Sega wanted Aliens: Colonial Marines to play like Call of Duty - Report

A new report investigates the relationship between Sega, Gearbox, and TimeGate Studios across Aliens: Colonial Marines' six-year development.

Producers at Sega wanted the panned Aliens: Colonial Marines to take a leaf out of Call of Duty's playbook and be more about shooting marines and less about shooting aliens, sources close to the game's development have said to Kotaku.

Developers Gearbox and TimeGate reportedly resisted the idea, but it was one of the many alleged disagreements between the various parties involved in the game's development as to how the ill-fated game should be made.

"There was also the 'too many chefs' syndrome when it came to gameplay, where too many people gave feedback on both ends and it ultimately led to further delays," said Kotaku's source. "In one case, working on a particular task took me a month to finalize, as there was inconsistent and delayed feedback."

Other claims are made in Kotaku's article, which attempts to shed some light on the game's reportedly troubled development. Earlier reports have accused Gearbox of prioritising its efforts more on Borderlands 2 than the six-year development saga of Aliens: Colonial Marines.

"Sega was very concerned that the bulk of Gearbox's resources/manpower was being spent on Borderlands and that they weren't investing the effort in Colonial Marines that they should have been," somebody close to Sega said to GameSpot earlier this month.

One of the key points is that Gearbox had to essentially remake the game in nine months, after finishing work on Borderlands 2 and inheriting an unoptimised build of Aliens: Colonial Marines from TimeGate Studios that couldn't run on the PlayStation 3.

Public demonstrations of the game were running in real time, but on a beefed-up PC with specifications far beyond the average console or PC configuration, the source said. Significant sacrifices to the game's visuals had to be made to ensure the game would be able to run on typical machines.

"[Gearbox made] big changes to lighting, texture and shader complexity," said an anonymous source. "Design elements were altered or redone entirely. It looks like a lot of [TimeGate's] assets remained intact, with the exception of lower-res textures and faster-performing shaders."

Gearbox knew Aliens: Colonial Marines wasn't up to scratch, a source alleges, but the developer felt it couldn't ask for another extension to the project after six years of development time.

"The game feels like it was made in nine months, and that's because it was," says Kotaku's source.

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martingaston

Martin Gaston

Hi! I'm Martin, for some reason or another I have managed to convince the people who run GameSpot that I am actually wor
Aliens: Colonial Marines

Aliens: Colonial Marines

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341 comments
johnnyauau
johnnyauau

This might sound like de ja vu but take a look at this site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alien_3. There's similarities as why compare to Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986) isn't successful. Read it if you're still interested in why it got so screwed. Compare to HK films, it's hard to please everyone nowadays.

GamerNerdTalk
GamerNerdTalk

Ran too high for current PCs and consoles?!?! That is a terrible lie. I have seen and played beautiful looking games on PC and consoles... Developers were just lazy

darkeyez81
darkeyez81

Why try to duplicate a game that haven't changed much in the last 4 years? Try something different Sega, work hard, no pain no gain.

JoiLambell
JoiLambell

Is this a joke ? 

No ?

This one will go for the history books ! (can´t stop laughing)

Arsyad00
Arsyad00

they should make it play like sonic..... HOW AWESOME IZ DAT!!!! ALIEN ROLLING AND ATTACKING!!!!

lfebaggins
lfebaggins

What a coincidence, when I was playing through the first level of the singleplayer, I thought I was playing Aliens: Call of Duty.  Guess this game was doomed from Day 1 of development

johnnyauau
johnnyauau

Well, I'm sure to makeup for their loss, they can go continue with Borderlands series and Brothers in Arms series. Duke Nukem Forever and Aliens: Colonial Marines will be remembered as the worst games they ever created for their fans.

June-GS
June-GS

In that case, then they are all at fault here.

Sega, I understand you wanna "get in on the action" with COD, but you don't really need to do that. The Alien/Aliens universe or franchise has its own very strong, very mature and well-established fanbase. As long as you cater to us, we'll support you just as well. In fact, if you are very different from COD, who's to say that people won't like you even more?

Gearbox, we love you for making such awesome co-op games like Borderlands/2, but if you signed a contract with somebody, then you should be committed to it. You're not just bound legally, but also ethically.

