There’s another new article on the troubled development of Aliens Colonial Marines over on Destructoid. It appears they’ve spoken to an ex-developer of Gearbox who has shed some more light on the recent rumours. Gearbox reportedly took people off ACM to work on Borderlands and at one point, Sega decided to cut their losses with the game, which I believe was around the same time AvP was first announced.
“Gearbox was taking people off the project to put them on Borderlands 1,” he says of his time on the job. “This was before the big art style change happened on Borderlands. Our team was getting smaller by the month, making it very difficult to get the game made. Ironically several of the team members were ex-3D Realms people who were saying [paraphrasing] ‘Finally, we’re going to Gearbox to make Aliens, and we’re going to ship a fucking game!’ Hah.”
According to our man with the inside track, it was later learned that SEGA actually canceled Colonial Marines, deciding to cut its losses after such a long development cycle.
“At some point in 2008, SEGA temporarily pulled the plug on the game,” he said. “They caught wind of Gearbox shifting resources (despite still collecting milestone checks as if the team were full size) and lying to SEGA AND 2K about the number of people working on each project. This led to the round of layoffs at Gearbox in late 2008.”
The developer confirms he later spoke with people attached to the project at the beginning of 2012, and learned they actually didn’t expect the game to ship in February, given its current state. It would appear staff on the game knew the thing was a bust, and were prepared for a fresh delay. Obviously, that never happened, and now we’re here.
Thanks to ikarop for the tip.