Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Sega & Gearbox Because Of Aliens: Colonial Marines
A new class action lawsuit has been filed against Sega and Gearbox Software after they were accused of intentionally misleading consumers to purchase their latest FPS project, Aliens: Colonial Marines. Both companies have been accused of presenting early demo footage that bore very little resemblance to the final product, something we see occurring all too often in today’s gaming industry.
The case has been filed by the US law firm, Edelson LLC, on behalf of Damion Perrine. The pair are seeking damages and costs for Aliens consumers that purchased the product based on the misinformation seen in the demo.
“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.”
Adding to the plaintiffs case was the recent acknowledgement from the head of Gearbox Randy Pitchford. In a message he stated that he was aware of the obvious differences between the demo and the full game and the company would “take a look at it”
“Class action lawsuits continue to occur in the US games industry from time to time, recent examples including class action lawsuits against EA over their use of real life players in their sports games as well as against various games publishers for ‘sunsetting’ or closing down their social games,” Jas Purewal, an interactive entertainment lawyer at Osborne Clarke told Eurogamer.
“That said, the reality is that it is still relatively rare for consumer complaints (over, for example, a game’s features, quality or use of DRM) to materialise into a class action or other lawsuit (not least given the complexity and cost involved in getting it off the ground). So far as I’m aware, none of them has yet been brought all the way to trial.”
A recent complaint from a UK user of Reddit forced Sega to add a legal disclaimer to the Aliens: Colonial Marines Trailer after the Advertising Standards Agency followed a complaint from the individual.
In the UK, a complaint to the Advertising Standards Agency forced Sega to add a disclaimer to Aliens: Colonial Marines trailers, identifying footage that doesn’t reflect the actual game. Although I don’t have any knowledge of American legal proceedings, I would like to think the individual has a case as many players purchased the game based on the footage in the demo, but only time will tell.