Gearbox President: "I Have Always Profited From Criticism"

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Gearbox President: "I Have Always Profited From Criticism"

Randy Pitchford takes to Twitter to address Aliens: Colonial Marines hate.

Since the launch of Aliens: Colonial Marines, developer Gearbox has come under a great deal of fire for the quality of the final release, especially given how different the game now appears from the early "demo" videos spread so widely online. Now, perhaps in an attempt to clear the air, Gearbox President Randy Pitchford is addressing concerns via his personal Twitter account, but it appears his responses are generating more heat than they are dissipating.

"As a glass-half-full kind of guy, so I only want positive feelings with my personal twitter. Thanks for understanding!" Pitchford wrote, just before responding to a number of Twitter users, and apparently blocking others as well.

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One of Pitchford's more vocal critics has been Destructoid's Reviews Editor and Escapist contributor Jim Sterling, who has helped draw attention to the stark contrast between early Colonial Marines footage and the game that ended up being released for $60.

"You [sic] entire purpose seems angled towards vilification and injury. I am flattered, but ain't nobody got time for dat," Pitchford Tweeted directly at Sterling, following with "Also - you know how to reach me if you want to ask questions. It appears you would rather show boat publicly for attention."

Of course, it seems somewhat silly of the videogame community not to publicly address issues with the game now that it's available for purchase. I'm not sure what good privately addressing the game's very obvious flaws will do to help consumers, but that appears to be the road Pitchford would rather take.

The Gearbox boss also claims that the company is "looking at" why Colonial Marines ended up as it did, noting that he needs to be "very carful at the moment" regarding what he says about the title.

Source: Twitter

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I sense a storm coming...

I sense EA levels of douche-baggery

When someone tries to deceive large amounts of people, drawing attention to it and showing those people the deception doesn't count as showboating.

I'm sure Mr Pitchford would have loved it if the complaints took the form of personal messages to him, but that wouldn't exact fix the problem would it. It's not as though he was going to turn around and say 'Whoops, it looks like my fingered slipped and I accidentally doctored gameplay footage. Sorry about that'

Just goes to show what I've suspected all a long: all Randy cares about is profit!

I'm very quickly growing to hate this guy. This is a textbook case of false-advertising and he's passing off people calling him on it as showboating.

aww, Pitchford. you are the best negotiator ever!

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gotta go fast and trust no one..

Some may call Jim a sensationalist, but the consumer advocate side of him deserves praise for making this a public debacle. Mike is right that private messages between the two would keep those who dropped $60 in the dark, and I applaud Jim for putting his neck on the line by making it public. The pre-release hype phase of a game like Borderlands 3 is gonna be a little awkward once it makes its way to Destructoid.

I'm looking forward to Jim Sterling's response. My personal response would be something similar to the reply given in Arkell vs Pressdam. Would probably be more formal and less offensive but the general message remains.

rhizhim:
aww, Pitchford. you are the best negotiator ever!

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gotta go fast and trust no one..

The Lawd is my personal trainer bitch!

Too all the people who are calling AC:M bad. Do not be so entitled the MP side of the game is VERY good. they never promised anything of a good story for the SP only that it would become EPIC.

This whole thing reminds me of another company/publisher who did the same thing with not keeping promises and delivering a completely different game then showed...

All I'm hearing is: "people pointing out my mistakes lets me correct them".

Is there some context I'm missing here or are people just mindlessly out for blood as always?

edit: nevermind, the other quotes make it clear there's some asshattery involved.

Ronin Toshiro:
Too all the people who are calling AC:M bad. Do not be so entitled the MP side of the game is VERY good. they never promised anything of a good story for the SP only that it would become EPIC.

Because that demo that they swore was part of the game didn't have to be in there. And what game are you talking about?

Ronin Toshiro:
Too all the people who are calling AC:M bad. Do not be so entitled the MP side of the game is VERY good. they never promised anything of a good story for the SP only that it would become EPIC.

Actually, they outright lied about the quality of the main game, making it out to have features and fabricating an entire demo section with these features to trick people into thinking that they would get a much better game than they did.

Also, a game should be rated upon the sum of its parts; one good section does not excuse a flawed one.

Ronin Toshiro:
Too all the people who are calling AC:M bad. Do not be so entitled the MP side of the game is VERY good. they never promised anything of a good story for the SP only that it would become EPIC.

This whole thing reminds me of another company/publisher who did the same thing with not keeping promises and delivering a completely different game then showed...

and that game is?

i am entitled to know.

