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TimeGate Staff Estimate 50% Of Aliens: Colonial Marines Is Their Work

So, who made the game?

Yesterday, amidst the flurry of bad reviews a post was discovered that seemed to indicate that Aliens: Colonial Marines was not developed by Gearbox and was outsourced to TimeGate Studios.

Since then it has been reported that Sega America’s Senior Producer, Matthew J. Powers, has denied these claims and said “Absolutely not, the game has been developed by Gearbox Software. Other studios [like Timegate] helped Gearbox on the production of single and multi player.”

Previously, Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford has said they were responsible for 80% of the game and he reiterated up this claim on Monday suggesting TimeGate had contributed 20%-25% of the game, while another team called Nerve worked on maps for the game’s multi player.

However, a post on TimeGate’s own site by their Forum Moderator suggests there might be a bit more Gate and rather less Gears in the final product.

“Messaged a few people in TG and found out that TG basically had a hand in everything. They are responsible for the weapons, the characters, some of the story, a fair amount of the aliens, and I don’t mean conceptualization, they did the actual work of making said weapons and so on.”

“Technically they did work on the MP component, just not in the way I initially thought.”

“This said, the game underwent a lot of changes so TG doesn’t actually know how much of their content is left. Some had the estimate that 50% of what you see in the campaign is their work, others wanted to see for themselves and would get back to me after playing the game themselves.”

Now the interesting thing is that Gearbox have seemingly backed up this claim, “If you take pre-production out of it, their [TimeGate’s] effort’s probably equivalent to ours.”

That seems to indicate that that Gearbox designed the game but only programmed half of it.

The post on the TimeGate forums concludes, “One has to remember that you can’t really “blame” TG for this. They were outsourced to do parts of ACM, and it does not represent current TG design philosophy. ACM is still mostly a Gearbox production and it was they who made the final call on all content.”

There are also rumblings and whispers that despite the game being in production for five years, Aliens: Colonial Marines was not a priority for Gearbox.

This tweet was posted by a writer for PC Gamer:


Some might also question why on February 11th, the day before the game is released, Randy Pitchford starts an interview with IGN not with hyping Aliens but by flogging more Borderlands 2 DLC.

  1. teflon
    Community Team
    Since: May 2009

    What a thoroughly disappointing debacle this release has turned out to be. Especially with Gearbox having long been considered as a rather good, solid studio, for them to muddy their name with this convoluted mess is just sad.

    Comment posted on 13/02/2013 at 11:12.
  2. Porcupine_I
    Since: Aug 2009

    Fingers! Fingers! They are pointing!

    Comment posted on 13/02/2013 at 11:17.
  3. bunimomike
    Since: Jul 2009

    Personally I couldn’t give a crap if it was thrown together by a handful of ADHD children. The game has garnered some piss-poor reviews and is dead to many. Their own fault.

    Comment posted on 13/02/2013 at 12:00.
    • RudeAwakening
      Since: Jan 2011

      Such a brilliant comment. I like how you think my good man.

      Comment posted on 13/02/2013 at 22:03.
  4. BryOnRye
    Since: Jan 2009

    Considering the universal panning its getting I’m surprised TG are so keen on taking credit for it.

    Comment posted on 13/02/2013 at 12:03.
    • rSp8
      Since: Aug 2008

      Just what I was thinking as I was reading it. Instead of “Yeah, we actually made it!”, wouldn’t you be saying “They’re right, it’s mostly their’s. We just helped out on any good bits.”, while banking your cheque?

      Comment posted on 13/02/2013 at 12:45.
  5. Jag
    Since: Feb 2009

    I’d rather have the excellent Borderlands 2 that we have (+ DLC) than even a half decent Aliens game….
    So if they did spend Aliens money on Borderlands 2 then I’m very very happy!

    Comment posted on 13/02/2013 at 12:15.
    • Jag
      Since: Feb 2009

      By the way, I am a huge Alien/s movie fan, just thought that needed pointing out!

      Comment posted on 13/02/2013 at 12:16.
  6. TSBonyman
    Since: Dec 2009

    Is it really a good idea to lay claim to being in any way responsible for how this game turned out?

    Comment posted on 13/02/2013 at 12:49.
  7. RocketSOL
    Since: Oct 2008

    I’d say it makes you look bad for not coming clean in a situation like this…regardless of the quality of the game. All this time we were led to believe that Gearbox were the only people who developed the game, then all this comes out.

    So yeah, regardless of the games quality, good on TimeGate for saying they were responsible for some of it.

    Comment posted on 13/02/2013 at 13:42.
  8. hazelam
    Since: Feb 2009

    was i right when i suggested maybe gearbox don’t care as much when it’s not their ip?

    Comment posted on 13/02/2013 at 15:53.
    Since: Sep 2012

    I’m spartacus.
    I made the game.

    Comment posted on 13/02/2013 at 16:56.
    • The Lone Steven
      Never heard of him.
      Since: May 2010

      No, i’m spartacus and i made the game.

      Comment posted on 13/02/2013 at 18:47.
  10. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    Hmm, Gearbox failed to mention that they were only doing the Multiplayer and were more then happy to promote it as a game developed by them but as soon as the bad reviews came, they suddenly announced that Timegate did the single player. Would they have told us that TG developed it if the game was decent? It seems that they are trying to shift the blame onto TG. Making a average to bad game can be percieved as bad but to blame another studio that you failed to mention during the marketing of the game does look very dodgy.

    It probably doesn’t help that this is the second game that has been in development for a long time that has turned out to be a disappointment. In fact, i recall them having a hissy fit with DNF’s backlash. :O I think Gearbox should take the fall as they did market it as if they developed it and not just half of it. That and they are not likely to go under if they make one bad game unlike Timegate.

    Comment posted on 13/02/2013 at 18:57.
    • CR8ZYH0RSE
      Since: Sep 2012

      plus 1 this comment.8)

      Comment posted on 13/02/2013 at 19:09.

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