Alien Colonial Marines Cost CEO Randy Pitchford $10 Million Of His Own Money

"Lost it all."

147 Comments

Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford invested $10 million of his own money into Aliens: Colonial Marines and lost it all. Pitchford revealed the figure today as part of a heated Twitter debate. He defended Colonial Marines and said the claims made in the game's high-profile lawsuit were "hurtful and unhelpful."

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First, some background.

Following the release of Colonial Marines in February 2013, sources told GameSpot that publisher Sega was concerned that Gearbox was not investing enough effort into the game. Later, complaints were filed that claimed trailers for the game published pre-launch were misrepresentative of the final game.

Sega later admitted that the videos could have been misleading, and the matter went to court.

In May 2015, the next chapter of the case unfolded when Gearbox was dropped from the lawsuit, something it had been trying to achieve for a year. The case against Gearbox was dismissed with prejudice under the condition that Gearbox wouldn't seek legal fees. The case could still proceed in court, however, but not as a class-action lawsuit, a judge ruled at the time.

Now, Pitchford has shed new light on the development of Colonial Marines and the nature of Gearbox's relationship with Sega. Among other things, he says the game needed to sell 3 million copies to break even, but it ended up only shipping 1.3 million, meaning it was a "commercial failure."

Check out more of Pitchford's thoughts on Colonial Marines through the tweets below. You can also visit his Twitter page to see everything he had to say--and there is lots.

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Avatar image for ArchoNils2
ArchoNils2

It is simple. The game is MUCH worse than what they showed. I don't care what some judge says, the company did not deliver what they promised

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untrustful

Unfair and hurtful. Two words he's had to adopt into his vocabulary to deal with the reality.

Avatar image for prats93
Prats93

Has Gearbox ever released a good game? Lol. Even Borderlands, which should've been amazing given the formula ended sucking in comparison to Destiny, which is currently the definitive MMO FPS.

Avatar image for blonkster728
blonkster728

@prats93: Where did you crawl out of? That's like saying Skyrim is worse than Final Fantasy which is the definitive JRPG. The only thing in common there is the FPS. Borderlands is not an mmo fps and it's absurd to try to make that comparison. They're totally different styles of games except for the core ideas which is randomized loot and leveling and abilities.

Avatar image for Nakiato
Nakiato

@prats93: That's a joke right?

Avatar image for SythisTaru
SythisTaru

@prats93: Wait, did you just call Destiny better than Borderlands? I don't even.....

Avatar image for uncle5555
uncle5555

If Gearbox cannot develop their own projects and have to outsource to over less qualified devs they shouldn't do it. Period. Either hire more staff or don't put your darn name on it.

Avatar image for Cashmoney007
Cashmoney007

oh wow.....

I did not know that Gearbox was part of Tony Hawk 3 and Nightfire.

Avatar image for Cashmoney007
Cashmoney007

Lets talk about what Gearbox failed at with this game........

The game had one mission where it felt scary!(Alien games should always be scary)

This is pathetic for an Alien game! lol

This game was outsourced for many years!

My friends and I beat this game in a day and a half on the hardest difficulty.

What a joke!

The multiplayer should not have had players hit a key to jump on the wall.

This game deserves all the hate it gets! lol

I hope Gearbox will actually learn from it!

Avatar image for thesilverape
TheSilverApe

Gee, I wonder why he had to invest 10mil of his own money.

Avatar image for deactivated-5b1fecf308e18

I paid $10 of my own money for this game.... Lost it all!

Avatar image for blonkster728
blonkster728

@kalibore: I bought it for like 7.50 including the season pass. I figured it couldn't be that bad. I couldn't play 20 minutes on top of the little time I had tried on 360 lol.

Avatar image for elheber
elheber

@kalibore: I feel worse for you and your $10 than I do for Pitchford and his $10 million.

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Orga777

He's an idiot. He doesn't understand why things are the way they are. Pitchford is an egotistical moron that will probably run Gearbox into the ground eventually.

Avatar image for datriax
datriax

Should've cost him 100% of his money for being an outright shill. What a jackass. Right up there with PDP for most punchable face ever to boot.

Avatar image for lnception
lnception

So does this mean I can take Destiny to court? They really REALLY mislead the entire fan base and lied about virtually every single thread about that game.

Someone needs to pay for this maleficence.

Avatar image for TheFrow
TheFrow

@lnception: It didn't lie about anything, they just knew how to hype it and it never matched expectations. Everything they showed ended up in the full game.

