A SEGA employee, who blogs anonymously at SEGA Awakens, has put his own two cents in regarding the continuing drama surrounding Aliens: Colonial Marines and the three primary companies involved in its release. According to his latest post, the reports already circulating on several fronts are almost entirely truthful.
This latest entry into the sordid tale surrounding Aliens: Colonial Marines’ development doesn’t add much new information, but does cite the more major Reddit posts and other sources that have come forth before laying out where the poster feels blame belongs. Despite not being assigned to or even interested in the Aliens project himself, the mounting evidence prompted him to consult coworkers who had contributed to Colonial Marines, who in turn confirmed that “99% of what was posted online was true.”
Firstly, TimeGate studios is held responsible for signing on to the project in the first place, and for doing a poor job with whatever they were handed. The poster acknowledges Reddit commentor claims that Gearbox maintained creative supervision over the project, but feels TimeGate should have stood up to this allegedly poor oversight and tried to work toward a compromise rather than just going along with it. He also points out that the allegations that TimeGate threw out assets Gearbox had already worked on, should they be true, could have had good reason behind them. This, however, seems questionable, given the discovery earlier this week that the team responsible for the drool-inducing, albeit scripted, demo was the same crew working on the full game, and therefore likely using the same assets.
The poster then goes on to suggest his own company, SEGA, is somewhat at fault, for announcing the game before there was anything to show for it, backing down from the game’s alleged 2008 cancellation, and for lacking the amount of oversight on the project needed to prevent it from turning into a lengthy string of delays and the mess it would eventually become. SEGA may have just been the publisher in this case, but with their money on the line and their name on the final product, they had just as much a stake and have been taking just as much heat as any of the other key players.
Finally, the blog goes on to condemn Gearbox Software and its head, Randy Pitchford, for mishandling the funds they were receiving from SEGA, misrepresenting their progress and team sizes to those whom Gearbox was beholden in order to funnel their income towards things such as the unsuccessful attempt to salvage Duke Nukem Forever, and the building of the Borderlands franchise.
Both the original blog post and Jim Sterling’s coverage of it are a bit more in-depth, but what it comes down to is that, for whatever reason, it seems Gearbox’s handling of Aliens: Colonial Marines is coming off as increasingly dodgy as more sources come to light and corroborate one another’s stories. Despite the growing storm, both SEGA proper and Gearbox remain mum on the whole affair, with Randy Pitchford himself going so far as to only respond to positive feedback regarding Colonial Marines thus far. Whether this fallout is liable to end in legal action of some sort is unknown, but given the public relations nightmare things have become, it would be little surprise if lawyers became involved down the line.