It doesn't really matter if Jim was show boating or not, the point is still entirely valid. Motivation doesn't change that.

So what im tking from this is he would rather Jim discuss his issues with him privately instead of talking about it publically since it makes him and his company look like liars.

Oh no, I really liked Gearbox and Mr. Pitchford, how did it come to that.
All that stuff that bubbles up lately just kills my liking for them alltogether

They should have done what SEGA did to Sterling after his Sonic Colors review, and sent him a ton of over-the-top gifts related to A:CM. All that goofing off is pure good publicity, and a great way to redeem yourself after a crap game.

Also, it makes Jim Sterling look ridiculous for being involved. That's always fun.

P.S. Thanks

They're looking into why it ended up the way it did?

They should already bloody know that! What this means is they're wondering who they can get away with blaming for it.

Ronin Toshiro:
the MP side of the game is VERY good.

Uhm, no? It's not good? In fact, the MP is the worst part of the game?
1 - VERY imbalanced factions
2 - Controls of Xenos is horrible
3 - A lot of elements are plainly not explained (like how you become a Boiler or Crusher)
4 - The Challenge-System forces you to play in ways you don't want to unlock GAMEPLAY-AFFECT elements (seriously, to get a different type of armor, you have to do them). Even worse, all those unlocks are plain upgrades from what you got otherwise (they ARE sidegrades for each other. But they are NOT sidegrades to the default stuff. Simply because you don't HAVE any defaults for half of it)

Now add to that a far too small selection of maps, which also have in some cases SERIOUS design-issues (one of the survival-maps allows the marines to lock up basically the entire map in about 20 to 40 seconds, allowing the Xenos to have only three access-points - all from downstairs, all narrow) and you got the perfect example of an absolute horrible MP.

Whatever you think about Pritchford, he is damn eloquent and handling himself better than many companies (looking at Bioware and couple others).

By the way, I always considered the rule "The customer is always right" to be pretty stupid. Developers should be able talk back to customers, even if in a more polite and level-headed manner.

Brace yourselves for a shitty excuse along the lines of "Oh LOL, we sent the Alpha to the printers by mistake!" or "Yeah, our sub-contractors aren't worth shit. Lesson learned!"

I've read that a lot of the forwarded A:CM money was diverted towards the development of Borderlands 2. All that tells me is that Gearbox is hypocritical enough to win a development pitch for the next high-profile franchise game not for the purposes of developing anything for it - rather to develop whatever the Hell it is they truly do want to develop.

So... "Thanks for the cashola, Fox and Sega, but we're working on Borderlands 2 now. We'll get around to your silly little Xenomorph pew-pew fest when we care to. Ta-ta!"

Honestly all my faith in Gearbox is all completely gone along with respect.

Randy lied to all of us, to Sega (because you know during those six years he could have worked on ACM but instead worked more on his own project Borderlands and used Segas money anyway) and instead of admitting he really fucked us over and trying to even start making amends he simply decides to call out Jim....

No seriously fuck that guy, I want Sega to sue his smug lying little ass into the ground, making sure he doesn't get to make a game let alone lie to the industry again and while Peter had his fair share at least he wasn't like Randy being a smug prick.

I waited 6 fucking years for this game and while I enjoyed AVP 2010 (going back to playing it once more after 3 years because of how bad ACM is) not having a new Aliens game that's actually not complete garbage just serves to annoy me more because let's face it we ain't going to get another AAA Aliens game for at least another 3-4 years give or take after this massive fuck up and let's hope gearbox never gets the chance to take the shot again.

Just give the Franchise back to Raven or at the very least Rebellion since AVP 2010 now looks far more appealing than ACM.

Ronin Toshiro:
Too all the people who are calling AC:M bad. Do not be so entitled the MP side of the game is VERY good. they never promised anything of a good story for the SP only that it would become EPIC.

This whole thing reminds me of another company/publisher who did the same thing with not keeping promises and delivering a completely different game then showed...

So describing content as bad makes a critic entitled? How?

Covarr:
They should have done what SEGA did to Sterling after his Sonic Colors review, and sent him a ton of over-the-top gifts related to A:CM. All that goofing off is pure good publicity, and a great way to redeem yourself after a crap game.

Another great way to redeem yourself after a crap game might be...not to release another crap game?

Lest we forget...Gearbox also released DNF.

Covarr:
Also, it makes Jim Sterling look ridiculous for being involved. That's always fun.

