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Rumour: Anonymous Source Explains What Went Wrong With Aliens: Colonial Marines

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Rumours are flying around the internet about the reasons behind Aliens: Colonial Marines‘ rather underwhelming quality. Chief amongst these is that Gearbox outsourced a significant portion of the gameplay to other studios. Some more information regarding this could potentially have come to light, due to a post on Reddit by a user by the name of throwawayacm.

throwawayacm’s involvement with the Colonial Marines project has not been verified at this point, so take all they are saying with a grain of salt, but their claims correlate with a number of other reports enough to suggest that they know what they’re talking about. But again – none of this is confirmed as of yet, so reader beware.

throwawayacm – a user who joined Reddit yesterday – has posted a very interesting entry on the subreddit r/LV426, discussing the production of Aliens: Colonial Marines, entitled A lot of you are (rightfully) upset at the final product that is A:CM. Maybe I can shed some light as to how it got the way it is. Claiming to have been working on the Colonial Marines project for “around a year and a half”, they recount some of the things they’ve heard from “more senior guys.” Of course, all information is under NDA, so they’re relying on readers taking their claims on face value.

Apparently, development on the title – internally titled “Pecan” – was patchy, with a start-stop cycle that lead to frequent “content overhaul[s].” Eventually, Gearbox decided to outsource “a good portion” of the game’s development to other companies. The alleged distribution involved TimeGate handling “the majority of campaign”, Demiurge and Nerve handling DLC and “various other focused tasks”, while Gearbox themselves would handle the multiplayer. According to throwawayacm, this was so Gearbox could concentrate the majority of their resources on Borderlands 2.

The alignment of Borderlands 2 and Colonial Marines’ release dates, along with TimeGate’s progress on the campaign being “extremely far behind”, lead to another, 9 month, extension in the release date. Again, Borderlands 2 apparently received priority for Gearbox, taking “[a]bout 5 of those 9 months” to ship Borderlands 2. During this time, TimeGate allegedly was able to “scrap together about 85% of the campaign”, however it was still in “a pretty horrid state”. throwawayacm draws specific attention to various points here: “Campaign didn’t make much sense, the boss fights weren’t implemented, PS3 was way over memory, etcetcetc.”

When Gearbox returned their full attention to Colonial Marines, they apparently were rather unhappy with TimeGate’s progress, and “completely redisgned from scratch” some of the maps, and dealt with some “last minute feature requests, most notably female marines”.

The rush to certification and the suggested threat of SEGA taking legal action allegedly lead to the final state of the game. Singled out by throwawayacm here are the state of challenges, a feature that was allegedly “oversimplified”. Problems were supposedly ignored, except for “[i]ssues that didn’t cause 100% blockers… with the exception of absolutely horrible problems”. Another issue was the script, which was apparently approved by 20th Century FOX, but suffered in the rush to “throw a playable product together”.

throwawayacm is careful to stipulate that it wasn’t because Gearbox “didn’t care”, but because “they couldn’t risk changing ANYTHING that might cause them to fail certification or break some other system”.

As a response, a user named throwawayresponder appears to stick up for TimeGate. The nature of the comment suggests that they worked on the project for TimeGate in some capacity. There is no mention of their exact relationship to the project, and again, this information has not been verified. “[e]verything Timegate [sic] did was under clear and explicit direction from Gearbox”. throwawayresponder mentions that it was Gearbox’s sub-par oversight that lead to Gearbox firing “some of the most talented people” at TimeGate. Their final comment on the matter? “TG had absolutely no control of what was produced, they did exactly what they were asked to. You should be furious with Gearbox for assigning such shit quality creative directors to the project.”

So, if throwawayacm’s post is to be believed, Colonial Marines is a victim of crunch time, outsourcing, and split focus by Gearbox. And if throwawayresponder’s response is taken into account, Gearbox mismanaged the outsourcing to TimeGate.

We’ll be reaching out to the appropriate people to see if any information can be verified, but in the meantime this is the story being told by anonymous, faceless people on the internet. Keep that in mind, and we’ll bring you any information as it surfaces.

Read the full thread here.

Former Editor in Chief of OnlySP. A guy who writes things about stuff, apparently. Recovering linguist, blue pencil surgeon, and professional bishie sparkler. In between finding the latest news, reviewing PC games, and generally being a grumpy bossyboots, he likes to watch way too much Judge Judy. He perhaps has too much spare time on his hands. Based in Sydney, Australia. Follow him on twitter @lawksland.

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RUMOR: Xbox One S All Digital Images, Release Details Leak Ahead of Official Unveiling

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Images of a discless Xbox One S have leaked online, confirming rumors from last year.

Winfuture.de revealed the pictures it acquired yesterday, as well the name Xbox One S All Digital, prices, and a launch date. Check out the pictures down below.

The console would allow users who are less oriented in the physical media space to take advantage of an all-digital device.

Some of the speculation regarding all-digital hardware pictures a cheaper, maybe even smaller model. However, yesterday’s leak suggests that, while the Xbox One S All Digital may come bundled with games, the price will stick at around USD$250 with no real change in physical appearance.

The only visual difference between the Xbox One S and the Xbox One S All Digital is the lack of a disc drive. Otherwise, the two slimmed down pieces of hardware are visually identical.

As well as a look at the console, the website says that an official reveal will come April 16 with a release following on May 7.

The pictures uncovered do not come from an official source, so holding off believing everything here is for the best. That said, a device such as this makes sense for Microsoft considering the Xbox Game Pass and the inevitability of a more digitally-inclined market.

For more updates on Microsoft’s gaming plans, keep checking in with OnlySP on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and join the discussion in our community Discord server.

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