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Sega, Gearbox say Aliens 'false advertising' lawsuit is meritless

Sega and Gearbox have said a class action lawsuit alleging Aliens: Colonial Marines was falsely advertised is without merit. The suit was filed in the Northern District of California court by law firm Edelson LLC on behalf of Damion Perrine, Polygon reports.

Citing multiple California civil and business codes, the plaintiff claims Sega and Gearbox falsely advertised the game by showing off demos at events like PAX and E3 which weren’t accurate representations of the final product. The plaintiff is seeking damages for consumers who purchased the game before the discrepancies between the demos and the released product were publicly known.

Responding to the lawsuit, Sega told Kotaku: “Sega cannot comment on specifics of ongoing litigation, but we are confident that the lawsuit is without merit and we will defend it vigorously.” Gearbox also said: "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."

Last month, Sega acknowledged complaints sent to the UK’s Advertising Standing Authority regarding ‘misleading’ Aliens: Colonial Marines adverts. The company agreed to include disclaimers on its website and in all relevant YouTube videos explaining that the trailers depict footage of demo versions of the title. Shortly after, Sega confirmed that a Wii U version of Aliens: Colonial Marines had been cancelled.

30 comments

  • brickman409 - May 3, 2013 9:48 p.m.

    I remember hearing about a lawsuit where a guy sued Budweiser over false advertising because hot chicks weren't surrounding him when he drank their beer like in the commercials. I think he lost.
  • Jacko415 - May 3, 2013 10:15 p.m.

    This is why it's sue worthy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1orK2qj_9k
  • Ekythump3 - May 3, 2013 9:09 p.m.

    I agree that if a game advertises itself as being a good or great game and then turns out not to be that great of a game,then yes...buyers remorse.Read the reviews first.But the demo for this game contained nothing resembling what was actually released in the game itself.The only things they had in common were that they both contained a Colonial Marine and an Alien.Its like seeing an ad on tv for a Volkswagon and when you get to the dealer,they point to a Buick and tell you it's the same car.
  • josephgevedon - May 3, 2013 6:46 p.m.

    I knew that game would be crap from the first second i saw it, it's they're own fault for buying a crappy game.
  • Jacko415 - May 3, 2013 5:28 p.m.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1orK2qj_9k ^^^ YEAH. Definetly sue those fuckers. This is mind blowingly misleading. Blatent False Advertising.
  • ultimatepunchrod - May 3, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    I didn't play Aliens, but I'm with Sega and Gearbox here. You cannot get mad at something because of a commercial. That's like saying, "I thought Transformers Revenge of the Fallen was going to be a good movie because the trailer made it look good!" and then trying to sue Michael Bay for having a bad time at the movies. I'm not saying you shouldn't want some kind of compensation for being tricked into watching Transformers, but suing isn't the way to go. This whole Aliens situation is a poster child for why you should wait for reviews in any medium. The game wasn't good, but you would have known that before you bought it if you had waited just one more day to drop $60 on the damn thing.
  • Bloodstorm - May 3, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    Actually it is legitimate reason to sue. This isn't even about the commercials either, it is about the super polished demo they showed to press outlets that looked amazing, but turned out to be a farce. It was a bait and switch, showing something contained that look amazing, and then selling something that was a horrible mess.
  • ultimatepunchrod - May 3, 2013 2:41 p.m.

    Again I point to super polished trailers for movies that make them look awesome but are, in fact, not indicative of the final product.
  • Bloodstorm - May 3, 2013 3:49 p.m.

    Still not the same thing (and I don't think you know what polish is in this regard). This was billed as in game footage indicative of the final product (and this was before it was finished, so you would assume more polish in the final product) that turned out to be running on a different lighting/graphics engine and super polished for the press demonstration to cover up the fact that they had a festering pile in the works that they were to embarrassed to show (because it would have cost them a lot of money), and then they imposed extreme review embargoes to continue the cover up where reviews weren't being released until a day or 2 after it went on sale. It was an advertising campaign of deception, and it tricked a lot of people (I was smart, and when there wasn't a review to be seen, I knew what was going on and avoided it, and I was excited for it up till then).
  • ultimatepunchrod - May 3, 2013 5:57 p.m.

