Polygon has reported that a class action suit, claiming Sega and Gearbox Software falsely advertised Aliens: Colonial Marines, was filed yesterday in the Northern District of California court by Edelson LLC on behalf of Damion Perrine.
According to the suit, Gearbox and Sega violated a number of California civil and business codes, and falsely advertised Colonial Marines by showing demos at trade shows which were not accurate representations of the final product. The suit also argues that by sending out review codes to press with an embargo that lifted on the first person shooter’s launch day, people who pre-ordered or purchased the game on day one would have no knowledge of the differences between the ‘actual gameplay’ showed at trade shows and the final product.
“Each of the ‘actual gameplay’ demonstrations purported to show consumers exactly what they would be buying: a cutting edge video game with very specific features and qualities,” Edelson argues in the suit. “Unfortunately for their fans, Defendants never told anyone — consumers, industry critics, reviewers, or reporters — that their ‘actual gameplay’ demonstration advertising campaign bore little resemblance to the retail product that would eventually be sold to a large community of unwitting purchasers.”
The suit also cites a Twitter message from Randy Pitchford, posted a week after the game’s launch, replying to a user who asked about the differences of the demo and final game.
“That is understood and fair and we are looking at that,” Pitchford’s Twitter message read. “Lots of info to parse, lots of stake holders to respect.”
Polygon asked why they took on Damion Perrine’s case and Edelson LLC’s Ben Thomassen replied: “The gaming community had a strong reaction to the release of Aliens: Colonial Marines,” Thomassen said. “We think the video game industry is no different than any other that deals with consumers: if companies like Sega and Gearbox promise their customers one thing but deliver something else, then they should be held accountable for that decision.”