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Sega: Gearbox’s Pitchford is to blame for Alien: Colonial Marine’s misleading marketing

Documents filed by Sega of America for use as defence in a class-action lawsuit against the publisher allege that Gearbox Software head Randy Pitchford did “whatever the f*ck he likes” in the promotion of the critically-panned Aliens: Colonial Marines.

Sega is using the documents to assert that Gearbox is just as accountable as the publisher itself in the face of the suit.

Back in August, Sega and the plaintiffs in the class-action suit reached a tentative agreement where Sega was to pay $1.25 million in damages due to misleading marketing surrounding the game. Sega would like to divide that fee with Gearbox. Gearbox, quite obviously, would not.

“The parties had to mutually agree to the ‘precise particulars of marketing assets’ delivered by Gearbox,” Sega said in a recent motion. “Gearbox’s participation — Randy Pitchford’s, in particular — was a key element in the ACM marketing strategy from the beginning.”

Sega continues to say that Pitchford is a “respected development celebrity and is guaranteed to be headline material in worldwide press coverage.”

Sega then asserts that Gearbox and Pitchford were the drIving force behind an E3 2011 demo, which many believe began the misleading marketing campaign the game is now known for.

“During one of my conversations with Gearbox today I verified that the E3 Demo is indeed the bar that we should use to determine where the entire game will be,” Matt Powers, Senior Producer at Sega of America, wrote to other employees in recently released documents. “That is Gearbox’s plan and what they believe in. I just wanted to double-check with them and since I did I figured I would pass that along to you.”

Sega continues to allege that Pitchford went off the script at E3 2011 and ignored a pre-prepared question and answer document that are publisher had provided.

“I spoke face to face to [Gearbox’s Steve] Gibson about their persistent panel leaking,” Matt Eyre wrote in an internal Sega email now made available to all. “Effectively — it’s Randy [Pitchford] doing whatever the f*ck he likes. Apparently he did it twice on [Borderlands 2] also, against, against all plans and despite the fact they asked him not to. I think our best result here is that we have no more panel sessions …”

The next hearing on the issue will take place in late October.

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Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist nearing twenty (TWENTY!?!) years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.