Reddit Post From Purported Gearbox Employee Details Troubled Aliens: Colonial Marines Development

Details regarding the long and tortured development of Aliens: Colonial Marines continue to trickle out, this time coming from Reddit, where a purported Gearbox employee has posted a lengthy dissection of the game’s development.

The post was submitted by a throw-away account, apparently in order to keep the poster from violating his non-disclose agreement. Still though, all the information should be taken with a grain of salt.

Apparently, the game’s lengthy six year development cycle (although, in fairness, the game was announced before production had even begun) was as a result of Gearbox juggling projects, constantly putting the Aliens game (codenamed Pecan) on hold in favor of Borderlands, Duke Nukem Forever, and others. Each time the game restarted development, it’s creative vision would change completely, only for the game to be put on hold yet again. The publisher, Sega, was evidently not all that happy with the constant delays, and started to push Gearbox to finish the game.

To compensate for the strained resources Gearbox started to outsource more and more of the work to other studios, with TimeGate being selected to handle sections of the single player campaign. With development of Borderlands 2 ramping up at Gearbox, TimeGate started to take over more and more of the game’s development, with only a small number of Gearbox developers even assigned to Pecan. Even with TimeGate’s assistance, the game was nowhere near completion by May, at which time Sega delayed by another nine months.

During that nine months (five of which where Gearbox was completely focused on shipping Borderlands 2), TimeGate finished the roughly 85% of the remaining campaign. But even still, the game was reportedly in pretty rough shape when Gearbox returned to it after Borderlands 2 shipped in September. The story didn’t make sense, the Playstation 3 version wasn’t properly optimized, and boss battles were yet to be implemented. But with Sega apparently unwilling to delay the game again, there wasn’t all that much the studios could do other than fix any game-breaking bugs and get the game through certification.

You can read the full post here. It’s interesting to see the blame for the game’s apparent issues being thrusted from Gearbox to TimeGate. Perhaps we’ll start seeing TimeGate employees defend themselves. After all, Gearbox certainly seems to have their share of blame here.

In the meantime, I’ll just sit here and imagine how awesome a good Aliens game would be.