    The review embargo was at around 3AM the day the game released. A trailer is often more polished than the final product or it only shows the most polished bits of the final product which is what I was referring to. But I stand by what I said before: if these disgruntled consumers had waited for the reviews (which are tools to avoid this exact situation) then they wouldn't have bought the game.
  • ultimatepunchrod - May 3, 2013 5:58 p.m.

    Also, name a bad game that advertised that it was a bad game. That doesn't happen.
  • Shinn - May 4, 2013 12:23 a.m.

    The difference here is that those trailers don't claim that they reflect the finished product accurately. If someone tells you to buy an orange, shows you a picture, telling you explicitly that the orange deserves your money because it will look exactly the same, but the orange you get is deformed and completely different, that's false advertising and it's illegal. It's not fair that a game developers gets off because "pff, getting mad over a game is silly." They would bankrupt you for sharing the game with a friend if they could get away with it, why shouldn't they have to pay when they break advertisement law?
  • SUCKxITxEZ - May 4, 2013 10:18 a.m.

    Ever been to Mcdonalds? Those big macs sure look alot better in the commercial. tbh I dont think this game looks as bad as people say it does. It sure doesn't look next gen, and it was certainly a bit rushed, but the demo gameplay looked way better then what people should expect from a multiplatform game, from gearbox, during the generation transition. just compare any bethesda to it and you'l see that the graphics arent truly that horrible
  • Shinn - May 4, 2013 11:05 a.m.

    They don't tell you that the burger you get will look like the picture, so they aren't in the wrong. The rest of your statement is irrelevant, law is law, that's all there is to it.
  • ultimatepunchrod - May 5, 2013 3:49 p.m.

    I'm with you on this. People should wait for reviews. It's as simple as that, and when they don't, they have no one to be mad at but themselves. For example, I'm going to buy The Last of Us under the assumption that since almost every single Naughty Dog game has been excellent, that this one will be too; however, if I'm wrong and buy a bad game, it's my fault for not being the most informed consumer I can be.
  • kadusel - May 4, 2013 4:05 a.m.

    It you watch the E3 event (you can found it on Youtube), you'll find that Randy Pitchford clearly stated that what they showed were actual game footage.
  • BladedFalcon - May 3, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    " We continue to support the game, and will defend the rights of entertainers to share their works-in-progress without fear of frivolous litigation." Right... Because people calling out on your game looking completely different from what you promised is totally frivolous *rolls eyes* How about instead, when you show work in progress, yeah, show whatever you want... FROM THE ACTUAL GAME you're working on and for the platforms you'll be releasing it to. Not a bullshit super polished demo running on high end specs that in no way reflects the overall experience >_>
  • db1331 - May 3, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    "Not a bullshit super polished demo running on high end specs that in no way reflects the overall experience >_>" This is what R* is doing right now with all the GTA V promotional material. Yet millions of gamers still believe that the game will look like that on their 360/PS3. I agree, it's a seedy practice for sure, but it happens with nearly every game. No one got upset when Bethesda used a maxed out PC build for their trailer, then added a "Play it best on Xbox 360" ad at the end. Now obviously the discrepancy there is nowhere near as pronounced as with A:CM, but it's still the same thing, albeit to a lesser degree.
  • ParagonT - May 3, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    It sucks that many gamers do believe that, but it still doesn't make it okay. The only time its apparently a problem to consumers is when we have a bad experience with that product, e.g. A:CM and the whole PS3 Skyrim debacle. It's all about when consumers say the line has been drawn. It's easier to forgive and forget about the problems of a game when it gives you a great experience.

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