Twitter is a wonderful place. But sometimes, it can be a truly horrifying place where your worst nightmares come to life. That’s the position Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford found himself in Monday when he agreed to participate in an #AskRandy Q&A for Develop Brighton.
The intended goal was to get people to ask Pitchford questions about game development, which seems fair enough. The only problem was the timing. On Friday, Pitchford made a statement in regards to Sega’s agreement to a settlement concerning the lawsuit centered around Aliens: Colonial Marines. Sega and Gearbox were being sued by gamers who argued that Sega used false and unrepresentative demos, trailers, and screenshots to sell the game. Gearbox was included in the lawsuit as the developer of the game, though most of the work was reportedly outsourced to TimeGate Studios, and Gearbox was dropped from the suit similar this year.
Pitchford went on the attack in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, saying, “the legal system failed as it was being manipulated by what appeared to me to be, essentially, mafia-style extortion tactics.” He continued by stating the free market was the only judge for the game: “The market proved it was doing its job perfectly. The market is dispassionate — rewarding what it likes and punishing what it doesn’t. There is an objectivity and fairness in the open market’s harsh, firm justice.”
Of course, the whole lawsuit was about the game being sold on a bed of lying screenshots and trailers, and the infamous E3 2013 demo, but that’s neither here nor there.
Monday also marked the release of the latest episode of Jim Sterling’s Jimquisition show, “Aliens: Colonial Marines – Game Over, Randy,” in which he disagreed with Pitchford’s comments from Friday. This coincided with Develop Brighton’s launch for the hashtag campaign, and with the powder keg primed, angry fans were handed the match.
A sampling of the tweets Pitchford received can be found after the break.
— Jim Sterling (@JimSterling) July 14, 2015
#AskRandy Do you ever look at Creative Assembly's Alien Isolation and think 'WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE THIS? COLONIAL MARINES HAD MORE GUNS!'
— Stuart Sandy (@VTheSystemV) July 14, 2015
— Douglas 더글라스 (@DougFunk15) July 14, 2015
— Justin Stewart (@SeymourDuncan17) July 14, 2015
This has been going on for quite some time, and people are still jumping in to offer their angry two cents, and deliciously poisonous jokes. This, naturally, led to Pitchford getting very angry, going so far as to attack Jim Sterling for the video.
@BenLeachCFC That guy does not care for truth. He profits from causing damage. I like people who build sand castles, he kicks them over.
— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) July 14, 2015
Gearbox and Randy Pitchford absolutely have a lot to answer in regards to the allegations made against them in regards to Aliens: Colonial Marines. And no matter how much anyone tries to use sales figures to argue their product is a good one, it doesn’t change the fact that Gearbox and Pitchford have upset a lot of gamers over the last few years. And those are sales you definitely can’t count on the next time.