Lawsuit Claims Aliens: Colonial Marines Used False Advertising

Looking at the demos and previews for Aliens: Colonial Marines, it's difficult not to notice just how much better they look than the final product. Bullshots are one thing — in this case, arguably, Aliens had false advertising. Now there's a class-action lawsuit claiming exactly that according to Polygon.

The plaintiff, who cites California civil and business codes, is Damion Perrine. The lawsuit seeks damages for people who purchased the game before the discrepancies between the advertising of Aliens and the actual final product were publicly known. Those outside the press would have no way of knowing what they were purchasing at the time.

Edekson LLC, the law firm representing Perrine, issued the following statement to Polygon:

"The gaming community had a strong reaction to the release of Aliens: Colonial Marines," Edelson LLC's Ben Thomassen told Polygon. "We think the video game industry is no different than any other that deals with consumers: if companies like Sega and Gearbox promise their customers one thing but deliver something else, then they should be held accountable for that decision."

Kotaku reached out to both Gearbox and Sega on the matter, and we will update this post as soon as we receive comment.

Gearbox and Sega falsely advertised Aliens: Colonial Marines with press demos, lawsuit claims [Polygon]


    Argh. It's like demanding a Mass Effect ending change all over again (even though that's slightly different because the ending was fine).
    It's just a bunch of entitled brats demanding things they should have no right to claim.

      No it isn't. There is a big difference between being upset about a narrative choice (in which you don't really have a right to compensation) and being sold a product that is clearly different to what was advertised.

      There is no entitlement when you advertise X and customers by your product expecting X but instead get Y, where Y is a shoddy product.

      There's a bit of a difference between not liking the ending of a story, vs "This doesn't look or play as was advertised."

      This is hardly the same as the Mass Effect ending change. This situation is like ordering a ferrari but instead a junker gets delivered. Dozens of people, including myself and my mates, pre-ordered Colonial Marines because of trailers and gameplay footage that was released and when we eventually played that game it was nothing like what we had seen. We were shown that it would be like one thing and we bought another, that's false advertising mate.

      'It's just a bunch of entitled brats demanding things they should have no right to claim.'

      they intentionally passed off a fake as representative of the final product. Surely they should be held accountable for that.

        I agree. This isn't about entitlement.

        As much as I love Gearbox/SEGA, I really hope they get what's coming to them. They willfully misled their audience and didn't have the balls to lift the review embargo which left consumers no other option but to play and determine the final product for themselves. Does that sound 'fair' to you?

        It was all very shady business and clearly violates the above stated California Bus. and Professions Code. Just read it what Section 17200 says! It has to be most commonly used California business code that attorneys use in their Business/Employment related class action cases.

        That being said, no way will this case reach the Northern District Court, it will be settled out-of-court, if at all.

        Next up, SimCity.

        PS: Kotaku, its 'Edelson LLC.' Try proofreading for FFS!

        Last edited 02/05/13 1:56 pm

          I agree that it is bad they manipulated people into buying a shoddy game. I'll even say there is merit to the class action as the product is not as advertised.

          But saying that the review embargo prevented people finding out about the game is complete BS, it prevented them finding about about it day one, but like any unknown property I'd wait for a review rather than purchase day one.

          Neversoft did a great job on Mortal Kombat I was still unsure about Injustice. You can't blame the lack of reviews before day one for purchasing a crappy game. You should wait for a demo or a review if your unsure of the game.

            But they didn't release an Aliens: Colonial Marines demo, what chance did consumers really have at trying it out before buying it? Sure, you could look up youtube videos of people that received early copies.

            And before all that, we were given gameplay videos of content that wasn't in the game or has been altered.

            To quote what you said, 'you should wait for a demo or a review if your unsure of the game.'


            But does everybody do that? No, right? The first week sales were over 500,000 units. That's huge!!! See VGChartz.

            Damion Perrine filed this case because he felt that someone needed to take a stand on gaming publishers. That or he's trying to cash-in because it's 'merica.

            Instead of taking 'SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY', you my friend, should be saying 'SHUT THE HELL UP AND EARN IT FIRST!'

            So you know what's complete BS? The final product that we were led to believe was good but was anything but.

            So there.

            Last edited 02/05/13 5:03 pm

              Yes they didn't release a Demo, they didn't allow reviews out the door before the game. These should have been warning signs. You took the part where I said Demo and cut off the rather important "or review" to make you point. What sucks about this technique is it's only valid while out of context. It makes you look bad when the context is directly above your argument.

              Yes the Videos misled people I'm agreeing. Just because not everyone waits for information about a game doesn't make my point less valid. Not everyone washes their hands after using the toilet, doesn't mean people shouldn't bother now does it.