Avatar image for lnception
lnception

@TheFrow: Guess you weren't following the game when it was 2years prior to release..its alright.

Avatar image for blonkster728
blonkster728

@lnception: What they had 2 years before release and talked about at that time can vary from what they have at release. It's really stupid to base a game on old video and everything, look at up to date information on it. All the videos leading up to the release of ACM looked better graphically as well as being misleading up to release. Destiny did no such thing.

It's a wonder how anyone could ever expect what Destiny had based on information of it while another was sorely disappointed from 2 year old info that may or may not make it to release.

Also lol at you trying to use the argument of immersive and cinematic storytelling. Wow. Go figure they use subjective phrasing to market a game. They didn't claim anything that wasn't true from some side, subjective or otherwise. ACM was a broken game from the start with videos that looked vastly better (the only videos they showed actually) and nothing matched what they showed before release. It had textures worse than n64 games in places. Destiny even gave you the chance with the beta and you could've looked up everything there. The only thing you couldn't see coming is amount of content and that's the case with every game before release.

Avatar image for TheFrow
TheFrow

@lnception: ~Shocking Revelation, things change in games that are still in development, WOW~

If you look at all the footage released leading up to the game, it's all there bud.

Avatar image for lnception
lnception

@TheFrow: No...it's not, and I already have. I don't like being lied to when they say "immersive and cinematic storytelling"...yeah, that's on the back of the box.

Yeah, they used hype, but they used it to try and cover up alot of the lies that you seem to be comfortable with.

Avatar image for TheFrow
TheFrow

@lnception: There is a BIG difference between having a lackluster and boring story and having a completely broken game.

You can play Destiny from start to finish in its entirety. Does the story suck? Yeah but that's subjective, the story isn't broken or incomplete. It just sucks. Aliens: Colonial Marines was literally advertised with footage you won't see in the game. THAT is a lie. Saying your game has good story on the back of the box is marketing. You can't sue them over something that is subjective, the law doesn't work that way.

Avatar image for Bourne_Endeavor
Bourne_Endeavor

@lnception: Those are weasel words as both are subjective. It's a dirty trick, but frequently seen in marketing.

Avatar image for billzihang
Billzihang

It was damn clear to anyone the actual release was a shell of what was CLEARLY implied in the trailer.

Unfortunately inferences don't hold up in legal disputes. But actually, everyone knows the truth.

Avatar image for ltjohnnyrico
LTJohnnyRico

This is a sad story, if they needed 3m copies to ship just to break even then a lot of people would have lost money on this, and if Randy Pitchford personally lost $10m then I feel sorry for him.

He obviously didn't want the game to be a failure it would have been in their best interest to make the game as good as possible thus maximising sales and in turn profit. Obviously there must have been some pretty costly decisions along the way that led to this and I hope he can bounce back.

We are Gamers !! Together we are Stronger !!

Avatar image for TheFrow
TheFrow

@ltjohnnyrico: Don't feel sorry for him. It was Gearbox that misused funds Sega provided to them for the game, and instead put them towards Borderlands. His own greed is what lost him his money.

Avatar image for SythisTaru
SythisTaru

@TheFrow: Complete lies.

Avatar image for ltjohnnyrico
LTJohnnyRico

@TheFrow: Firstly, thanks for the reply. I feel sorry for anyone that invests a lot of time and money into a project only to see it fail.

Also while the stories that they used monies received from one project to help fund another may prove to have been fabricated, it is actually quite a common practice in business.

They get say $10m from Sega for Aliens, but need to pay another supplier for example $2m dollars in a set time (say a team working on the Borderlands Project) leaving only $8m remaining for Aliens, however Gearbox may in the coming weeks be receiving monies from another company and some of this money could then go back into the Sega Alien project. Cash or Cashflow in a business needs to constantly be moving as suppliers need to be paid etc, This is common practice really for businesses. So while on the face of it, it may look like something untoward is happening it could actually be quite normal and just a way to ensure that everybody is being paid on time.

The incredible graphics showcased initially to generate interest and pre orders however is more of a disappointment, but of course they are going to show a great product initially for the exact reason to generate interest and sales, it’s just unfortunate for all (including the development team) that the final release didn’t turn out how we all thought and hoped it would.

Maybe this is case and point of why we as Gamers should be more vigilant when Preordering Games but that is another story.