Timegate, if you know that Gearbox--which outsourced the game to you "temporarily"--will only have nine months to polish up the build from you, then why the heck didn't you optimize it in the first place? You may or may not be legally required to do it, but it's called good service. More companies will want to hire you for having a good record! People barely know your studio as it is, but now, with this demerit under your belt, what do you think will happen?

Lockjaw2000
Lockjaw2000

I've been saying it for years now...and I'll say it again.  COD is ruining the industry.  Seriously...it's almost running a monopoly on FPS games because everyone wants to make money like Activision does, because what they're doing is right.  And what they're doing is actually completely wrong.  The CEO of Activision is an evil man, purposefully keeping his employees in a pessimistic environment.  It makes me sad.  This game is NOT Call of Duty, and it shouldn't have been approached that way.  Shame on everyone involved in the making of this game, because it just wasn't going to work.

johnnyauau
johnnyauau

In the future, if developers and publishers can't compromise, the games they make will hit a brick wall. Duke Nukem Forever is a flat, boring game with little shooting. Aliens Colonial Marines may be slightly better due to multiplayer but it suffers, not in terms of the shooting and story, but that notion or Call of Duty symdrome in which your just a shooter killing enemies in the name of justice. Aliens will bounce back if they can a hint, more like Resident Evil 4, Silent Hill and maybe other horror games with enough balance between being scared and knowing how to kill the enemy in a spectacular fashion, than just kill aliens and the credits roll.

Lance2500
Lance2500

It's a shame I followed I was very interested in this game.

jark888
jark888

So far, I haven't seen any games that have tried to adapt to COD's path ended well.

vunacar
vunacar

This is just an attention diverting campaign, don't buy a word of what they say.

Scarshi
Scarshi

Aliens: CM is like some kid's school assignment they didn't want to do, was given extensions and then half-assed it because of peer pressure, and then shoved a mixed bag of ideas together in one night before the last due date just to get it over with.

I won't buy it and I hope this boat sinking has taught something, anything.

Crush_Project
Crush_Project

lol they prioritized toward borderlands 2?  well then why does that game suck as well?

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

Wish I'd gone in to town bought Ni No Kuni instead...

DownHill911
DownHill911

So easy money made on terrible product strategy did not work?

Why?

/Sarcasm

LukeWesty
LukeWesty

Had a vision of creating a Cod like game that appealed to million's of online gamer's and raked in load's of cash... better luck next time.

LeonRedfield334
LeonRedfield334

Good thing I didn't buy this game. I'm saving up for something worthy for me and my money.

LE5LO
LE5LO

Making a current gen. FPS Aliens game would be a daunting task, getting the AI right would be a totally bitch. 

I say kudos to Timegate for actually shipping it, flaws and all it'll be a long, long time before another developer betters the mediocrity of A:CM. 

Sega expected too much without considering the complexity that would be needed to develop this. In turn a lot of Aliens fans got their hopes up for something no current developer seems capable of delivering. It was to be expected in a market filled with standard FPS, this game (and our imaginations of how great it would be) was asking for too much.

snaketus
snaketus

CoD games ruined the gaming industry. If we want CoD we will play actual CoD game FFS!

AMG
AMG

Typical, everything wants to be CoD these days. If gamers want to play CoD they will put CoD in the disc tray.

con47
con47

developers need to stop trying to be like call of duty ugh idiots

johnnyauau
johnnyauau

So what's next? House of the Dead Overkill or Resident Evil 6? (I'm joking of course since I don't have Resident Evil 6 at all)

xand3rro
xand3rro

Sega sue them now and get some of that Borderlands money because you sure as hell won't see some of that Aliens money.

robotquest
robotquest

Last I heard, a team of modders are working on "fixing" the PC game. Wonder if they can save it.

riff_farmer
riff_farmer

sounds like everybody crapped the bed on this one

colbster
colbster

What a great business model. No wonder Sega has struggled for years. "Let's emulate another game that people are sick of because its tired and uninspired and then do it worse". Sega and activision are the reason people are playing cool indie games on the ipad instead of wasting money on this crap.

