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Gearbox, Sega sued over Aliens: Colonial Marines

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Aliens: Colonial Marines (Credit: Sega)

Aliens: Colonial Marines might have rankled critics, but that’s nothing compared to how it upset fans. And one fan in particular.

Plaintiff Damion Perrine filed a false advertising lawsuit against publisher Sega and developer Gearbox Software Tuesday in the Northern District of California, saying demos of the game shown at industry trade shows and public events were not accurate representations of the game that hit shelves.

"Each of the 'actual gameplay' demonstrations purported to show consumers exactly what they would be buying: a cutting edge video game with very specific features and qualities," the claim reads. "Unfortunately for their fans, Defendants never told anyone --consumers, industry critics, reviewers, or reporters -- that their 'actual gameplay' demonstration advertising campaign bore little resemblance to the retail product that would eventually be sold to a large community of unwitting purchasers."

This isn't the first time someone has pointed out the differences between what was seen in previews and the final product. As the suit notes, Gearbox's Randy Pitchford even acknowledged the differences in a Tweet.

The suit claims that, due to review embargoes, consumers had no knowledge of the differences prior to purchasing the game and is seeking damages for anyone who pre-ordered the game or bought it on day one.

"We think the video game industry is no different than any other that deals with consumers: if companies like Sega and Gearbox promise their customers one thing but deliver something else, then they should be held accountable for that decision," Perrine's attorney told Polygon.

Sega told Gamasutra it was looking into the lawsuit. Gearbox has not yet commented on the action.

Games often look better in scripted demos compared to the final product, but Aliens, perhaps due to its extended development time and the popularity of the franchise, struck a nerve with players. While titles like Star Trek and The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct have lower Metacritic scores this year, neither has had anywhere close to this sort of reaction from players.

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