Did Gearbox ‘embezzle’ Money From Sega to Fund Their Other Games?
Hey, Gearbox. Man, you look just like I feel.
The debacle surrounding Aliens: Colonial Marines just keeps getting more and more headline worthy. After promising for six straight years that we were going to get a beautiful looking, well-crafted game, we were handed the steaming turd that is the collaborative effort of Gearbox, TimeGate, and publisher SEGA. With blatant lies like showing previews that displayed a beautiful game with really smart enemy AI, only to ship a game with absolutely none of what was promised, many games feel cheated out of their money.
Well, they’re not the only ones.
According to a source, aliased ‘Bryan Danielson’, who is collaborating with fellow gaming blog Destructoid, all three parties (Gearbox, TimeGate and SEGA) are all at fault, with the biggest roach being Gearbox. Yep, it’s a bug hunt.
Apparently, TimeGate, who was revealed to have actually done most of the work after Gearbox shoveled the load onto their plate, should carry the blame for “their shoddy work”, and even went so far as to note that TimeGate had to restart the whole project, possibly due to them not being legally allowed to use Gearbox’s work.
“SEGA is at fault for: Announcing the project in 2007 when no work was done at all,” writes Danielson, along with blasting them for not permanently cancelling the game in 2008 when they found out about “the mishandling of funds by Gearbox”.
When SEGA discovered that Gearbox had funneled the money SEGA gave them into their other projects like the Borderlands games and Duke Nukem Forever, there was a massive want for for the publisher to get their money back. Unfortunately, this meant shipping an unfinished game, using all sorts of smoke-and-mirrors preview material to sell the game as an overall finished and polished product, and getting their funds from the consumer, who has undoubtedly gotten some of the worst out of this deal.
The hammer really comes down on Gearbox, though, when Danielson writes that, “Gearbox essentially lied to SEGA, mishandled funds, broke agreements and contractual obligations to work on other projects, didn’t want to work on a game they were contractually obligated to work on and gave it to another team, poor organization and direction on ACM, took on too many projects from different companies at once, and other things that we may not even know about. Hell, part of me believes that Gearbox wanted this thing delayed as much as possible so they can get more funding money to embezzle from SEGA.”
Now, keep in mind that this information is coming from an anonymous source, so nothing is for sure here, but the stories do seem to line up. If true, we’re looking at some serious backlash against Gearbox, and possibly the two other studios.
What do you guys thing of the whole A:CM scandal?
You can follow Frank on Twitter @Fuhjem.