Randy Pitchford Talks Aliens: Colonial Marines Release Date, Prometheus Possibilities

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Randy Pitchford Talks Aliens: Colonial Marines Release Date, Prometheus Possibilities

The Alien films have always held enormous power over me, occupying the same sphere of significance that Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings do for many others. So it’s been with great interest and no small amount of hope that I’ve watched the development saga of Aliens: Colonial Marines. This Gearbox Software-developed first-person shooter promises to pick up where James Cameron’s 1986 classic Aliens left off — an irresistible premise for any diehard fan of the series. A recent trailer (watch it below) presented a convincing succession of sound and images, yet carried the sadface news of a new fall 2012 release date. What’s an impatient Alien fan to do?

Well, I went to Randy Pitchford to get some answers. The gregarious CEO of Gearbox Software was all too happy to share new insights into the studio’s plans for Aliens: Colonial Marines, including multiplayer concepts, the control scheme, play style…and, perhaps most tantalizing, what he knows about the upcoming Ridley Scott-directed origin tale Prometheus.

Alien fans: Something tells me that 2012 is going to be a mighty fine year.

Randy Pitchford Talks Aliens: Colonial Marines Release Date, Prometheus Possibilities

PlayStation.Blog: Aliens: Colonial Marines was recently confirmed to be a fall 2012 title. How will the game’s new fall 2012 release date benefit the final product?

Randy Pitchford, CEO, Gearbox Software: Aliens: Colonial Marines has been a dream project – a labor of love. We’re fully committed to our vision for the game. Creating deadlines is helpful to the process, but we do regret where it creates expectations that cause us to choose between changing expectations or compromising the vision.

PSB: Are you excited to see Prometheus? Will any of the Space Jockey lore hinted at in the film make it into Aliens: Colonial Marines?

RP: I’m very excited about Prometheus. 20th Century Fox invited us to read the script and check out production and ACM’s director, Brian Martel, had a discussion with Ridley Scott about the matter years and years ago, so it’s been a really interesting seat for us on this one. A bunch of our guys went out to read the script a while back. I chose to decline because I didn’t want the spoilers — I can’t wait to see the final film! Ridley is such a master storyteller and filmmaker and I’m thrilled that he’s spending some more time in science fiction. Oh, and I haven’t dodged your real question. Yes, ACM will bring you inside The Derelict on LV-426. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll leave it at that!

PSB: Would you describe the FPS feel as grittier and more realistic, or focused on arcadier accessibility?

RP: I would say that the player’s experience for Aliens: Colonial Marines will tend closer to the gritty realism side. I say that because sometimes the gameplay footage we use for marketing will tend to focus more on the action — which is definitely in there — but you can’t really feel difficulty and challenge as well when you’re trying to promote and market the game using promotional footage.

Aliens: Colonial Marines for PS3

PSB: How are you approaching the control scheme? Does the game feature aim down the sight and a two-weapon limit? Are there any equipment slots or ways to customize your character?

RP: Looking down the sights properly is a big deal. Gearbox is really proud of its heritage in the evolution of down-the-sights views having really pushed that feature forward in the first Brothers in Arms game. Since then, every shooter we’ve created has featured direct down the sights views with ballistic weapons — including Borderlands. There are still some things we’re bouncing around between with respect to how we’re managing weapon slots and equipment with ACM, so I’ll reserve making a commitment on that right now.

Peer review and testing with customers is really important to us in the tuning process. If any of your readers are in Dallas, TX and want to be part of our user testing program, they should check out our website for more information.

Aliens: Colonial Marines - Tension Shot

PSB: Displaying the aliens themselves is a tricky balance between showing too much and showing too little. What’s your philosophy when it comes to showing them in the game?

RP: It’s been fun for us to dream up the presentations, but we’re not approaching it like no one knows what a xenomorph looks like. We do have some awesome new variants to reveal for the first time, so we try to get value out of those moments for the experience when you’re playing the game.

PSB: Finally, how important is the multiplayer experience to Aliens: Colonial Marines? Can you give us any hint as to the way it will play?

RP: Multiplayer is a big deal for us. It’s getting a huge amount of attention. I think we’ll be looking for some opportunities very soon to get some people outside of our studios, including some journalists, to have a chance to preview the multiplayer game and play a bit of it. We’re really looking forward to testing it against other eyes and getting some feedback from that, so it shouldn’t be too long before we make that happen.

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  • This game looks really amazing, and they are actually capturing the intensity and the fear from the first two movies. I love it.

  • Cant we ever just have a gameplay trailer? Whats so hard about that. Having cut scenes is nice but it says nothing about the game. If you are selling a CG movie then the video was nice.

    • We’ve released quite a bit of gameplay footage at this point, but don’t worry – there’s more on the way :)

  • Great to see some coverage on ACM, you had some good questions for him. Move or 3D support ?

  • As a fan of most of the Alien movies, this will be a day one purchase for me. Had inquired at my local Gamestop as to a pre-order, but at the time (two months ago) this game was showing a Jan 2013 release date. Looks like that is changing – but please, don’t cut quality!

    • Currently the game is slated for Fall 2012. This is an amazing franchise we are working with and something we are honored to work on. Lots of games and movies riff ideas that this franchise started so we want to make sure we are coming out with the best possible game for all the fans of the franchise.

  • what game its taking longer to develop this or FFvs13 XD

  • I really want the option to play this game with playstation move,playstation move sharp shooter & 3D because that’s how i prefer to play shooters.

    P.S..Dear Randy pitchford & aliens colonial marines staff, I think it would be awesome if you guys released an playstation move sharper shooter aliens: colonial marines collectors edition bundle!

    Cheers Gamers & Happy Gaming!

  • why is the game delayed?!?!?

