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Sega and Gearbox Sued and How Even This Fits into #GamerGate

gamergate9-04-14

It has been a very interesting couple weeks to say the least, and every single day that passes things get more and more interesting.  We here at nichegamer have take a very clear stance on this whole #gamergate thing.  Due to this, in the interest of full disclosure I will add that we have clearly picked a side. However, I view facts and like to call a spade a spade and this is admitted corruption in journalism from a fairly prominent company.  This isn’t just about indie games anymore.

This whole thing stems from a class action lawsuit that was filed by one Damion Perrine who claims that Sega and Gearbox falsely advertised Aliens: Colonial Marines at tradeshows and states that the final product ended up being nothing like what they were led to believe from the marketing.

Damien states that the demos were advertised as actual gameplay yet goes on to say that the demos featured graphics, AI behavior, and even entire levels that were not in the final product.  The lawsuit goes onto mention how review embargoes didn’t give consumers enough time to see the changes that were made to the game before they made their day one purchases.

“Each of the ‘actual gameplay’ demonstrations purported to show consumers exactly what they would be buying: a cutting edge video game with very specific features and qualities.”  “Unfortunately for their fans, Defendants never told anyone — consumers, industry critics, reviewers, or reporters — that their ‘actual gameplay’ demonstration advertising campaign bore little resemblance to the retail product that would eventually be sold to a large community of unwitting purchasers.”

Now, this is an old story, however, fast forward a couple months and Sega begins to spin a different tale.  Sega blames the entire thing on Gearbox according to leaked emails discovered by Polygon.  The emails basically state that Randy Pitchford was out of control and did whatever he wanted when it came to the game.  These accusations stem from the fact that Sega actually already settled this case out of court for $1.25 million, which is to be paid out to people who purchased the game before Feb. 13th 2013. The court documents stated that Gearbox could be included in the settlement if they paid out an additional $750,000.  However, Gearbox was having none of that and they are pressing on.

They are saying that all of the blame should be placed upon Sega since they had the final decision on any marketing decisions.  However, Sega believes that they were kept in the dark by Gearbox and states that the contract said they had to mutually agree upon decisions that they were basically being lied to about.

Now, this is hardly the first time that Sega and Gearbox have accused each other of mistakes in this disaster of a game.  Back in February of 2013, shorty after the games release Sega accused Gearbox of using funds provided by Sega to instead fund Borderlands 2 and Duke Nukem Forever.  Sega wanted to sue Gearbox back then but apparently they couldn’t take them to court because, despite the misuse of funding, Gearbox had the game done in time and ready to ship on the agreed upon release date.

That is a lot to take in, but how does this all fit into GamerGate you ask?  Well, the corruption in the original class action lawsuit regarding review embargoes and false promises should be obvious, but it actually goes deeper than that.  Above, I stated that a big part of Sega’s ire towards Gearbox was due to the fact that they used Aliens funds to fund Borderlands 2 instead.  If this wasn’t reprehensible enough on Gearbox’s part I present to you Anthony Burch.

Anthony Burch is a Gearbox employee who wrote on Borderlands 2 and the Borderlands 2 DLC.  He has also been one of the most active and outspoken people against Gamer Gate, trying to spin the entire movement into an issue of sexism in videogames as opposed to a movement of cleansing the industry of corrupt journalists.  He believes the only reason this whole thing started is because Zoe Quinn is a woman and the gamer gate people want her out of the industry for being female.

Any logical person who has been following this whole thing and has read our previous articles on this issue should rightfully regard this as the nonsense it is, but in case you needed more proof, here is just a sample of the males that have been targeted by GamerGate

  • Nathan Grayson
  • Robin Arnott
  • Phil Fish
  • Justin McElroy
  • Stephen Totilo
  • Devin Faraci
  • Brandon Boyer
  • and now, Anthony Burch

That is just to name a few off the top of my head, There are certainly more, so, as stated above, insinuating that this is just about Zoe Quinn and forcing people like her and Anita Sarkeesian out of the industry is ludicrous at best, malicious at worst.

To reign this entire thing though, how are Gearbox and Anthony Burch connected to this whole thing aside from a few uninformed tweets from Burch himself?  Well, courtesy of the Internet Aristocrat that answer becomes abundantly clear.  He retweeted a couple of interesting remarks from Burch that sound pretty damning when it comes to corruption in game journalism.

Naturally he tried to spin it into a negative for Gamer Gate saying that we didn’t care because he didn’t have sex with anybody and isn’t female, but as I proved above with the male targets of the gamer gate list, this is a completely false accusation.  Gamer Gate just wasn’t privy to the information and he just went out there and made it public for everybody to see, proving even more how corrupt this industry is.

The thing to take from this is that now we have solid proof that this isn’t just an indie game thing and is instead a damnation on the entire industry, AAA and indie alike.  In this case you have Gearbox using funds provided for one game to instead fund a game they were clearly more interested in, and then you have one of the head writers for Borderlands 2 admitting that he was close friends with the people who wrote reviews for his Borderlands 2 DLC.

This seemingly doesn’t have an end and just how deep does the rabbit hole go?

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of, and should not be attributed to, Niche Gamer as an organization.

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14 comments
  1. Codrin Stavri
    Codrin Stavri
    September 4, 2014 at 7:34 am

    How can we see if the trafic on these sites is going down? I want to see if our movment is effective or should we try and include more people?

    Is there a chance you guys can get the suport of youtube heavyweights like pewdiepie or angry joe to join our cause?

