So, Aliens: Colonial Marines was apparently a 'passion project' for Gearbox - but according to a new report, the majority of the game wasn't even developed by the Borderlands studio at all.
Comments made by a former Gearbox developer, sug up by Superannuation
, claims that much of the work assigned to the Plano, Texas outfit was in fact outsourced to TimeGate Studios. Past projects for this developer include Section 8: Prejudice
and expansion packs for the FEAR
"I used to work at Gearbox, and the development of that game has been a total train wreck, going on what, six years now," reads the post, written last year
. "Gearbox isn't even making the game, except for the multiplayer. Primary development was outsourced to TimeGate Studios, which has a less than stellar past."
Opening credits for the game feature not just Gearbox and TimeGate, but two other companies - Demiurge Studios and Nerve Software.
Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford admitted that it had worked with a number of partners on the SEGA-funded shooter in an interview with IGN
yesterday. "Some of the other studios involved, we decided that these guys are awesome. They did a lot of really valuable work," he said.
Pitchford noted that TimeGate's contribution amounted to "probably about 20 or 25 percent of the total time" of development, adding that "if you take preproduction out of it, their effort’s probably equivalent to ours. Now, it’s not fair to take preproduction out of it, but that says a lot about how much horsepower those guys put into it."
Demiurge Studios contributed to "explore networking and multiplayer," while Nerve Software worked on multiplayer maps.
That doesn't really leave an awful lot of work left for Gearbox to take control of itself. At the very least, the TimeGate comments - both by the former Gearbox developer and Pitchford himself - seem to contradict the CEO's previous claims to Gamasutra
, in which he said that Gearbox worked on around 80 per cent of the total game.
SPOnG scored Aliens: Colonial Marines 5/10
, in a review that concluded with the following: "The real disaster here lies in Gearbox Software’s approach to the game’s development... the effort seen in the final product is an insult to those who have waited so long."