Gamers get mad when they feel they’ve been wronged. We all spend a lot of time at our keyboards, weighing in on this or that, getting all kinds of heated whenever we feel like there’s an injustice at hand. But sometimes, a few go that extra step of bringing their online anger to the real world. Such is the case of the class-action lawsuit that’s been filed against Sega and Gearbox Software over perceived consumer deception over Aliens Colonial Marines.
And while this suit—which alleges that demos of the game shown at conventions were active attempts at the game’s makers to dupe gamers into buying an inferior final product—has a relatively decent-seeming basis, cases like these rarely get too far.
So, it’s not surprising that Sega and Gearbox have come out with statements that look to discredit the suit entirely. Here’s what Sega had to say:
“SEGA cannot comment on specifics of ongoing litigation, but we are confident that the lawsuit is without merit and we will defend it vigorously.”
And then here’s Gearbox’s statement:
“Attempting to wring a class action lawsuit out of a demonstration is beyond meritless. We continue to support the game, and will defend the rights of entertainers to share their works-in-progress without fear of frivolous litigation.”
My only feeling on that last bit is that Gearbox’s statement regards the demo the company showed as a “work-in-progress.” The suit alleges (and it’s been pretty well established to now) that the demo that was shown wasn’t actually from the game that was released. It’d be like if I did a test-drive demonstration of a Ferrari and then sold a Ford Pinto with the Ferrari name on it. That’s not a perfect analogy, but that’s kind of the idea behind the litigation, at least to my eyes.
In the end, though, this suit will probably not go very far. We’ll provide further updates as we learn them.