System4Ever
System4Ever

What a mother f***ing surprise....What happend to those days when developers tried to make good games instead of making money.... only CD Projekt Red seems to be keeping that spirit alive....

gamefreak215jd
gamefreak215jd

Well you actually succeeded in making it look like COD...no wonder why it failed.

Aramantha
Aramantha

No wonder it failed, you're trying to introduce CoD shooting and action into a series of movies that at its core is essentially survival horror. No wonder this flopped

FireSpirit117
FireSpirit117

Sounds like it was going to suck either way.

LesserAngel
LesserAngel

Whoever's at fault, Sega is on my s**tlist for other reasons to begin with (Valkyria Chronicles 2 on PSP? Really? then they're surprised it didn't sell as well as the first one, which was on PS3, so they don't give us the third one.)

FarQall
FarQall

What a load of crap.. theres heaps of games with impressive graphics on ps3 and 360... whats next, sega going to request sonic to play like cod?  

JFERNANDEZ84
JFERNANDEZ84

SEGA wanted a COD-ish game? Well, they are stupid then... We expect horror, terror and fear from an Aliens game, SEGA... oh my...

NFJSupreme
NFJSupreme

it really took 6 years to create that piece of crap?

BA0701
BA0701

Pitchford has 0 credibility from this point forward. He sold us a bill of goods in Duke, and now this garbage. Yes, I have played it, only I did not pay for it thankfully (played it with a friend at his house). I will immediately start thinking the exact opposite of just about anything Pitchford says from now on. I am done with GB Software, and that is sad, because they have done some good games in the past. Jerk me around once shame on you, jerk me around a second time, shame on me. You don't get a third shot at my cash, and luckily one of these shots I did not have to pay for.

jayd02
jayd02

Does anyone else think that its funny that when I developer releases a bad game they are quick to go and tell the press that the game failing wasn't their fault?  Although when a game goes well they just take all the credit?

johnnyauau
johnnyauau

Mixing Call of Duty and Aliens is not a bad concept on paper. In practice, what ends up happening is then you have to put in a story saying while the Aliens around, bad guys are going to shoot you as well. Call of Duty is really about going through the game by shooting your way to the end, killing enemies until you get to the end of the story. Aliens is about being alone and pretty much like the Resident Evil series in terms of aliens going to attack you when you least expected. Like Tom McShea said, it's about being hunted instead of being the hunter. And having women as part of the story is important.

I can't help how stupid the line is in the video review at the beginning: "Attention chicks and dicks" just shows how one note the characters are and even the scene with a woman around, they just let it slide because she interrupted them. Real mature.

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

Who was at fault for this game probably won't be known for awhile. 

holenjd
holenjd

To make this right Gearbox should buy the license from Sega at a loss and then make an Aliens game all alone by themselves to try and make up for what they did.  Then give it to the fans who mistakenly purchases the first one and sell the rest to recoup some of the money or more if they put the effort into it they do for Borderlands.  Yes I know it sounds weird.

Uruca
Uruca

Gearbox using the "black sheep" SEGA as a scapegoat. LOL

And the most sad thing is that people reading this; those who actually care about games (if you are reading gamespot, you care about video games), fall for this crap.

Good lord guys. Seriously!?

Staxx99
Staxx99

Well Sega not only didn't you get a COD-ish game but you didn't get a decent ALIENS game.

Doomkilla
Doomkilla

So far I don't think I've seen any apologies or them admitting they messed up. All we see is them pointing fingers. Where's the actual proof that it was mostly Sega's fault? 'Anonymous' sources. Clever way to save their butts to try and save as many fans as possible.

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

Why would we be shooting other marines in an Aliens game?

While the game is not groundbreaking (what FPS is at this point?), it's not as terrible as most would have you believe.  Critics have band-wagoned each other in order to seem relevant and most consumers bought into their hype.  Most people below probably haven't even played the game and are trashing it because of the negative hype.  It's pretty much a run and gun clear-the-room-, rinse and repeat game.  Visually, it's standard fare - but not at all terrible.  While it's not worth 60 bucks, it's definitely worth 30 and the multiplayer is decent.

WeskerTeam
WeskerTeam

Why do developers think everyone wants a CoD experience? We have CoD for the CoD experience.