Its damage limitation time for SEGA
As has become widely known in the gaming industry in the past few months, Aliens: Colonial Marines isn’t quite what gamers were hoping for. Nor was it something its distributors SEGA, who payed Gearbox a lot of money to make, which then disappeared wanted. Its had ok sales, but has been savaged by critics and gamers alike for buggy controls and gameplay and a demo that was nothing like the finished product.
Well it seems that gamers wants some of their money back and to punish SEGA and Gearbox at the same time.
The firm Edelson LLC, on behalf of plaintiff Damion Perrine, have filed a class action lawsuit (meaning a large number of people are suing as one person) against SEGA and Gearbox for allegedly breaking a number of Californian laws. The press release by Edelson LLC is quite in depth but the paragraph of importance is below:
“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…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.”
They also make a point about accountability in the gaming industry:
“The gaming community had a strong reaction to the release of Aliens: Colonial Marines,” Edelson LLC’s Ben Thomassen told Polygon. “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.”
Whether this lawsuit is successful or not may just shape gaming and change the relationship between gamers and the companies making games. Its good in one way, but it could open the door to things like the Mass Effect 3 ending controversy being legally accountable for. I’m not sure I would be happy with the sense of entitlement that would bring to certain parts of gamings fanbase.