An anonymous post on Reddit popped up that is supposedly from a developer on the Aliens: Colonial Marines team. The entire story can be read here. To sum up, it sounds like no one was in the right with this game over its long development, which is a bit disappointing. Hit that jump to shed some light on this story.
It all started years ago…
Pecan (the internal codename for ACM) has a pretty long history. SEGA, GBX and 20th Century FOX came to an 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 was resumed it would undergo a major content overhaul.
The game has already been claimed by others to have been outsourced. But it sounds like the campaign was initially decided to be made by TimeGate with Gearbox working on multiplayer, and 2 other teams working DLC for the game. So, effectively 4 different teams were working on one game. The last time I remember something like this happening, BioShock 2 happened and it had horrid multiplayer that was added at the last minute. Granted, multiple teams always work on one game at a time, but this is Gearbox. Of course they were going to put everything on hold to finish the powerhouse that is Borderlands 2.
About 5 of those 9 months went to shipping BL2. In that time, TimeGate managed to scrap together 85% of the campaign, but once Borderlands 2 shipped and GBX turned its 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 fights weren’t implemented, PS3 was way over memory, etcetcetc. GBX was pretty unhappy with TG’s work, and some of 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.
The story, which I highly recommend reading in its entirety, goes on to say that Sega was ready to take legal actions against Gearbox, as the game had been put on the back burner so consistently. The script of the game was supposedly approved by 20th Century FOX, but is so haphazardly thrown together in some parts that Gearbox is hoping the DLC will clear up any questions (sometimes the story apparently ignores Alien canon) raised by the campaign.
I don’t know how to take this story. It’s a bit too detailed to be made up by someone. But a lot of people on the internet have a lot of free time also. That’s no stab at Reddit users. I’m just saying that this could have been created to continue fueling the fire against ACM. I’m enjoying the game so far, so does that make me crazy? Let us know in the comments and on the forum!
[Source: VG 4/27]