Well, this is certainly turning out to be an interesting week for Gearbox Software. Their latest game, Aliens: Colonial Marines, has been utterly destroyed by critics and gamers alike, while confusion has reigned supreme about who the hell actually developed the game. According to Gearbox, several companies were involved in the game’s development.
The company also got major backlash from fans who say that the final product looks nothing like the demo they were shown at E3 back in 2010.
Now the plot has thickened even further as Destructoid have posted an interesting news piece in which they claim to have talked to a developer who worked on Aliens: Colonial Marines in 2007 to 2008, a developer who says Gearbox actively lied to SEGA.
For obvious reasons whoever this person is wished to remain anonymous, but had this to say:
“Gearbox was taking people off the project to put them on Borderlands 1,” he says of his time on the job. “This was before the big art style change happened on Borderlands. Our team was getting smaller by the month, making it very difficult to get the game made. Ironically several of the team members were ex-3D Realms people who were saying [paraphrasing] ‘Finally, we’re going to Gearbox to make Aliens, and we’re going to ship a fucking game!’ Hah.”
“At some point in 2008, SEGA temporarily pulled the plug on the game,” he said. “They caught wind of Gearbox shifting resources (despite still collecting milestone checks as if the team were full size) and lying to SEGA AND 2K about the number of people working on each project. This led to the round of layoffs at Gearbox in late 2008.”
So, in short Gearbox were collecting funds from SEGA, claiming that they still had a full development team working on Aliens: Colonial Marines, when in fact they did not. Obviously at some point SEGA decided to start the project back up again, although if Destructoid’s source is right it’s hard to see why they would choose to do so, unless they decided that due to the amount of resources already poured in to the title it would be pointless to halt development.
And though it’s not said, is there any possibility that Gearbox used funds allocated by SEGA for the development of Aliens: Colonial Marines on Borderlands?
Destructoid’s source also says he spoke to Gearbox staff in early 2012 and they weren’t expecting the game to actually release in February due to its current state, instead they were expecting a fresh delay.
Interesting stuff. Obviously there’s no way of verifying if any of this is true, so it should be taken with a pinch of salt, but if it correct then Gearbox are going to have to go and sit down in the naughty corner for a while.