Layoffs at one Aliens: Colonial Marines dev

TimeGate Studios confirms layoffs, says all projects in development continue to move forward.

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TimeGate Studios, the developer that helped create Aliens: Colonial Marines, today enacted a round of layoffs, company president Adel Chaveleh told Polygon.

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"Today, we had to make the difficult decision to let go of some great game developers. This is never easy, and we're doing all we can to assist those developers affected," Chaveleh said. "TimeGate is preparing, as is the entire industry, for the transition to next-generation consoles and new business models. As part of this reinvention, all projects and strategic initiatives continue to move forward at the studio."

No specific number of layoffs was provided, though sources told Polygon that about 25 staffers were impacted. These sources also indicated that the cuts were a result of a publishing deal going belly up.

TimeGate Studios most recently assisted Gearbox Software with development on the critically blasted Aliens: Colonial Marines.

The game's mostly negative review scores were partially blamed on the nature of the title's shared development (Nerve Software also contributed to the project), as well as Gearbox's reported mismanagement of production.

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gamingfrendly

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Edited By gamingfrendly

gearbox fucked up and someone else paid the price gearbox lost my respect for them.

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Morphine_OD

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@gamingfrendly lol u mad? Gearbox has never actually been THE developer behind Aliens. It was outsourced to 2 other companies, all Gearbox had to do was to ok what looks at least playable. Shitty studios with no prior hits deserve the fate that's coming to them.

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BOSTONJOHN32

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Edited By BOSTONJOHN32

@Morphine_OD @gamingfrendly

Who do you think wrote the checks and signed the sub contracts? Sega? lol.. No it was Gearbox also when sub contracted they must adhere to what ever they are asked and its clear that they were pressured to work miracles.

gearbox had this contract from sega for God knows how long and i just hope that a company like visceral may make the next one because i think they will be able to "commit" more due to dead space being taken out of EA's rotation next year etc.

There have been many leaks from Timegate and maybe you should read a bit of it because its eye opening

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Stogin

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@Morphine_OD @BOSTONJOHN32 @gamingfrendly Wow, someone's a true Gearbox fanboy and truly unwilling to look at this objectively. Randy Pitchford, is that you??? Tell me, besides Borderlands, what good games has Gearbox made recently??

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Morphine_OD

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@BOSTONJOHN32 @Morphine_OD @gamingfrendly http://www.destructoid.com/so-who-the-hell-did-make-aliens-colonial-marines--244939.phtml

I think I have a pretty good idea of what happened, since of course Timegate leaks would never admit that their product was shitty. And certainly the layoffs at Timegate don't point to that either, rite?

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veryfrost

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@Morphine_OD @gamingfrendly

Gearbox was the contractor to SEGA for 6 years and bears all the responsibility for developing "new generation FPS". No one else to blame but Gearbox. Gearbox easily could have created A:CM A:CM2 and A:CM3 during those 6 years.

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96augment

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Edited By 96augment

@Morphine_OD @veryfrost @gamingfrendly You don't think Gearbox mislead Alien fans at E3 2012?

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Stogin

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@Morphine_OD @veryfrost Go to Kotaku, they have a giant rundown of how all of these events happened. You'll never get 100% proof because on these things that NEVER happens, you'll only hear from employees under anonymity. This is true from any industry, Gearbox wanted to focus on Borderlands and threw everything else under the bus, they deserve the hate for this because they were the ones proclaiming to every site how much they loved the universe and wanted a great Aliens game for the fans. Regardless of who developed it, they're the ones that were taking all responsibility until it came out and people realized it sucked, now they're backpedalling saying that Timegate did a lot of the work. They deserve the hate for this much more than Timegate does.

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Morphine_OD

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@veryfrost it's a speculation. Give me prooflink.

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BOSTONJOHN32

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Edited By BOSTONJOHN32

@veryfrost

The demo which the press got was actually what THIS pile of poo was supposed to settle into BUT Timegate was not nearly as at fault as the managment / gearbox was. Thats why if Sega makes a claim it will be against gearbox not Timegate. It was Gearbox responsibilty period and they ARE developers but played the role as micromanging contracters and as the saying goes too many cooks, You got the publisher micromanaging as well as dev team and then you have 2 other dev teams meshed 2gether expected to work a miracle. This was one big PR stunt, as in life the ones with deepest pockets usually end up without a scratch.

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veryfrost

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Edited By veryfrost

@Morphine_OD @veryfrost @gamingfrendly Actually if you follow recent news regarding A:CM, you should know that Gearbox scraped Timegate's high end DEMO version so that the game would be applicable for the consoles too. Timegate did what Gearbox asked, problem is that Gearbox DIDN'T give the technical specifications to Timegate.

