SEGA admits Aliens: Colonial Marines trailers were misleading, adds disclaimers

ASA upholds customer complaint, disclaimers added to footage

Aliens: Colonial Marines - the controversy magnet that carries on giving. As detailed on Reddit, SEGA has conceded to the UK's Advertising Standards Agency that online demo footage for the much-maligned game doesn't "accurately reflect" its quality, following a customer complaint. As a consequence, said videos will include disclaimers from here on out.

"We contacted Sega Europe to discuss this issue," reads the ASA's letter to the Redditor in question, as spotted by Beefjack. "They explained that their online trailers used demo footage, created using the in-game engine."


Encouragingly for all concerned, the publisher's advertising teams apparently neglected to check in on the finished product after creating the videos. "Sega Europe understood the objections raised about the quality of the game in relation to the trailers, but explained that they weren't aware of these issues when the trailers were produced, in some cases several months before release."

"Sega Europe acknowledged your objection that the trailers did not accurately reflect the final content of the game," the letter continues. "They agreed to add a disclaimer, both on their website and in all relevant Youtube videos, which explains that the trailers depict footage of the demo versions of the game. The disclaimer will be visible when each online trailer is played.

"On the basis of the advertiser's written assurance, we have decided to informally uphold your complaint. Basic information, including the advertiser's name and where the ad appeared, will be published on our website, on 27th March 2012.

"Our role in cases such as this is to ensure that marketing material isn't likely to materially mislead the public," the ASA concludes. "We consider that with this disclaimer in place, customers are unlikely to get the impression that the trailer shows the finished product, and the ads are therefore unlikely to mislead."

There's a very long book waiting to be written about Colonial Marines. Highlights would include claims that the game was actually developed by Section 9 developer TimeGate, while Gearbox worked on Borderlands 2, and this wobbly-lipped Twitter fusillade from Randy Pitchford.

OXM's Craig Owens scored the shooter a dismal 6/10, commenting that it "takes some of the most viciously terrifying beasts in movie history, straps them to a veterinary table, produces a really sharp pair of scissors then sends them home markedly better behaved than before." Ouch.