Aliens: Colonial Marines was a bit of a disaster. It was delayed numerous times, and its development background got muddy (with development being outsourced to Demiurge Studios, Nerve Software, and TimeGate Studios). It went on to bag some consistently low ratings for failing to deliver on what Gearbox Software – its primary developer – had promoted for years.
Colonial Marines was meant to be a canonical successor to 1992’s Alien 3. As such, fans had fairly high expectations of the game. The footage and screenshots released prior to the game’s launch looked good, but that’s not what the players got, come launch day. People were understandably upset, and a class action lawsuit was filed against both Gearbox and Sega.
Sega settled the lawsuit to the tune of $1.25 million, but Gearbox head Randy Pitchford makes no secret of his opinion that the lawsuit was pointless, even venturing to say that they failed because they didn’t have a legitimate case. “The legal system failed as it was being manipulated by what appeared to me to be, essentially, mafia-style extortion tactics," said Pitchford in a recent interview.
Pitchford’s answers in the interview expressed clearly that he believes the market – not the legal system – should judge a game. He mentions that the market rewards what it likes, and is harsh towards what it doesn’t. It’s unclear if that was an admission that Aliens: Colonial Marines was terrible, or he’s implying that there was too little interest in the Aliens franchise, causing the downfall of the game.