A complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority by Reddit user subpardave has resulted in SEGA Europe agreeing to add disclaimers to trailers for the poorly received Aliens: Colonial Marines, making the acknowledgement that they are not accurate and do not reflect the final game.
In a e-mail to the ASA, the disgruntled user placed emphasis on what he outlined as the “absurd” difference between the “in-game” and “playthrough” footage that SEGA utilised to market the game.
Writing on Reddit, subpardave said “Of course, the game looked and played NOTHING like what was shown to consumers,”
“My aim was not to get fines, compensation or any of that. Gearbox and Sega spoke very clearly – by saying absolutely nothing – and showed the purchasing community that they would rather this mess all quietly disappear.
The games industry – like any other – needs to be held accountable for blatantly deceiving the consumer. And doubly so when a wall of silence is the only response to resounding criticism for shipping a shoddy product, having shown off one with all the bells and whistles.
The ASA has little real power. But negative press? That does.”
The rather large gulf in quality between the in-progress footage of the game and what customers and the press finally got in their hands back in February, has been a serious PR issue for the company.
Indeed, many gaming and media websites have been putting up video comparisons of the final product to the in-progress footage that SEGA used to advertise the critically-lambasted Gearbox Software developed product in order to illustrate the disparity in quality.
SEGA for their part confirmed via the ASA, that they would indeed apply disclaimers to the trailers for the game; making the difference in quality known:
“Sega Europe acknowledged your objection that the trailers did not accurately reflect the final content of the game. They agreed to add a disclaimer, both on their website and in all relevant YouTube videos, which explains that the trailers depict footage of the demo versions of the game. The disclaimer will be visible when each online trailer is played.” the ASA was reported as saying.
For the record, Gearbox head honcho Randy Pitchford has acknowledged the disparity in quality, but has yet to make any official comment on the matter.