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Anonymous Sega Exec Says Gearbox Embezzled A:CM Funds

An unnamed Sega executive has supposedly taken to Blogger to separate the fact from fiction regarding lies surrounding his employer. The latest entry centers around the recent FPS bomb called Aliens: Colonial Marines and all the controversy surrounding the Sonic publisher and associated developers.

Last time we tuned in to this channel, no one was really sure who developed the game, only that Gearbox was in charge. Even more, there were accusations of false advertisement, as both Sega and Gearbox promoted a product that gamers never really received. The anonymous Sega employee adds his own opinion to the data, pointing fingers at TimeGate and Sega, and accusing Gearbox of embezzlement.

Why? Because Gearbox reportedly took the funds Sega shelled out for Aliens: Colonial Marines (A:CM) and use those funds on Borderlands, Borderlands 2 and Duke Nukem Forever, all three of which were published by 2K Games. The latter game was the biggest leech of the three, as Gearbox supposedly purchased the IP and hired on some of the 3D Realms team using the A:CM funds.

"Gearbox essentially lied to Sega, mishandled funds, broke agreements and contractual obligations to work on other projects, didn't want to work on a game they were contractually obligated to work on and gave it to another team, poor organization and direction on ACM, took on too many projects from different companies at once, and other things that we may not even know about," he said. "Hell, part of me believes that Gearbox wanted this thing delayed as much as possible so they can get more funding money to embezzle from Sega."

This anonymous executive also confirmed that 99-percent of the information that has been provided by the likes of Kotaku, Destructoid and others is true. "This is depressing as hell for all of us, because money that should go towards our paychecks and the well-being of the company was taken from us," he added.

Sega is reportedly looking to take legal action against Gearbox even though the contract has been fulfilled by the game's retail release. The source said that A:CM never should have been released in its current state, and would have given Sega a better defense. If anything, the publisher may have a case if it can prove that Gearbox used Sega's money to develop the two Borderlands games and Duke Nukem Forever.

"By all rights, Borderlands 1 and 2 should be a Sega published game, since they got the money from us to fund the game, and since those games are smash hits, our jobs here at Sega would be more secure and just having those two games, the Sega brand might be on a path to being revived somewhat," the unnamed Sega official said. "Instead, we're going through this difficult period of our lives, and people have lose their jobs from this, and in my view, having ACM game on their resume will damage their chances of getting back in the industry."

The blog is rather lengthy, and gives an outline what what's been said since A:CM hit the market weeks ago. One of the linked articles provided by the blog includes a timeline written by Kotaku which details how the game fell apart like a taped-together Android. Here's one of the quotes that seemingly backs up what the anonymous Sega executive described:

"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 an 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 a 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."

Ouch.

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  • thor220
    Lol the blog is already gone. Anyways I have a hard time believing they funded multiple other AAA titles from one games seed money. It's likely that sega is just cheap and now they are having a hissy fit about the end product. If they can somehow prove that Gearbox did funnel money away from the project, only then will I believe sega. Another thing to mull over is: why would gearbox take the duke nukem project knowing they don't have the cash? They wouldn't and it's extremely malicious for sega to even suggest that gearbox is that kind of company. The day that gearbox knowingly accepts moneysinks just to find a reason to embezzle is the day that bill gates suggest an iphone to his wife.
    Reply
  • memadmax
    In my opinion, both companies are to blame and heads should roll.
    I have been a avid aliens(and predator =D) fan since Aliens came out. To "carrot and stick" people like this is a complete line of BS....
    Reply
  • shikamaru31789
    As a huge fan of both Sega and Gearbox I really hate hearing about all of this. I don't know who the blames lies on and I really don't care. I just want to see them both move on and learn some valuable lessons from this.
    Reply
  • Kami3k
    I'm betting this "unnamed Sega executive" is actually a troll.
    Reply
  • m32
    So you not only you let one "Borderlands" title slip by you, but two? You need to be fired if you didn't hopped on it.
    Reply
  • I used to hold Gearbox in high regard because of Borderlands, I but I don't know what to think any more after this.
    Reply
  • natoco
    Lessons will 'probably' be learnt by all involved, the question remains. Will gearbox be made to give the money back for every single copy? I definitly think they should. Laws should protect the consumer from bad products that say they do one thing and yet do another. It would be the best start in cleaning up this mess or even a free game or exchange.
    Reply
  • dormantreign
    And the plot thickens....
    Reply
  • bluestar2k11
    I laughed at that^^
    Excellent hun^^

    But to answer to other things you said, it's impossible to fund 3 games with the money of one title. Unless Sega just poured a few hundred million into the project, which I highly doubt. Plus one game would have required a significant buyout to obtain from 3Drealms and it's publisher.

    There's just no way.

    I think Sega is trying to play the blame game (No one ever blames themselves of course, esp companies), and Gearbox just happens to be an easy target atm.

    I'm not happy Aliens failed, I don't think anyone would be. But I can't believe it was entirely Gearbox's fault, they'd made several high quality titles, and helped release others that were also of good quality, to blame ACM on gearbox is just absurd imo. They may have a share of fault, but not all of it, sounds as if there was a lot of problems in the whole development time that were shared between several companies.


    thor220is the day that bill gates suggest an iphone to his wife.
    Reply
  • kinggraves
    bluestar2k11I laughed at that^^Excellent hun^^But to answer to other things you said, it's impossible to fund 3 games with the money of one title. Unless Sega just poured a few hundred million into the project, which I highly doubt.
    You don't get it. They don't need to use the money for ACM to fuel all 3 other titles completely. Funds that were given to them by Sega should have been spent entirely on ACM, but the accusation is that those funds and resources were moved to the other projects. If Sega gave them $10m and got a project that was only worth $1m, then where did those resources go? They are entitled to get the project they funded. AAA titles are made on very thin profit margins these days, all the money that funds a game needs to go to increasing the quality of that game so the end product can make back the expenses.

    Of course this blog is not Sega's official stance. You can't speak about pending legal matters. Stiil, I can't imagine why anyone would play the apologist for Gearbox. If the game was poorly built, blame the people that built it. If they outsourced the project elsewhere, then clearly they were trying to produce the game for less.

    On the other hand, if this slipped under their radar then Sega needs to learn how to manage their dev teams better. This isn't the only poorly crafted game Sega has released, even their flagship Sonic series has had some titles lately that weren't up to code. They should have dropped Gearbox the moment Gearbox started working on other games. A development team should only have one project at a time and should at no point be working for a different publisher. That was a conflict of interest from the start.
    Reply