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Gearbox hits back in Aliens Colonial Marines lawsuit

Says false advertising claims are publisher Sega's responsibility to answer

Gearbox Software is attempting to detach itself from a class action suit which claims the studio and publisher Sega falsely advertised Aliens: Colonial Marines in a deliberately misleading manner.

Launched in May 2013, the suit claims that pre-release game demos exhibited at events such as PAX and E3 were not indicative of the final product, which was much-maligned by critics and consumers alike.

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Attorneys for Gearbox this week filed requests to have four claims against the studio dropped, Polygon reports.

Gearbox argues that it was a contract developer working for Sega, which was ultimately responsible for the game and its marketing.

"Gearbox never belonged in this lawsuit," the company said. "Gearbox is a video game software developer. It was neither the publisher nor seller of the video game at issue. For more than a year, Gearbox has quietly abided the plaintiffs' claims so that Sega, the game's publisher and the party responsible for the game's marketing and sale, could assume the defense of this lawsuit.

"Gearbox has honored its publisher's request in spite of plaintiffs' highly-publicized-and highly-misplaced-claims against Gearbox. At this point, however, Gearbox is obligated to pursue its rightful departure from this case."

Gearbox vice president of marketing Steve Gibson also said: "To develop the software, Gearbox utilized the Unreal game engine licensed from Epic Games; this was the only game engine Gearbox used in the design and development of the game. Contrary to what some believe, the pre-release demonstrations were not made using different game engines."

The suit also accuses Gearbox of diverting money it was paid to make the game into the creation of other titles, something the studio strongly denies.

Gibson said: "During the development process, Gearbox supplemented Sega's development budget with its own money to help Sega finish its game; Gearbox's contributions to A:CM totaled millions, none of which was ever repaid."

The game released in February 2013 on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, while a planned Wii U version was eventually cancelled. Aliens Colonial Marines sales topped 1.3 million units during Sega's fiscal year ended March 31, 2013.

"The game's sales were insufficient to trigger any sales-based payments to Gearbox and, as a result, Gearbox has not received any additional monies from Sega for the sale of the game," Gibson said. "Gearbox only received the milestone payments made by Sega during the game's development."

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