In a series of impassioned Tweets, Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford has finally commented on the reception and sales of Aliens: Colonial Marines, and spoken out against allegations that the studio defrauded publisher Sega and misled buyers as to the game's quality.
It's very much an on-going thing, so you might want to skip direct to Pitchford's Twitter feed rather than reading the below, abbreviated version. "As a glass-half-full kind of guy, so I only want positive feelings with my personal twitter," he began around an hour ago. "Thanks for understanding!"
Colonial Marines has been widely lambasted, with OXM's 6/10 one of the better verdicts, but rumours as to Gearbox's handling of the project have added another dimension to the ire. A source describing himself as a former employee termed the game a "train wreck" last year, claiming that "primary development" had been out-sourced to Section 8 developer TimeGate.
It's a version of events that's seemingly corroborated by Reddit sources, who allege that Gearbox rerouted funds provided by Sega into the development of Borderlands 2. Some players also maintain that one of the game's demos is a misrepresentation, showcasing content and a level of graphical finish not found in the retail release.
Pitchford acknowledged that Colonial Marines had disappointed many. "I feel like we exist to make people happy and it's painful when for some we do not succeed," he said. "We learn and grow. I have always profited from criticism and, thankfully, I have never been in short supply."
But he insisted that the new shooter had its strengths - and fans. "There is genuine love for the game - it turns out opinions vary," Pitchford told one follower. "I love the setting, story and pacing of campaign," he said later. "I love versus. I always see the flaws in all of our work. An Artist's Dilemma."
The fraud allegation is apparently "False by a LONG SHOT. Borderlands success actually helped to finance all other projects..." As for complaints about the accuracy of the demo, "that is understood and fair and we are looking at that. Lots of info to parse, lots of stake holders to respect."
Aliens: Colonial Marines has turned in impressive week one sales, placing first in the UK all formats despite competition from EA's comparable, better-received Dead Space 3, but Pitchford foresees tough times. "I'm afraid it looks like I will lose a huge amount of money. We pay for our education..."
The conversation continues. You might want to keep an eye on that Twitter feed as the evening wears on...