Neoseeker.com Forum Thread: Aliens: Colonial Marines - What happened? - page 1

reprinted from http://www.neoseeker.com/forums/
original thread: http://www.neoseeker.com/forums/30444/t1830558-aliens-colonial-marines-happened/


Author:   Coi Cki
Date:   Feb 14, 13 at 3:20am (PST)
Subject:   Aliens: Colonial Marines - What happened?
-------------------------------------------
Here's a rather interesting read, on how Gearbox handled ACM and why it ended up releasing in the way it did.

quote throwawayacm@Reddit
A lot of you are (rightfully) upset at the final product that is A:CM. Maybe I can shed some light as to how it got the way it is.
quote
First off, due to me breaking NDA, I can't provide any proof that I'm mot just talking out of my ass. But I figure you'd be interested on hearing what I have to say regardless. I've been in the project for around a year and a half, so some of the following are things I've heard from more senior guys.

Pecan (the internal name for ACM) has a pretty long history. SEGA, GBX and 20th Century FOX came to am agreement to produce an Aliens game around 6 years ago, after which SEGA almost immediately announced it, long before Pecan had even started production. The game has been in active development in the past, only to be shelved in favor of another project (Borderlands, Duke, etc), and each time it would undergo a major content overhaul.

SEGA, naturally wasn't super pleased about the delays, but GBX got away with it for a long time and the contract between SEGA and GBX kept getting augmented to push the projected release further and further back. The last time it was resurrected, GBX outsourced a good portion of the game to outside companies. Initially, the plan was for TimeGate to take the majority of the campaign, GBX would take the MP, Demiurge and Nerve would handle DLC and various other focused tasks. This decision was made mostly so that most of the developers at GBX could continue working on Borderlands 2, while a small group of LDs, coders and designers worked on Pecan.

Somehow the schedules for Pecan and Borderlands 2 managed to line up and GBX realized that there was no f***ing way they could cert and ship two titles at the same time. Additionally, campaign (which was being developed by TimeGate) was extremely far behind, even as Pecan's Beta deadline got closer and closer. On April or May (can't remember which one), Pecan was supposed to hit beta, but GBX instead came to agreement with SEGA that they would push the release date back one more time, buying GBX around 9 mos extension.

About 5 of those 9 months went to shipping Borderlands 2. In that time, TimeGate managed to scrap together 85% of the campaign, but once Borderlands 2 had shipped and GBX turned it's attention to Pecan, it became pretty apparent that what had been made was in a pretty horrid state. Campaign didn't make much sense, the boss rights weren't implemented, PS3 was way over memory etcetcetc. GBX was unhappy with TG's work, and some of the Campaign maps were just completely redesigned from scratch. There were some last minute feature requests, most notably female marines, and the general consensus among GBX devs was that there was no way this game was going to be good by ship. There just wasn't enough time.

Considering that SEGA was pretty close to taking legal action against GBX, asking for an extension wasn't an option, and so Pecan crash-landed through certification and shipping. Features that were planned were oversimplified, or shoved in (a good example of this are challenges, which are in incredibly illogical order). Issues that didn't cause 100% blockers were generally ignored, with the exception of absolutely horrible problems. This isn't because GBX didn't care, mind you. At certain point, they couldn't risk changing ANYTHING that might cause them to fail certification or break some other system. And so, the product you see is what you get.

Beyond gameplay, the story has been raised as an issue several times. I can't really comment without feeling bad beyond saying that the script was approved by 20th Century FOX, and that the rush to throw a playable product together came at the cost of the story. Campaign does a pretty bad job of explaining a lot of the questions raised at the start of the game, and so hopefully there will be DLC to flesh that out a bit better.




Author:   Coi Cki
Date:   Feb 14, 13 at 7:13am (PST)
Subject:   re: Aliens: Colonial Marines - What happened?
-------------------------------------------
Whew... I was going to copy/paste the text, but trying to copy a text that long on my WinPhone is nigh impossible. So, I "just" typed it by hand... On said phone..

In any case, I'm interested to hear your views about this, regardless of whether or not you were going to/ will get this. Seems to me that GBX bit more than they could chew with A:CM, and the end result is what it is.

That said, I've watched every Aliens, AvP movie, played Alien Trilogy and Alien Resurrection on PS1, AvP2 and the 2010 AvP game, as well as the Predator game on PS2.. And that AvP strategy game on PS2... Enjoyed all for what they were.

I'll still get ACM, but probably not anytime soon.



Author:   Shave ya Head
Date:   Feb 14, 13 at 7:49am (PST)
Subject:   re: Aliens: Colonial Marines - What happened?
-------------------------------------------
GBX got themselves into a hole, but it seems this other developer took away their ladder.

To be fair, what would you rather work on? Borderlands, a franchise that is considered one of the best after only one game, and Duke Nukem, a game they expected everyone to love. Or Aliens, a game that has never really took off as a serious game?


EDIT: Also bare in mind the agreement was struck 6 years ago. Gearbox wasn't a massive name them, and they had no idea the success Borderlands would bring them. When a game does as well as Borderlands, you don't just chuck it aside and say "We can't do another one, or support Borderlands because we have an agreement to work on another game that might or might not be shit"

Their main focus was to make money, and it still is. Whilst they bit off more than they can chew, it wasn't really their fault, and you can't blame them for finding a way to work on Borderlands 2 more than anything.