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Morphine_OD

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@veryfrost @Morphine_OD @gamingfrendly well, since Gearbox was mighty busy creating Borderlands and Borderlands 2 during these 6 years, I don't blame them at all. And no one asked Timegate and the second studio to make a shitty game, all guilt is theirs to take.

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Setzera

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It looks really cool, would be very neat if the Steam box or simply a better PC than I have now could fit in to a box that small. I am looking to build a new PC in the next year to play newer games in HD. However, for $1000 I'll just buy the individual parts and build a monster versus buying that.

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Tixylixx

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Funny how it was Gearbox all through development, now it's shit it is someone else who developed it lol.

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Morphine_OD

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@Tixylixx if you'd be following the development you'd knew that the game has been outsourced pretty early on.

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firehawk998

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Morale of the story here :- Finish your work that was given to you first ( A : CM) instead of abandoning to it to a 3rd rate developer at the 11th hour to focus on your next project ( Borderlands 2)

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MajinSquall

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not surprising after that game

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olegavi323

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I still can't but wonder what the hell did they do with the E3 demo.. :-/

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DARKKNIGHTPRABZ

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@olegavi323 well apparantly, according to sources at other big websites . It was made on a very high performance PC, which most people cant afford. They were told to make it look awesome. But no one was allowed to play it.. So obviously when it came to release, they toned down , effects, graphics, lighting , performance. So that the game could play on consoles and PC.

This is the disease of the industry.

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Ripper_TV

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Layoff the whole Gearbox!

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96augment

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Edited By 96augment

@Ripper_TV Who would make Borderlands?

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Ripper_TV

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Edited By Ripper_TV

@96augment @Ripper_TV Some company with a decency.

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olegavi323

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@Ripper_TV Nothing to do with Gearbox here.

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R4gn4r0k

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Edited By R4gn4r0k

@olegavi323 @Ripper_TV Everything to do with Gearbox. They outsourced this project to Timegate eventhough they said they were so glad they could work with the aliens franchise and would treat it with respect. They showed us false footage at E3. They are a bunch of liars and a bunch of cheats and should stop working in this industry.

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olegavi323

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@R4gn4r0k @olegavi323 @Ripper_TV Dude, i know about all this and i agree with you. I was talking about this article. Nothing to do with layoffs at gearbox...

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tightwad34

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Edited By tightwad34

I guess someone had to get the boot after making a horrible game and obviously losing a lot of money. It will always boggles my mind how you can put out this crap. How in the world did someone screw up this bad?

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Seifer24

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Neerd developers make nerd games.Bad guys make bad ass games.

enough said

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tightwad34

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@Seifer24 What are you even... huh?

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flesh19no

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The demo never looked that good either. I knew this would be mediocre the first time I saw the first gameplay video.

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Ripper_TV

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@flesh19no I too never understood the praise.

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keyb0red

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all I can say to the guys leaving is -- Game Over Man, Game Over!


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vengefulwilberg

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Any game with the Sega logo is doomed if platinum games isn't in on it.

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TheDarkSpot

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@vengefulwilberg The Condemned games. Also great.

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Ladiesman17

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@vengefulwilberg

who the hell said that, SEGA had Total War and Company of Heroes.

Both are well-received IPs.

and Platinum sucks, it's overrated.


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Tychobrahi

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They weren't able to keep up with the quality of the demo showed earlier. Somewhere somehow there was a communication gap and that cost the franchise a big price. Next time someone puts an aliens in the title, people are going to think twice. That said, it is sad to see when studios lose development talent. Good Luck to them all!

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InquisitorCrox

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They have failed and they have to pay for it, as we did for their failure!

Hopefully those incompetent dev will decide a carrier change before it is too late...

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vengefulwilberg

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A sad year for Aliens indeed.

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KobraXZ

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Edited By KobraXZ

Honestly after playing the full game and looking at the E3 Demo I have one question: What the hell happened? The graphics are so radically different I just don't know what to make of it. Missing decals...poor shading..washed out colors..the list goes on.

Heck, there's even one part where they boarded up a collapsed wall just to prevent us from seeing the landscape outside. In another area, they blocked off a dark tunnel where you make a stand against an alien horde with turrets. Yes, they literally just threw a random wall up and skipped an entire sequence. The aliens even spawn BEHIND the wall and are trapped.

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berserker66666

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Edited By berserker66666

ACM was a bad idea. I know it, you know it and unfortunately the fired dev team of ACM knows it.

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alien33

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No, it was a fantastic idea and it could make a great game in the hands of a dedicated and competent developer.

