Revealing earlier this week that he lost all of the $10 million he invested in Aliens: Colonial Marines, Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford spoke with IGN recently, upping that number to “somewhere between $10 million and $15 million.”
Explaining that he wouldn’t trade the experience of making an Aliens game “for anything in the world,” he later added, “I still don’t regret it – I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. But no, the plan was to entertain people with this awesome Aliens experience.”
While Colonial Marines wasn’t received well from a critical standpoint, Pitchford says, “What’s weird is that I actually like the game.” Although a “rumor” popped up suggesting Gearbox embezzled money from Aliens and spent it on Borderlands, he says the more embarrassing thing is that the truth is the opposite:
Firstly, that’s absurd, and secondly the actual truth is the opposite, which is a lot more embarrassing. We took a huge amount of the money that we’d made off the first Borderlands, invested it into Aliens trying to make it as good as we could, and still ended up disappointing a huge number of people. That’s a whole other kind of failure! But it’s all from this fundamental truth, which is we tried to do a good job and entertain people and some people didn’t like it.
Commenting on a couple differences between the original 2012 video and the final product, he says the missing blood and shattering glass in one particular scene just didn’t make sense from a logistical standpoint:
In the case of the shattering, it didn’t make sense. Later, you see the umbilical buckle and all the glass was fine, so it was a logical problem. Same with the blood. This guy just hit, blood happens and that’s suddenly on the ground like magic? This umbilical was put there by this ship that just connected to the Sulaco – it should be clean on the inside and it was a fan that pointed this out to us when he saw the demo! He asked how there was blood on the ground when the umbilical just hit! It was a good catch, and we fixed it. It’s just insane.
As for the swinging halogen tube light changing to a spinning light in the final game, it came as a result of the level designer deciding a klaxon would be better.