For over a year now Sega and Gearbox have been the target in a class-action lawsuit claiming that Aliens: Colonial Marines' marketing misled customers by showing supposed gameplay footage that looked substantially better than the final product.
In late July, Gearbox explained that it should be dropped from the suit because it had little to do with marketing the game, and it was merely the contractor for Sega, who handled the promotion. Since then Sega has agreed to pay out $1.25m with $745K available to customers who purchased the game before 13th February 2013 and fill out a claim form.
But now Sega is claiming that Gearbox wasn't so innocent in Aliens: Colonial Marines' promotion after all.
As reported by Polygon, some internal e-mails have leaked in the latest motion where Sega claims it was deceived by Gearbox, whose co-founder, Randy Pitchford, did "whatever the f*** he likes."
"The parties had to mutually agree to the 'precise particulars of marketing assets' delivered by Gearbox," the most recent motion stated. "Gearbox's participation - Randy Pitchford's, in particular - was a key element in the ACM marketing strategy from the beginning."
More damning, the motion claimed that the 2012 E3 press demo that misled consumers so much was made by Gearbox, who assured Sega that this was the bar the game should be evaluated by.
"During one of my conversations with Gearbox today I verified that the E3 Demo is indeed the bar that we should use to determine where the entire game will be," wrote Sega of America's Matt Powers in an internal e-mail. "That is Gearbox's plan and what they believe in. I just wanted to double-check with them and since I did I figured I would pass that along to you."
The filing noted that Gearbox frequently violated Sega's PR plans for the game and "talked a LOT beyond what was in there."
"I spoke face to face to [Gearbox's Steve] Gibson about their persistent panel leaking," wrote Matt Eyre of Sega's PR team in an e-mail to his colleagues. "Effectively - it's Randy [Pitchford] doing whatever the f*** he likes. Apparently he did it twice on BL2 [Borderlands 2] also, again, against all plans and despite the fact they asked him not to. I think our best result here is that we have no more panel sessions."
So that's the gist. For the full account, we've embedded the latest motion below (via Kotaku). The next hearing will be on 29th October. We've requested comment form Gearbox about the most recent allegations and will update should we hear back.
And here's the previous filing from 30th July.