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lina_baby_doll

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Edited By lina_baby_doll

I feel sorry for them... Guess they are not making a sequel after all...

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PeterDuck

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This is weird. Plenty of companies do this after their game is released even IF it is successful.

However, some of these games also have future planned DLCs. So don't they still need those employees on their payroll? Or do they make all DLCs well in advance?

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MXVIII

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@PeterDuck DLC doesnt need a full Dev team.

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PeterDuck

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@MXVIII @PeterDuck

I figured that, THANKS, But still. It's kind of like a lottery. I guess if you are one of the employee developers you may want to see your game released later than sooner.

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grey_fox1984

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Edited By grey_fox1984

My question is how did anybody sign off on this game? Didn't anyone play the "final" beta, rewatch the E3 trailer and ask "Why isn't this the same game?". Time Gate may (or may not) be the developer to blame for the game's quality, but at some point Gearbox and Sega have to step up and say "yeah, but we gave the game the go-ahead to enter production in order to meet a release window, so at the end of the day, we take responsibility". It's not like a game is made by a single, passionate artist in a dark room, then released to the world for it to love or hate- there are TEAMS of people who test and re-test games- and at the end of the day, those teams played the game and said "it might squeak by with a few 6.0s, but we have to get this thing out before Crysis 3 and Bioshock Infinite or we're screwed... how many preorders do we have?...really? okay f**k it, ship the thing".


Those are the people who should be fired. Even if one of them is Randy Pitchford.
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jasonlc3221

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@grey_fox1984 It's because as long as this game is still selling copies, they are not going to concede to the fact that they released a flawed product. That would be like opening a lemonade stand, selling everyone a cup of piss, and announcing to the public that you pee'd in the juice before closing up shop.

Welcome to the business world.

I doubt Sega will EVER own up, but a few years from now I could see a Gearbox rep admitting to their failure.

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grey_fox1984

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Edited By grey_fox1984

@jasonlc3221 @grey_fox1984 My opinion is that the "as long as it's still selling" argument is short-sighted. Quality reputation is important in the videogame business and Gearbox is on strike 2 for all of their non-Borderlands properties. At this rate, they could probably still move a lot of units on the inevitable Borderlands 3, but any other project they announce will be received cautiously. Call of Duty gets away with releasing games frequently to massive sales, because despite what detractors may say, those games are polished to a mirror sheen. They may never reinvent the wheel (though in all fairness, BO2 made some notable attempts in their narrative branching), but the $60 gamers put down on a CoD game, is guaranteed to go towards a smooth shooter, with responsive controls and addictive multiplayer. Gearbox on the other hand is 2/2 on taking highly anticipated games, with strong brand recognition and delivering (or mid-wifing) products with poor gameplay, subpar visuals, crappy frame rates and are guaranteed to be $19 in Walmart's bargain bin within a few months.


I hate to say it, but at this point, their best bet is to release annual Borderlands sequels until they have enough time for a "passion project" that they actually want to sink some effort and... passion into.

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gokuofheaven

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Some of these comments are sickening. For those who lost their jobs I give them good luck. Hope they find a job soon.

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doraemonllh1989

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@gokuofheaven well thats the average gamer for you

low education and low iq

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TrueGB

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Don't forget Sega is legendary for making dumb decisions and mismanaging their properties. It's way more likely somebody screwed up on their end.

And it's not like TimeGate needed the soft, caressing hands of Gearbox to make a good game. They had the time to step up and prove they can make a good game without Big Brother's help.

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Rattlesnake_8

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Well maybe they should have made a good game.

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Richmaester6907

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@Rattlesnake_8 Section 8 and Section 8 prejudice were awesome, this is gearboxes fault.

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TrueGB

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@Richmaester6907 @Rattlesnake_8 Oh, come on! Like you really wanted yet another FPS game over Borderlands 2.

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sheikweight

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hahahahha. Doesn't surprise me one bit. I got more respect for HOSTESS food company compared to these morons...hey Gamestop and Best Buy's HIRING.

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RustedTruck650

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Is this suppose to be surprising?

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SavoyPrime

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"As part of this reinvention, all projects and strategic initiatives continue to move forward at the studio." With the way Aliens: Colonial Marines turned out...this is probably a very bad thing. >_>

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billlabowski

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"We're doing all we can to assist those developers affected." I always find that hard to believe...

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Dudeinator

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@billlabowski

It doesn't go far beyond

"We'll make sure that you're on the top of the list of people to call when we start a new project".

An empty promise, pretty much.

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GodGundamNT1

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWT8hXbYz5w holy crap