Seems that the drama never stops for SEGA of America and Gearbox Software, continuing with details on a new court filing by SEGA on September 2nd. According to SEGA’s attorney that despite what Gearbox said about them not being responsible with marketing. SEGA disagreed and stated that they had equal part and would sometimes overstepped their boundaries. SEGA went as far to say that they were kept in the dark about certain promotional decisions.
One of these claims is that Gearbox co-founder Randy Pitchford wold go to events and state to the press that the demos where “actual gameplay” which of course is false.
SEGA has already admitted to wrong doing and will pay $1.25 million dollars, Gearbox was allowed to join in with SEGA if they would agree to pay a additional $750,000 in the settlement, but it seems they will continue to fight on. According to Gearbox they operated as a contractor and that SEGA had final word on the game and marketing.
According to Gearbox Software they are now being left holding the bag for future lawsuits, even though they are just a contractor (see Clerks arguments on contractors on the Death Star), weren’t part of the settlement negotiations with SEGA and doesn’t think its a fair deal for gamers (because Gearbox and SEGA really care about us gamers).According to SEGA:
“The parties had to mutually agree to the ‘precise particulars of marketing assets’ delivered by Gearbox.”Gearbox’s participation — Randy Pitchford’s, in particular — was a key element in the ACM marketing strategy from the beginning.”
According to the document that SEGA filed this week, they said that Pitchford is a “respected development celebrity and is guaranteed to be headline material in worldwide press coverage.” SEGA goes on to confirm that the 2011 E3 demo showed off was created entirely by Gearbox and they told SEGA officials that the demo was the bar the game should be held to according to a internal email.
“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. 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.” – Matt Powers, senior producer at SEGA of America e-mail to employees working on Aliens: Colonial Marines
The filing goes as far as listing eight examples of times SEGA says Gearbox made statements or announcements to the press without having their approval.
One of these times includes their now infamous E3 2011 showing where SEGA says Pitchford went beyond what SEGA documents outlined for the prepared questions, stating “talked a LOT beyond what was in there.” Another was on the game’s website at the community day event and releasing an unapproved screenshot that Gearbox officials called ‘leaks’.
SEGA court filing also calls out Gearbox on their earlier claim that they never received payments based on how much Aliens sold, according to SEGA they paid millions of dollars in advance for royalties in ‘milestone payments’. SEGA had nothing to say about Gearbox’s claim that they spent millions of their own money completing game the game.
The next court hearing will be held Oct. 29th, I’m sure it will get spooky. I’ll leave you with a nice internal email quote from Director of Brand Marketing for SEGA, Matt Eyre:
“I spoke face to face to [Gearbox’s Steve] Gibson about their persistent panel leaking, Effectively — it’s Randy [Pitchford] doing whatever the fuck he likes. Apparently he did it twice on [Borderlands 2] also, 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 …”