Gearbox was not given any royalty payments for its work on the Sega-published Aliens: Colonial Marines due to low sales of the game.
The title was marred by controversy upon released in February 2013 as it was alleged previous demo footage did not represent the quality of the final product. The issue sparked a class action lawsuit against the developer in April 2013 which claimed false advertisement of the title by Sega and Gearbox, resulting in “unwitting” purchases.
As reported by Polygon, Gearbox has now filed requests to have claims against the studio dropped in the lawsuit.
"Gearbox is a video game software developer,” read the motion.
“It was neither the publisher nor seller of the video game at issue. For more than a year, Gearbox has quietly abided the plaintiffs’ claims so that Sega, the game’s publisher and the party responsible for the game’s marketing and sale, could assume the defence of this lawsuit. Gearbox has honoured its publisher’s request in spite of plaintiffs’ highly-publicised-and highly-misplaced-claims against Gearbox. At this point, however, Gearbox is obligated to pursue its rightful departure from this case."
The developer claimed that allegations it diverted money from Sega into other games were untrue, and that it in fact invested millions of dollars of its own money into the project, which was never repaid.
It also stated that the studio lost out on sales-based payments due to “insufficient” sales.
"The game’s sales were insufficient to trigger any sales-based payments to Gearbox and, as a result, Gearbox has not received any additional monies from Sega for the sale of the game," said Gearbox VP of marketing Steve Gibson.
"Gearbox only received the milestone payments made by Sega during the game’s development.”
Prior to Gearbox’s motion, the case was close to being settled before issues locating one of the plaintiffs, Roger Damion Perrine, who as a result could not authorise such an agreement. After attorneys hired a private investigator into the matter, Perrine was found to have been incarcerated in Pennsylvania and is facing charges of simple assault and terroristic threats with intent to terrorise another.