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A Copy of Sega Awakens' A:CM Post
Posted on Wednesday, February 27 2013 @ 12:09:44 Eastern

This is a Repost.  I do not hold the rights to it at all.  It belongs to whoever wrote it.

That eventual Aliens: Colonial Marines post
 
Looks like I have to finally post this information.  Going through all of this information has just been depressing, and the thing is, most of the information has been already posted online by other sources.  So I really don't have anything new to post except for a few little things.  Honestly, I wish more developers will get on blogging sites and stuff to post about it anonymously.

Need a refresher?  Here are the links.

http://texags.com/main/forum.reply.asp?topic_id=2080612&forum_id=13

"mugwurt" gives out some info and successfully predicts how the game would be.

http://www.reddit.com/r/LV426/comments/18ewf4/a_lot_of_you_are_rightfully

The infamous reddit post.  Don't forget to read the comments where someone also mentions that Timegate had no creative control.  "TG had absolutely no control of what was produced, they did exactly what they were asked to. You should be furious with Gearbox for assigning such **** quality creative directors to the project."

http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Gearbox-Lied-Sega-About-Aliens-Colonial-Marines-Says-Developer-52765.html & http://www.destructoid.com/developer-gearbox-lied-to-sega-2k-over-colonial-marines-245986.phtml

This is more recent, it links to the Destructoid article about Gearbox lying.

http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Aliens-Colonial-Marines-Wii-U-Version-Worst-Says-Sega-Tester-52659.html

Wii U version is the worst.  No surprise there.

http://multiplayerblog.mtv.com/2013/02/14/gearbox-might-have-lied-about-aliens-development-mess/

One supplemental article that timelines the issues.

http://kotaku.com/5984068/how-aliens-colonial-marines-fell-apart

As much as I hate Kotaku, this one is a good supplement to the reddit post.

So there is your information.  I say 99% of it is true.  So instead of me parroting people's posts, let me sort out the blame first.

TimeGate is at fault for: Wanting to even take on this project and their shoddy work.  Granted, I heard about their claims about Gearbox having full creative control, but they should have tried to show their side of the argument and fight more if they had problems with Gearbox's creative control and creative direction.  Honestly, I thought they should have risked some arguments and the possibility of losing the contract, if they had problems with the project like the reddit poster said.  However, there still is a chance of their claims being a lie or a half truth, but as I said above, TimeGate has some responsibility.  I'm not sure about the stuff that was thrown out.  There is a chance that TimeGate may have not been allowed to use the already created material (it can cause legal issues), and Gearbox is saying they threw it out to discredit TimeGate.  Then again, there could be a chance that TimeGate really did wanted to throw out whatever Gearbox already worked on for some reason.

SEGA is at fault for:  Announcing the project in 2007 when no work was done at all.  In my views, a game project should be announced publicly when it is 50% - 60% done, so you won't have to wait 6 years for a game that turns out to be ****.  SEGA is also responsible for not permanently cancelling the game in 2008.  I don't know who found out about the mishandling of funds by Gearbox, but it had to be one of the few right decisions the board has done, or this person is one of the few board members who knew what they were doing (from what I heard, this person may have left the board a while ago when SEGA decided to start the project again).  This game should have been cancelled permanently, and the final product is undeniable proof of it.  Despite that, I believe SEGA wanted to try to get some of the money back, at the fans' expense.  So another blame for SEGA there.  SEGA should have also watched the project and development a lot better, because there was a lot of warning signs that said this was a disaster in the making.  So whoever was assigned to watch Gearbox and the game has some responsibility too, unless the board was forcing him to do it.  SEGA and their lawyers also have some blame on the wording of the contract too, but more on that later.

Now here is the company that should get most of the blame: Gearbox Software and Randy Pitchford.  Gearbox stole from SEGA, they robbed us, lied to us about the game, and tried to get another company to make the game instead.  Let's see where the funding went shall we?  Everyone said the game went to both Borderlands games, but Duke Nukem Forever gets a mention as well, but it's pushed out of the spotlight, because people want to forget about that game, and I don't blame them!  Duke Nukem Forever, had a big impact on Aliens: Colonial Marines (ACM) as well.  Don't believe me?  Let's read this article here.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/30260/InDepth_Pitchford_On_How_Gearbox_Got_To_Own_Duke_Nukem_Franchise.php

It clearly shows that Pitchford and Gearbox wanted to focus heavily on Duke Nukem Forever, but how would they get the money to hire some of the 3D Realms team and even buy the intellectual property?  Sure, they made a lot from Borderlands, but guess where they got the money to fund Borderlands in the first place?  Yup, SEGA.  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.

Now before I go on, let me clarify a few things in this post:  As I mentioned, most of the information that is already posted online is at least 99% true.  I did not hear about this earlier, because I never seen the Aliens movies, I'm not a fan of the franchise, I'm not familiar with it, and I wasn't even assigned to the project, so I didn't care about it.  It's why I didn't hear much until all of this negative press came out, and I had to talk to some co-workers.  They told me what I'm telling all of you now:  At least 99% of what was posted online is true.  This is depressing as hell for all of us, because money that should go towards our paychecks and the well being of the company was taken from us.

As for the legal action, I'm hearing rumors that SEGA still might try to find ways for legal action on Gearbox for the massive train wreck this whole saga has caused,  and they should.  However, since the game has been released, the contract has been fulfilled, so depending on the wording of the contract, there might be no legal action taken against Gearbox, or having a case against them will be difficult.  I strongly believe that SEGA should not have released the game and made the fans pay for it, they should have taken Gearbox straight to court, because they stole money from us to fund Borderlands and Duke Nukem Forever!  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.  Instead, we're going through this difficult period of our lives, and people have lose their jobs from this, and in my view, having ACM game on their resume will damage their chances of getting back in the industry, and I hope they do, well the good people at least, since there are good people on all sides of this mess, who knew something was wrong.

I'm pretty much done, but let me say that this should be a lesson in management for you all.  In my view, the board and the people supplying the money should not have any creative control over a product, I mentioned this before with Alpha Protocol.  The board, or the person who is representing the board should keep an eye on how the project is coming along and establish good communications with the development team working on the game, and see if there is any problems or mismanagement going on.  It's a fine balance of being involved and not being too involved where the board member tries to hold creative control.  In this case, what happened clearly was SEGA had a decent eye on the project, rightfully cancelled it, when they saw the problems, then someone decided to restart the project, leading to this massive mess.

There, I'm done.  Where is our money Randy?  We should get sales from Borderlands 1 and 2, since it was our money that funded it.

--Bryan Danielson, February 22, 2013

I don't own this post, it's not mine, but I felt a copy of it available somewhere other than Google cache would be a good idea as the blog has been taken down.  It's likely to disappear from that in the near future.  I'll also be posting a copy of his post commenting on Alpha Protocol's troubled development.
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