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Lawsuit Accuses Sega and Gearbox of Falsely Advertising Aliens: Colonial Marines

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Posted on May 1, 2013 AT 02:17pm

Sega and Gearbox Software are being taken to court, accused of falsely advertising Aliens: Colonial Marines, Polygon reports.

According to the suit, law firm Edelson LLC, representing plaintiff Damion Perrine, are claiming Gearbox and Sega’s demos at PAX and E3 were false advertising that did not accurately represent the final product.  Gearbox co-founder Randy Pitchford is cited as claiming those demos as “actual gameplay, and that because the review embargo did not lift until the morning of ACM’s launch date, February 12, consumers who pre-ordered the title or purchased it day-one were unable to learn about the discrepancies between misleading media and the actual product.

“Each of the ‘actual gameplay’ demonstrations purported to show consumers exactly what they would be buying: a cutting edge videogame with very specific features and qualities,” reads the claim. “Unfortunately for their fans, Defendants [Sega and Gearbox] 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.”

Edelson, LLC are also using Pitchford’s own tweets against him, pointing out how the developer acknowledges the validity of the complain.

“That is understood and fair and we are looking at that,” Pitchford tweeted in response to a comment about the demo builds and the final build being so different. “Lots of info to parse, lots of stake holders to respect.”

According to the law firm, Sega and Gearbox ultimately violated a number of civil and business codes, which serve as the foundation of the suit.

Update: Polygon reports the lawsuit has been assigned to arbitration by Maria-Elena James, a feeder magistrate judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The process is scheduled to conclude August 1, with a July 11 deadline for Gearbox and Sega to come to an early settlement.

Plaintiff Damion Perrine and Edelson LLC are still seeking a class action lawsuit, however.

Source: Polygon

Chris Holzworth, News Editor
Chris Holzworth has wanted to write about games all his life. He first cut his teeth writing for enthusiast sites such as RPGFan, and after writing for just about every other enthusiast website he could came across, wound up as EGM's east coast news correspondent (read: editorial intern, a fancy phrase for "slave") before relocating to LA to serve as news editor. [Meet the rest of the crew]

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