Class-action lawsuit filed against Gearbox, SEGA over Aliens: Colonial Marines advertising
In early April we reported a story from the UK that featured the ASA, or Advertising Standards Agency, and a reddit user who claimed that Aliens: Colonial Marines used “misleading footage” in advertising. The ASA sided against Gearbox, which resulted in the developer adding disclaimers on their trailers stating that they’re not reflective of the final product. However, one gamer has taken their frustration to another level and has filed as class-action lawsuit against Gearbox’s “underwhelming” Aliens title.
According to plaintiff Damion Perrine, “Gearbox and Sega falsely advertised Aliens by showing demos at trade shows like PAX and E3 which didn't end up being accurate representations of the final product.”
At the time, Colonial Marines’ gameplay demos were marketed as “actual gameplay,” though Perrine’s claims are built upon the foundation that these demos portrayed a level of “graphical fidelity, AI behavior and even entire levels not featured in the game.” Perrine notes that consumers couldn’t distinguish these demo versions with the final product due to review outlets’ embargos lifting on launch day.
"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," the claim argues. "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."
Class-action lawsuits have a tendency to play out in several different ways. Normally, a consumer filing against an entire company doesn’t hold much weight, but having seen the UK ASA’s opinion on the matter, who knows which party could have the upper hand. One should note that Gearbox/SEGA could come to terms with Perrine in some way without any “criminal” penalty even needed, as many lawsuits eventually play out. At this time, however, there’s still much to be said.
We’ll continue to update readers on the situation as it plays out. Until then, comment below and let us know what you think on the entire matter. Did Gearbox/SEGA use faulty marketing with Aliens: Colonial Marines?