of rumors following Colonial Marines' release are "99% true," but wished to correctly apportion the blame. 

In an engrossing read, the writer separated the culpability of the three main entities involved, detailing exactly how SEGA, TimeGate, and Gearbox messed up. He begins with TimeGate, the studio rumored to be responsible for most of Aliens' development under Gearbox's command.

"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."

http://www.destructoid.com/gearbox-embezzled-aliens-colonial-marines-money-246558.phtml



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Thanks.
Gearbox has lost a lot of respect over this, which is what they had coming. But at least some of that ACM money went to fund something good, right?

Jo + Meg from Burst Angel. Original collage by kawaiiOtaku08

So ... an article of pure speculation that cites an anonymous source as its only proof?

Edit:  Aah, Jim Sterling.



Didn't something like that happen with Too Human?

“It appeared that there had even been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grams a week. And only yesterday, he reflected, it had been announced that the ration was to be reduced to twenty grams a week. Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours? Yes, they swallowed it.”

- George Orwell, ‘1984’

And that Pitchford bastard is complaining how all this negative backlash will lose him/gearbox money, what did the douche think would happen?

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Porcupine_I said:
Didn't something like that happen with Too Human?

XMen Destiny, which is even more off in the wilderness, because Nintendo will never comment on whether or not the Eternal Darkness 2 game was actually pitched to them, so its hard to corroborate Silicon Knights on that, but yeah, it's similar to what Silicon Knights is supposed to have done with XMen Destiny vis-a-vis their attempt at a studio-saving-throw by pitching Eternal Darkness 2



Thanks for making voice acting an a-list pastime.

I wish I were a bird!

basing things of anonymous sources is stupid... but gearbox was overrated in general imo, before A:CM.

Mr Khan said:
Porcupine_I said:
Didn't something like that happen with Too Human?

XMen Destiny, which is even more off in the wilderness, because Nintendo will never comment on whether or not the Eternal Darkness 2 game was actually pitched to them, so its hard to corroborate Silicon Knights on that, but yeah, it's similar to what Silicon Knights is supposed to have done with XMen Destiny vis-a-vis their attempt at a studio-saving-throw by pitching Eternal Darkness 2

I think he is talking about the Epic and Silicon Knights court case.



Nsanity said:
Mr Khan said:
Porcupine_I said:
Didn't something like that happen with Too Human?

XMen Destiny, which is even more off in the wilderness, because Nintendo will never comment on whether or not the Eternal Darkness 2 game was actually pitched to them, so its hard to corroborate Silicon Knights on that, but yeah, it's similar to what Silicon Knights is supposed to have done with XMen Destiny vis-a-vis their attempt at a studio-saving-throw by pitching Eternal Darkness 2

I think he is talking about the Epic and Silicon Knights court case.

I thought that was more an issue of SK sucking at utilizing UE and/or Epic not giving appropriate support to SK as a licensee, depending on who you believe.



Thanks for making voice acting an a-list pastime.

I wish I were a bird!

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I checked his twitter page and i'm surprised to find what some people said. I'll just name the people "Fan" and get rid of the annoying twitter format.

Fan: Just finished A:CM Is it perfect?No. Did I absolutely enjoy all of it? HELL YES! Sequel PLEASE!
Pitchford: You rock - thanks for the level headed point of view!

Fan:I am having a LOT of fun with Aliens:CM. love the atmosphere. the game review hive mind is so wrong (again).
Pitchford: Thank you so much for the kind words!

Fan:Really want to play Aliens: Colonial Marines soon! Don't care what others say, I love it! Especially online!
Pitchford: Thank you! Cheers!

Fan: I dont care what anyone says about Aliens Colonial marines its a gem in my eyes. stay frosty :)
Pitchford: A day in the corps is like a day on the farm, every meal a banquet, every paycheck a fortune!

Fan: So, I don't know what everyone's prob is, but I LOVE Aliens. The lipsync could have been better, but that's minor.
Pitchford: Thank you! There are other issues we wished were better, too. Thanks for finding the good :)

This one is a bit different though, kinda funny.

Person: So showcasing nothing but the minority of people praising the game IS dishonest. Not trying to be mean.
Pitchford: play the game, then I will value your feelings about it.
Person: also, I paid for borderlands, I paid for borderlands 2. So technically I put in for ACM to be made in some small way
Pitchford: Awesome. There are many who are grateful for the game and your support helped make that happen!

So, can a person choose what shows up on his twitter page? I really don't know how all that works. Also, I've never watched the series so I really didn't care about the game at all. Do you guys think it was honestly poorly made? Or do you feel there is a "hive mind" amongst reviewers?