Author:   jbh
Date:   Feb 14, 13 at 9:57pm (PST)
Subject:   re: Aliens: Colonial Marines - What happened?
-------------------------------------------
4 Aces You seem to be looking at this from a side without understanding that Borderlands is their IP and strictly theirs...

I can't blame any company for following the money, but at the same time...Borderlands is their IP, they can take as long as they want with that and still rake in the sales, 2K don't have any right to rush that along. When you're under contract to produce a game for a publisher you have a deadline.

Any project under contract should come first, even if it's not the best financial choice. This will affect their reputation among other publishers, and they might be screwing themselves out of the work on a successful IP in the future, thus a lot of money.

It's really quite an idiotic choice on their part, I'll definitely be reconsidering my purchases on Gearbox games in the future.



Author:   Markimus_123
Date:   Feb 15, 13 at 2:43am (PST)
Subject:   re: Aliens: Colonial Marines - What happened?
-------------------------------------------
I'll definitely be boycotting Gearbox games in the future, I was looking forward to Colonial Marines like most people and to discover that they sidelined a game they were contracted to make, and outsourced it to other companies so that they could work on Borderlands, which as Jerry mentioned they could have worked on at any time with it being their own game is just ridiculous, they're 100% to blame for it's failure and frankly Sega were more patient than they should have been.



Author:   Minds
Date:   Feb 15, 13 at 4:00am (PST)
Subject:   re: Aliens: Colonial Marines - What happened?
-------------------------------------------
Was sort of looking forward to this game before I saw all the crap that it is.

Guy in a game shop said I should preorder it as it'll be awesome and I'm glad I passed on that action. I figured it'd be a game I get over time but unless it is completely patched so there's no issues from the footage I've seen then there isn't a chance in hell I'll buy.

I watched one review last night on YouTube: Angry Joe Show: Alien Colonial Marines Angry Review and that, though it's a long video goes deep into where it's all wrong.

Ah well, maybe next time they'll do it right.



Author:   Shave ya Head
Date:   Feb 15, 13 at 5:26am (PST)
Subject:   re: Aliens: Colonial Marines - What happened?
-------------------------------------------
I stand by Gearbox. Yes they were contracted, and thats where outsourcing comes in handy. Yes it was still their responsibility, but they went with the money. They're a business, first and foremost.



Author:   jbh
Date:   Feb 15, 13 at 6:55am (PST)
Subject:   re: Aliens: Colonial Marines - What happened?
-------------------------------------------
quote 4 Aces
I stand by Gearbox. Yes they were contracted, and thats where outsourcing comes in handy. Yes it was still their responsibility, but they went with the money. They're a business, first and foremost.
They're a bad business then it seems. If you're only going for a high risk money up plan front rather than a low risk far more money in the long run plan, especially after already having a massive success, you're going to hit a lot of potholes, and maybe even a wreck. In any industry.



Author:   Shave ya Head
Date:   Feb 15, 13 at 7:09am (PST)
Subject:   re: Aliens: Colonial Marines - What happened?
-------------------------------------------
Back when the deal was done, Gearbox weren't really well known(Or at least as well known as today), so imagine they get this deal to do Colonial Marines, then they release Borderlands. It's a massive hit, sells many many copies and they make a fortune. They don't have the resources to continue working on Borderlands, Alien CM and this Pecan, so they have to either shelve or outsource one of them. The logical decision from a business point of view is to shelve Alien, and work on this new IP they've got going, which they know is going to be a success. Let's face it, Borderlands is way more successful than Alien, as a game at least.

They may have made themselves look like a bad company, but that doesn't mean alot in this day and age.



Author:   jbh
Date:   Feb 15, 13 at 9:16am (PST)
Subject:   re: Aliens: Colonial Marines - What happened?
-------------------------------------------
quote 4 Aces
They may have made themselves look like a bad company, but that doesn't mean alot in this day and age.


No, nothing at all.

They made the immature and fool hearty decision, and they'll pay for it on a lack of future opportunities.



Author:   Shave ya Head
Date:   Feb 15, 13 at 10:08am (PST)
Subject:   re: Aliens: Colonial Marines - What happened?
-------------------------------------------
No, they won't. I bet when Activision started chugging out the same CoD every year, people said the same thing.



Author:   jbh
Date:   Feb 15, 13 at 11:48am (PST)
Subject:   re: Aliens: Colonial Marines - What happened?
-------------------------------------------
Activision are a publisher...



Author:   Markimus_123
Date:   Feb 15, 13 at 1:38pm (PST)
Subject:   re: Aliens: Colonial Marines - What happened?
-------------------------------------------
quote 4 Aces
They may have made themselves look like a bad company, but that doesn't mean alot in this day and age.
Except it does, the reputation they would have built from this situation means that they're unlikely to be asked by a publisher to make a game for them again so in the long run I can see it hurting them quite a lot. The logical thing from a business standpoint would have obviously been to finish the game that you have been contracted to create and put your own IP on the backburner because like I said they could have worked on that at any point, in my eyes it's unacceptable.



Author:   DragonSlayer45
Date:   Feb 15, 13 at 1:49pm (PST)
Subject:   re: Aliens: Colonial Marines - What happened?
-------------------------------------------
And then we got this:





Author:   Shave ya Head
Date:   Feb 15, 13 at 5:23pm (PST)
Subject:   re: Aliens: Colonial Marines - What happened?
-------------------------------------------
You lot talk as though every contract must be fulfilled. Its laughable tbh.


Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. 1999-2014.
All Rights Reserved.