A lawsuit has been filed by consumers who bought Aliens: Colonial Marines that alledges false advertising on the part of Sega and Gearbox.
The game launched to extremely negative reviews, and Polygon reports the suit revolves around the demo versions of the game shown at industry events and released to the press prior to launch.
"Each of the ‘actual gameplay’ demonstrations purported to show consumers exactly what they would be buying: a cutting edge video game with very specific features and qualities," reads the claim.
"Unfortunately for their fans, Defendants never told anyone — consumers, industry critics, reviewers, or reporters — that their ‘actual gameplay’ demonstration advertising campaign bore little resemblance to the retail product that would eventually be sold to a large community of unwitting purchasers."
The suit seeks damages for all who purchased the game on or before the release date.
Sega has already acknowledged that Colonial Marines trailers were not accurate representations.
A tweet from Gearbox co-founder Randy Pitchford seperately said such concerns were "fair", and that his company was "looking in to that."
Such a case could establish a serious precedent for advertising during the iterative process of game development, as a consumer-facing class action suit isn’t likely to end in one of the quiet settlements that so often conclude industry litigation.
"The gaming community had a strong reaction to the release of Aliens: Colonial Marines," attorney Ben Thomassen of Edelson LLC’s told Polygon.
"We think the video game industry is no different than any other that deals with consumers: if companies like Sega and Gearbox promise their customers one thing but deliver something else, then they should be held accountable for that decision."