That’s right: angry gamers have filed a class-action lawsuit against Sega and Gearbox Software over Aliens: Colonial Marines because it sucks. More specifically, the claim alleges that because the 2012 demos shown at trade shows are significantly different from the final product, the game-makers misled consumers about what they’d be getting. And while I tend to feel like class-action suits filed against video game companies for this reason or that are a bit on the frivolous side, this time around there seems to be a pretty legitimate beef behind the suit.
The news comes by way of a post on Polygon from yesterday, which reports that the suit’s been filed in California. It reads:
“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 [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.”
This isn’t the first time that the game’s non-representative demos have caused trouble for the final product. In the UK, Sega was forced to add a disclaimer to its advertising that acknowledges that its demo footage isn’t actually what you’ll get—which is pretty bad from a PR perspective.
All in all, it’s probably just as likely that the suit will get chucked out of court as it is that it’ll continue. From where I’m sitting, the plaintiffs have a pretty decent claim against the game’s makers, considering how clearly the demo footage deviates from the final product. We’ll keep the blog posted with any updates on this suit if and when it moves forward.