When Sega Europe and Gearbox Software released Aliens: Colonial Marines a few months ago, the title wasn’t quite what we were expecting. Earlier demos of the game and most of the media made available to the public were all drastically higher quality than the final product that hit retail. People were misled, and people were upset.
Several people took to the United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority to voice their concerns regarding the companies deceptive promotion. Four complaints were filed in total, and Sega quickly admitted to wrongdoing before having a formal investigation conducted by the ASA.
A Reddit user whom personally filed a complaint received a written response from the ASA. We’ve added an image of the letter below, but the core response is as follows:
“Sega Europe acknowledged your objection that the trailers did not accurately reflect the final content of the game. They agreed to add a disclaimer, both on their website and in all relevant YouTube videos, which explains that the trailers depict footage of the demo versions of the game. The disclaimer will be visible when each online trailer is played.”
Sega contended that they based their marketing on earlier builds of the game because they had no reason to think the finished product wouldn’t reflect its then current level of quality. They were not aware that there were serious issues brewing throughout the title’s development. Rumors have been circulating that a next-generation Aliens title is in development. If that’s true, let’s hope the Sega/Gearbox combo can actually deliver on promise they initially sold us.