P.S. Thanks

There is so much wrong with this I have to think it's sarcasm that didn't translate well.

EDIT:

Ronin Toshiro:
Too all the people who are calling AC:M bad. Do not be so entitled the MP side of the game is VERY good. they never promised anything of a good story for the SP only that it would become EPIC.

Also, this makes me LOL every time I read it...and I can't stop reading it for that reason :).

Clearly you don't, else Colonial Marines wouldn't have made so many of the same mistakes as DNF.

Sterling didn't contrast the game and the demo, he simply showed the demo and derided the game. I found the video fairly useless quite frankly because not seeing the game itself I've nothing but his word to know that it differs greatly. And to say that something from the demo is not in the game does not prove the game itself is lacking, it's simply saying it's different.

Half Life's demo differed greatly from the game. But it was still a decent game.
Fear's demo differed from the game. But it was still a decent game.

If the aliens have better AI in the demo then show me an example.

etcetera

It's pretty much the response I expected. Over many years of watching this kind of thing I've come to the conclusion that companies involved in fandom, whether they happen to be comics, video games, novels, cartoons/anime, or PnP RPGs will never, ever admit that they did wrong, and they especially won't directly change as a result in any noticible time period. The most you can ever expect is protests of innocence, counter attacks on "entitled" fans, and maybe to see what was said make a differance down the road, but not in any way that impacts the actual issues while they were happening.

To be fair, did anyone EXPECT Randy or Gearbox to say anything differant, admit they tried to cheat gamers and lied to the extent of producing false demos for the reviewers and gaming media? Never mind offering to make good on the deal and buy back their crap product by way of apology, or committ to post launch changes.

I'll also say that I think the gaming industry, and fandom in general, has a kind of unspoken agreement here to never admit to anything or relent to change. I look back at what happened with the ME3 ending and how there was so much pressure on EA from the industry itself NOT to change things, probably because if it did this it would open the door for more fan pressure once there was a victory. I think to an extent Randy is probably doing the walk he's doing right now because that's what game developers/publishers do when they fail or get caught. He'll make himself availible as a target, say a few irrelevent things back, and ultimatly wait for it to all boil over, in the end the same things will continue to happen, and as long as no developer ever cedes and breeds actual expectations in the fans, all of them will continue the same practices and acting the same way.

Or in short, I guess you could say it's like Omerta for companies involved in the associated halls of fandom.

Sounds crazy, but that's my thoughts. I'd be far more surprised if something positive came of this. At the end of the day I'd imagine the storm will just be weathered, and down the road people will buy "Borderlands 3" like crazy while fans and critics focus on the next big scandal and tend to forget all about this one, almost like having a bad case of ADHD.

"As a glass-half-full kind of guy, so I only want positive feelings with my personal twitter."

"It appears you would rather show boat publicly for attention."

The cracks are showing, Randy.

Seriously though, they won't ever admit its a bad game until years later, if ever. Its just business. Don't buy the game, and wait for reviews of their next title.

This is duke nukem all over again.

IamLEAM1983:
Brace yourselves for a shitty excuse along the lines of "Oh LOL, we sent the Alpha to the printers by mistake!" or "Yeah, our sub-contractors aren't worth shit. Lesson learned!"

The latter one makes me sick, because if Randy were to say something like that, you just know at least half of the people burned by the A:CM would immediately forgive Gearbox.

You know what's really sad about this whole Aliens Colonial Marines being so shit?.

It's this comparison video that explains it all clear as day, crystal clear.

Karoshi:
Whatever you think about Pritchford, he is damn eloquent and handling himself better than many companies (looking at Bioware and couple others).

How is accusing critics of 'showboating' being eloquent?

OT: Sterling earns yet another developer's ire, and my respect.

Froggy Slayer:

Ronin Toshiro:
Too all the people who are calling AC:M bad. Do not be so entitled the MP side of the game is VERY good. they never promised anything of a good story for the SP only that it would become EPIC.

Actually, they outright lied about the quality of the main game, making it out to have features and fabricating an entire demo section with these features to trick people into thinking that they would get a much better game than they did.

Also, a game should be rated upon the sum of its parts; one good section does not excuse a flawed one.

The only feature missing is the squad command. Dynamic lighting etc are there. granted the campaigns ending is clearly setup for DLC, but the game isn't as bad as people are saying. Seriously its disgraceful that CoD and Battlefield can release worse games and get better reviews.

No...no Randy would never say that.... O.O Randy...you're breaking my heart! You're going down a path I can't follow!

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