Following a slew of poor and negative reviews of the recently released Aliens: Colonial Marines, rumors have surfaced that indicate that a very significant portion of the game has been outsourced to third parties including Shoot Many Robots‘ Demiurge Studios and Section 8 TimeGate Studios. More details are included after the jump.
Rumors began spreading after SuperAnnuation uncovered a forum post by a user who claims to be a former-Gearbox employee, who states that Gearbox actually only worked on the multiplayer aspect of the game, with primary development being outsourced to TimeGate Studios. Gearbox president Randy Pitchford confirmed this partially during his talk at DICE earlier this week, where he stated that, including the time Gearbox spent on preproduction for the title, TimeGate has handled about 20 to 25% of overall production on the game. Excluding the preproduction phase, the efforts were equally divided between Gearbox and TimeGate. Furthermore, Demiurge Studios was involved during earlier phases of development to help out with multiplayer and networking, and is now involved in development of the WiiU version of Colonial Marines. Finally, Nerve Software, who has been involved in the design of multiplayer maps for many other titles, also contributed multiple maps to the project.
Pitchford did not confirm whether production on the single player experience was fully outsourced, but an anonymous source claiming to have been part of the development has taken to Reddit to explain the TimeGate created approximately 85% of the campaign while Gearbox finalized production on Borderlands 2. According to this source, when Gearbox was finally able to focus on development of the Aliens game “it became pretty apparent that what had been made [by TimeGate studios] was in a pretty horrid state.” Finally, under threat of legal action from publisher SEGA, Gearbox was able to “crash-land through certification and shipping.”