Anyway I have waffled on for long enough now and no doubt would have bored you to tears, so Game on Brother or Sister and enjoy the rest of your day !!

We are Gamers !! Together we are Stronger !!

Avatar image for Hurvl
Hurvl

Tough luck, but I bet PitchFord can still afFord to buy a Ford, unlike many of us.

Avatar image for DrYnot
DrYnot

He gambled and he lost. We on the other hand were buying a product.

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The-Neon-Seal

If he has that kind of money, then why is he still working? Guy needs a hobby!

Avatar image for Shilleto
Shilleto

alien colonial marines was and still is a great game

Avatar image for virtuasega
virtuaSEGA

@Shilleto: Lol, dear god I hope this is a joke.

Avatar image for Shilleto
Shilleto

@virtuasega: nope its a great game

Avatar image for datriax
datriax

@Shilleto: You hear the echo of your statement? Right, that's literally nobody agreeing with you.

Avatar image for Shilleto
Shilleto

@datriax: and i care why i like the game and thats all that counts

same as i have almost passed batman arkham knight on pc and i miss out on dlc because it don't work for people yer im pissed

Avatar image for blonkster728
blonkster728

@Shilleto: Liking it is different from it being great. Like it or not, it was not a great game. End.

Avatar image for Shilleto
Shilleto

@blonkster728: it is a great game

Avatar image for deactivated-5b1fecf308e18

@Shilleto

If it were a great game it would have sold a hell of a lot more copies than 1.3 mill, oh.. and got some good reviews.

Worst Alien game to date

Avatar image for Shilleto
Shilleto

@kalibore: worst alien game yerr no you missed some bad ones

Avatar image for Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

Read this:

http://www.engadget.com/2009/08/17/whats-in-a-name-gearbox-software/

Pitchfork is a fraud.

Avatar image for electronic_eye
electronic_eye

@Ripper_TV: Just read it. Quite the story. Just wonder now if he'll ever come back with the explanation of his own apparent fabrication. ;)

Avatar image for Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

@electronic_eye: The day after it was published as fact he did. "It was just a tall tale", - he said. The sites who published it as fact had to apologized before the readers.

Avatar image for STEAMCAMEL
STEAMCAMEL

Randy Pitchfork strikes again.

Avatar image for DrunkenPunk800
DrunkenPunk800

"Alien Colonial Marines Cost CEO Randy Pitchford $10 Million Of His Own Money"

Good. Too bad he didn't lose it all, so the Duke IP could be sold back to 3DR.

Avatar image for lamprey263
lamprey263

Thing is, part of the accusation of misapppropriating funds isn't just that the money was wasted, it's that it was used to fund the studio's other projects, like Brother In Arms: Hell's Highway, Borderlands 1 & 2 and all that DLC, and Duke Nukem. Sure, he might not have made his money back through Aliens: Colonial Marines, but he surely made it back elsewhere.

Avatar image for AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

Bad games happen and its not been uncommon for publishers in recent times to under-deliver on what preview footage indicated.

I don't see the need to make Pitchford into a bad guy. Pitchford is similar to guys like Dyack and Molynuex and probably alot of devs. They enthusiastically promote the vision they have for the game - I don't think the intention is to mislead, though the publisher may well do that.

Do we really expect them to come out and say actually a game is looking a little shaky and may not turn out that good?

Just don't be so naive and don't preorder games - wait for reviews. We know that commerical pressures from publishers etc can compromise games.

Avatar image for Hurvl
Hurvl

@AyatollaofRnR: Comparing him to Molyneux and Dyack does him no credit in my eyes, you can't trust anything those guys say. You're right that people (at least on sites like this) are a bit too naive and likes to complain rather than do something to prevent getting a bad game, but just because misleading trailers are common doesn't make it acceptable and he deserves some crap along with others who produce such trailers.

Avatar image for DrunkenPunk800
DrunkenPunk800

@AyatollaofRnR: Stop being a pussy. He deserves the hate he gets. He lied about Duke Forever, he made fake trailers for ACM. He's a shit bag. Don't fool yourself.

Avatar image for Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

Meanwhile indie deva make objectively better games with a fraction of the budget.

Here's the problem with the industry today, plain as day. Poor budgetinf, poor management, and overdunding for junk products.

I don't trust anyone involved with this pathetic mess. Pitchford isn't being transparent and he can kiss my ass along with any future tripe he publishes., and lol at Sega.