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Alien: Colonial Marines Lawsuit Coming To Close, Class Certification Denied And Gearbox Dismissed

by Mike Futter on May 29, 2015 at 02:55 AM

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In April 2013, two plaintiffs brought a case against Sega and Gearbox alleging "bait and switch" tactics related to the advertising and sale of Alien: Colonial Marines. Earlier this month, a judge declined the plaintiffs' motion to certify as a class, which would have grouped many of the people that purchased the game.

Judge James Donato found merit in Gearbox's earlier claim that the class would involve members with exposure to disparate information. In other words, there was no way to ascertain which advertisements and trailers were viewed that might have led someone to pre-order and purchase the game.

Furthermore, the suggested solution to the problem posed by the plaintiff (an affidavit system) would have been unsatisfactory. Because it is difficult to remember which advertisements people might have seen, self-selecting into the class in such a manner would have been unreliable.

Following the denial of class status, remaining plaintiff John Locke is seeking to withdraw and have the case dismissed. In a meeting held with all parties on May 27, Gearbox has been conditionally dismissed from the case. That will become final in 60 days unless another of the parties raises an issue.

The plaintiff and Sega are renegotiating a settlement (earlier, Sega suggested $1.25 million) in light of the denial of class status. Those parties must file by June 3 to inform the court how things will proceed.

[Source: United States District Court, Northern District of California (1), (2), (3) via Polygon] 

 

Our Take
For all intents and purposes, this case is over. The failure to reach class status means that Locke is on his own. With Gearbox dismissed and Sega likely to pull back entirely on its more than generous settlement offer, this is one for the history books now.