More Aliens bad blood aired: anonymous SEGA employee claims Gearbox “stole” funding

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By on February 25, 2013 at 2:35 pm

The saga of “What The Hell Happened to Make Aliens: Colonial Marines So Terrible” rolls on, with a reveal over the weekend from an anonymous SEGA employee who claims that Gearbox quite literally stole money from SEGA to use on Borderlands.

An entire new blog has been set up by the name of ‘SEGA Awakens’, and Destructoid are claiming that they’ve independently verified the source behind it. The blogger, writing as “Bryan Danielson”, claims that “most of the information posted online is 99% true”, and that “Gearbox stole from SEGA, they robbed us, lied to us about the game, and tried to get another company to make the game instead.”

The post goes on to claim that Gearbox used the money SEGA gave them for Aliens: Colonial Marines to fund Borderlands instead, and that they then used the profits from that to grab the 3DRealms team and finish the development of Duke Nukem Forever, another poorly-received launch.

“So 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,” continues the post.

While the author believes legal action against Gearbox may be impossible as it has probably technically fulfilled its contract, he predicts job losses at SEGA as a result of the fallout from this and claims that “by all rights, Borderlands 1 and 2 should be a SEGA published game, since they got the money from us to fund the game, and since those games are smash hits, our jobs here at SEGA would be more secure and just having those two games, the SEGA brand might be on a path to being revived somewhat.”

Source: SEGA Awakens and Destructoid

12 comments (Leave your own)

If there is a clause in the contract which says something like, “X money is used solely for the development of Y game only and not for any other purposes” then maybe Sega had a case. If not, well lesson learnt.


I’m no genius but I would almost guarantee that something like that would be in the contract. I think the problem is that it could be difficult to prove and they actually did give sega a game.


Haven’t checked the source but if he did use words like “embezzle” the author might find themselves in some legal trouble.


I hope this doesn’t effect Rome 2s development, otherwise i will never forgive Gearbox and never buy anything from them again in the future.


You know, the problem with this whole shaboozle is I love Borderlands and Brothers in Arms way to much to really care about any of the Gearbox hate.

..and before you say it, i do have shame.


Well it could be a legitimate source with inside knowledge or it could just be more speculation intent on looking for reason for multiple bad Gearbox releases (though you could argue they release far more bad than good anyway so maybe it’s just par for the course).

The fact stands that when you compare A:CM to Borderlands 2 there is a big, big difference in the end quality of the product, they are different games but the quality should be of a similar standard, it obviously is not. 6 years to create A:CM and then to have it turn out like it did (and not even remotely what it once looked like) doesn’t help Gearbox’s case or credibility). Publishers can be very strict, in this case it seems Sega gave Gearbox a lot of trust and room to move, something that was obviously taken care of for their own benefit rather than that benefit of the game they were supposedly working on.

Haven’t seen the contract between Sega and Gearbox so can’t comment on if it was allowed to happen legally or if Gearbox decided to be “flexible” with interpretation.

At this point I think I would sit in Sega’s camp in terms of who is “right”. If it turns out Gearbox have stiffed Sega, and badly, well imagine the ramifications on future publisher/developer contracts and exactly how that will effect the quality of future games.


The author doesn’t seem to have thought out his post particularly well. It seems very heated and angry and not particularly reasonable at times. I doubt he’s anyone of consequence, so his addition to the saga should maybe be taking with a bit of a grain of salt.


Without knowing what went wrong, from my point of view, it was both Gearbox’s and SEGA’s fault:

1. Gearbox for putting it’s name on the product and riding the success of Borderlands 1 and 2 to sell ACM. They should have delayed Borderlands 2 in order to get Colonial Marines right using their own staff, and

2. SEGA for being too flexible with Gearbox… as with any contract management, you want to see progress with the product. That means properly scheduled milestones of actual product demonstrations.

I think Borderlands 3 will have to be somewhat spectacular in Gearbox is going to win back its fanbase after this mess. Preorders might be down somewhat… or they may have to give one hell of a good reason to preorder.



I think history has taught us that a lot of people will act angry or offended but sales for future titles won’t be affected in the slightest.


Yeah the Borderlands series is Gearbox’s baby. I seriously doubt they’d screw it up in the future. I for one will be quite happy to purchase any future BL releases regardless of how ACM turned out.


The biggest problem with this is just all the preview footage looking better then what people actually got. If this was the same stuff they were showing Sega to hide what was really going on then of course I’d be pissed if I was Sega went to Gearbox, got shown one product and then another ended up on the shelf.


Hopefully, if no other lesson is learnt from A:CM, it is that the gaming community is foolish to pre-order games. Under any circumstances. It’s just not worth it and it never really was. We just get swept up in the excitement and hype. Myself included – I didn’t pre-order A:CM, but I seriously considered it, such was my excitement watching some of those trailers.

This will go a long way towards showing developers that we won’t put up with the crap they’ve pulled with games like Homeland and A:CM. I imagine A:CM has still made a tidy sum of cash – far more than it deserves – from pre-orders. That probably annoys me more than the game being rubbish. :-/

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