              I'm very specificly saying don't just yell "Shut up and take my Money", I'm saying you should yell "You have my attention now earn my money"

              And finally I'm not saying the game is good, I honestly don't know, bad reviews and I haven't played so it's unlikely I will ever find out, I'm saying people should not be refunded for merely being impatient to find out the truth. In cases where people where honestly mislead a refund seems fair. Take for example SimCity, it reviewed really well before release, but when people went to play it the servers broke and it's still a hot mess.

              The big question here is why didn't they take it back to the store. The product did not work as advertised.

                Thanks for your comments mate.

                I don't know if SimCity started off with good reviews before release, I thought it was a mixed bag right off the bat.

                As for why they didn't take it back to the store, who knows? Maybe a lot of them did. Maybe they bought it online from somewhere?

                Hopefully, everyone can learn something from it. Either pre-order less or be more diligent with research before buying a product.

    This is just typical self-entitled gamer bullshit trying to earn something for nothing. Seriously, they couldn't wait for reviews or communial feedback? They can't simply sell/trade the game?

    This also means that ALL games and developers are viable for a lawsuit, considering like, 99% of all pre-released demos and videos are completely different from the final product.

    This reminds me of the time when Xbox LIVE went down for a few days and someone tried to sue them for losing that time.

    after a complaint a few months back, the UK advertising standards board has already (informally*) ruled that the Colonial Marines advertising was misleading. Even though it's different countries etc, this potentially sets a precedent for this class action to be upheld.

    * 'Informally' in this case pretty much means that the Ad board asked them to put a disclaimer on their trailers & screen shots, Gearbox / Sega did, so there was no need for formal legal action.

    Last edited 02/05/13 12:39 pm

      Yeah, I remember that... the disclaimer was a bit of a joke, though. Said the footage was from an in-development demo and did not reflect on the final quality of the game, which is almost always implying that the final product will be better, not worse.

    If you file a lawsuit against them, how will they ever make the game look like it is supposed to? Take more of their money so they cannot fix it? There is no purpose in this.

      Hate to break it to you - they weren't and aren't ever going to 'fix' the game.

        That really is a shame because I do have a soft spot for A:CM. I heard they were working on a big patch for it but alas if not I cannot say I am dissapointed. Was more or less expecting it to be honest.

          Not doubt Gearbox will release some patches that will fix and improve a few things, but a few patches can't really fix the overall fundamentally flaw architecture of the game. Kind of like putting bandaids on a shark attack victim.

          Oh, a big patch did come out. And apparently there's another one on the way.

          Damage is pretty much done though. It'll be interesting to see if anyone re-reviews it more favourably. A lot of the criticisms came around sloppy, jingoistic writing and similar.

            Even if they did, they can't resubmit to Metacritic, they only accept the first one

      in the event there is no FIX.
      they should be punished for doing what they did and not repeat themselves.

      stupidity in itself is never punishment enough.

      (PS; I never bought the game or even heard of it till the fiasco)

    Do Demos constitute advertising though? I mean, there is always an understanding that Demos aren't the final product and changes will be made in the final cut. Most demo videos come with that disclaimer. Looking into whether customer's were provided with return options if that were not happy with the product is important as well. With a lot of online purchases, the terms and conditions of the item usually come along with the product in the mail; which is why it usually comes with the option to "return in 30 days and get your money back".

    Ultimately, I was pretty disappointed at how awful Aliens: Colonial Marines was, but those are the risks when you pre-order games and other products. And we still technically got Aliens: Colonial Marines no matter how awful it is. It will be interesting to see how this is played out.

    It might as well be Lionel Hutz championing this pointless claim. If you're going to litigate against games being crappier than presented, you're going to put a lot of developers out of work because someone, somewhere thought end product was shit. If it were still running, this would be a Stella Award shoe-in...

    This guy has lost (although I agree with him morally) 'Promised’ is not accurate, they’ve fu*ked people over but they didn’t promise anything.

    I've worked in games development, and it's a fairly common occurrence for promotional material to be created using old/out-of-date assets/versions-of-the-game.

    It's actually incredibly frustrating for game devs - as usually your game isn't being advertised in the best light.

    It's a pretty freak occurrence for a game to get a massive downgrade mid-way through development. That being said, publishers are pretty evil.

    Is it really that bad? I've been keen to grab it when it hits bargain bin.

      I haven't played it, but for what it's worth it got an all-round lower total metacritic rating on every platform than Duke Nukem Forever.

      It cost me $30 thanks to a bargain and a coupon and that feels about the maximum price it should have been.

      It was fun enough for me to put about 10 hours into it but certainly nothing special. Mostly I was imagining what could have been rather than really enjoying what was there.

      I'd say it's still worth a play but leave it till its $10 or so

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