    I find it stupid that the youtube people fighting our fight don’t have their channels based around gaming. MundaneMatt IA and Sargon of Akkad are mostly anti feminist,

    people like boogie and the anarchy gamer are one of the few who spoke out.

    Total biscuit did speak but now is seen doing some benign shit instead of adressing the issue further and raising more awarnes to what goes on.

    Athene doesn’t give a shit.

    I sugest we try and convince the youtubers on the fence like Angry Joe and Pewdie pie to fight with us.

    I also sugest we pressure TB to convince him and make more videos about the matter.

    Its a shame in the face to claim you’re fighting the shit that goes on in the industry and when the bigest shit goes on they stay silent and neutral

  2. 2Doppelganger .
    2Doppelganger .
    September 4, 2014 at 9:02 am

    They are trying to maintain there public image, so they would rather not get into discussion. It’s the sad truth.

  3. Phelan
    Phelan
    September 4, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Whole enviroment is corrupted.

    The problem is 3 groups of people

    -Hardware makers
    -Journalists
    -Developers

    Are way too close to each others, they should keep the proper distance between themselves… but they don’t care about it. What’s even worse they don’t see anything wrong in being overly friendly toward each others.

    Few days ago I wrote on PS Blog post about how I don’t like how the FuturLab is acting. They lost my entire respect, and because of that I’m not planning to play their games.

    Did you see how they acted on twitter?
    They started making free avatars, wallpapers to all key people in gaming industry. All important figures from IGN, people like PewDiePie, or key people in SCE like Yoshida or Shahid Kamal. They even were commenting most of their twits… when people started attacking Shahid the first one to defend him was…. guess who… Futurlab.

    They said that it was part of their cheap advertisment campaign… but I don’t like it! They didn’t keep the proper distance. How am I to believe reviews of Velocity 2X? When I know that they were fawning over main people in gaming industry? How am I to believe that SCE made the right decision basing on rational arguments, when they paid BIG BIG BIG ammount of cash to Futurlab?

    I CAN’T

    That’s a problem! I cannot trust them anymore!
    That’s the same problem which was with Zoe… she just didn’t keep the right distance…

  4. nonscpo
    nonscpo
    September 4, 2014 at 10:33 am

    You forgot to add Rich of Reviewtechusa as a Youtuber, I believe he has over 100.000 subscribers. Rich has mentioned the controversy over Zoe Quinn but hasn’t mentioned the # movement.

  5. nonscpo
    nonscpo
    September 4, 2014 at 10:34 am

    So glad you guys covered the Polygon article, now I don’t have to check it out and give them my click.

  6. Crazy_O
    Crazy_O
    September 4, 2014 at 10:36 am

    It looks like something only we the consumer can change by not visiting certain websites anymore.

    I was there when Kotaku started several years ago – I think I can do this again, even if it takes another 9-10 years I’ll be here seeing you guys grow (and let’s be honest some also fail, but i’ll be here lurking and posting until than).

  7. Some furf
    Some furf
    September 4, 2014 at 10:37 am

    I don’t really see the connection between Gearbox’s business malpractices and Burch. He wasn’t involved in marketing Colonial Marines, nor was he responsible for allocating funds within the company. He’s just a writer, and not a very good one at that. As far as I can tell, you’re just saying “Gearbox did some shitty stuff, Gearbox hired Anthony Burch, Anthony Burch is making broad, ignorant claims on Twitter.” It’s not much of a story.

  8. Myles Vitagliano
    Myles Vitagliano
    September 4, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    It’s more of a character witness thing to show that Gearbox is rotten throughout thier ranks. Not related on the surface, but it damns Gearbox as a whole.

  9. Aristides
    Aristides
    September 5, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Is there any way to know if #GGs message is making it through to people?

  10. Prof Acronautilus
    Prof Acronautilus
    September 6, 2014 at 2:32 am

    Don’t count on Angry Joe’s support in this. He white knighted Anita Sarkeesian last year in his controversies of 2013 video. It was really disappointing to watch that shit. Spent ten fucking minutes talking down to gamers everywhere, ten seconds acknowledging legit criticisms.

    With a heavy heart, I unsubbed, and haven’t paid any attention to him since. Damn shame, because his review of Ride To Hell: Retribution was a thing of beauty.

  11. Prof Acronautilus
    Prof Acronautilus
    September 6, 2014 at 2:38 am

    Not TB. He just really prefers to talk about actual games. I can’t blame him, especially since he’s not only making a living off of his channel, but other people are counting on him paying them as well. And he can’t let his production of game examinations get disturbed by scandals like this. It doesn’t really set a great precedent for him.

    Besides, he’s not exactly the person you want getting more involved in this mess than he already has, as he freely admits that he’s not as good at dealing with trolls as he’d like to be one day. And his doctor no doubt advises him to keep his blood pressure down. Pretty important to listen to your doctor when you’re battling cancer.

  12. Janus
    Janus
    September 6, 2014 at 4:07 am

    At least Colonial Marines was better then the new Aliens game coming out. Holy fuck balls the entire fucking CREW of the Nostromo.

    Burch’s charming pile of horsecrap above makes me glad I haven’t bought any of the Borderlands games. I think I’ll continue to do so. Just going to keep saying what I’ve been saying. Let’em burn.

  13. Prof Acronautilus
    Prof Acronautilus
    September 6, 2014 at 10:15 am

    If that’s the case, that makes it even worse.

    Never would have expected help from the Young Turks. Not sure we want it either.