    • Our goal is to make the most awesome Aliens experience yet for our fans. To get to those peaks, sometimes additional time is needed. We know this will help shape and make a better Aliens game for all of you guys :)

  • Thank you Gearbox and Playstation for the Q&A.

    Interviews have mentioned the player gains points to upgrade their character’s appearance and weapons. How are these points acquired by the player and are there other upgrades beyond weapons and appearance?

    What design elements are being used to make multiple playthroughs interesting?

    Will the player have the option to play as a female marine in competitive and/or coop multiplayer?

    When a player drops into the game (as a client) do they take the place of one of the main story characters or are they a custom character?

    • There’s a variety of ways to earn experience, from the standard killing enemies and completing objectives, to more varied behaviors. Weapons and appearance can certainly be upgraded, but we also have other upgrade mechanics that we’ll talk about at a later point :)

  • @thebgj

    Have you not seen the ones on the Playstation Store? One is the first 10th minutes of the game. As in, all game-play.

  • I’m very excited for this game too!


    1) Will the online co-op have pre-set classes for 4 players or will there be customizable classes or loadouts?

    2) Will we be able to upgrade our weapons and character’s abilities in the campaign?

    • 1 – we’ll have some pre-built loadouts that work well together, but you’re free to customize your marine with any upgrades that you’ve unlocked.

      2 – Yes!

  • I’m dying to know these questions!

    – Will we be able to play as a female marine, either in Single Player or Multiplayer, if not, why not?

    – Will we be able to draw or place graffitti on our armour and weapons? I had suggested an idea to use stickers, like primitive shapes, letters and numbers with the ability to manipulate them and have a sticker limit for armour and weapons, similar to Modnation Racers on the PS3

    – Will you be able to use the welder at your own free will, or are there only certain times you can use it?

    – On IMDB, it says “Weirzbowski” is a character, is this the same Weirzbowski from the movie? or is it a brother? or simply an error?

    – Tell us something that will blow our minds about the gameplay in A:CM (that we don’t already know!)

    – Will the PS3 version use L1/R1 for aiming and firing? This is very important to me due to my physical disability and difficulty using L2/R2 for aiming and firing.

    – Will there be “Dual sign in” splitscreen on PS3 and XBOX 360? Like where you and a friend can each sign into their account on the same system?

    Thank you so much for the opportunity to ask!

  • FPS games make me get motion sickness really bad and severe headaches. I’m tempted to let this game kill me I want to play it so bad.

  • Please please please put in Sharpshooter support!!! Same with BorderlandsII.


  • @ thebg-There was a gameplay trailer released MONTHS ago. I’m guessing you missed it.

    Type “Aliens:Colonial Marines PAX trailer” into your youtube search. You can thank me later.

  • Now this is a great promo.

  • The 11 min walkthrough released last year looked very scripted and linear for my tastes.

    1. How linear (CoD like) or open (exploratory) will the campaign be?

    2. Will there be any hub areas?

    3. Will there be any secondary objectives in which we can explore off the beaten path?

    4. How replayable will the campaign be?

    5. Have the squad commands talked about in the 2008 Game Informer been dropped completely from the game? A lot of fans were looking forward to that aspect.

    Thanks :)

    • There is definitely a linear progression to the game, moving from objective to objective, but there are plenty of reasons to explore the maps. Secondary objectives, upgrades, and other stuff we’re not talking about yet are worth exploring for.

      Making the campaign replayable is a big focus for us and we’ve put a lot of thought into making that feel worthwhile for players.

  • Are the wait times for online co-op going to be as unbearable as in the newest AvP?

  • Can sentry guns be placed anywhere in the map or are there only certain spots where they can be placed?

  • PlayStation Move support?

    • We are exploring options on alternative controls but we haven’t confirmed or announced anything yet. I recommend following the Sega and Gearbox Twitter as we tend to update our fans immediately if we have any big news to reveal for our fans regarding A:CM :)

  • It’s really impressive how smooth the game runs at least from the videos that I’ve watched. Will there be 3D support?

  • As a huge Alien(s) fan, this definitely my most anticipated game for the second half of 2012. I’m curious if the team is working on crafting an interesting story as well? I know that with Borderlands 2 the story is much more prominent, did that at all carry over to ACM?

    • Story is very important in ACM! The team is comprised entirely of crazy Aliens fanatics and we’re actively working with the film creators so that our narrative works with the canon.

  • Oh, I also agree with the person who asked if L1/R1 will be used for aiming/shooting. I was glad I could change it in Borderlands, so I hope it’ll be the same in ACM!

  • I have been a huge alien fan and i have a question i would be realy happy if you could answer this question will there be a playable demo for all of us fans to play ps i have wathed the walkthrew demo about 20 times and i still love it


  • Man this game looks to be shaping up to the something I’ve wanted to play since I was 5 or 6 years old and saw Aliens for the first time. It’s easily one of my top 5 movies and to this day I can watch it if its on tv, or pop in the dvd to lounge on the couch and nap to it.

    I’m so stoked you guys at gearbox are so into making it. Borderlands was the first game in many years that I sat and played with my younger brother co-op from start to finish and had a blast doing it. If were able to do that with ACM it would be fantastic.

  • Few questions,

    1. Is there just marine campaign, or are there other campaigns included?

    2. Will there be an alternate mode like AVP 3 with survival mode?

    3. Any release date on a beta of some sort?

  • I love Aliens, and I`m a girl. Can`t wait for this game to come out. But like others asked before, will I be able to play as a female marine? AVP didn`t even though they had NPC female marines in story mode -_- As a result I avoided playing as a marine at all costs.

    I preferred playing as an alien anyway. Aliens required pure skill to win, not cheap cowardly one hit kills like the shotgun and plasma castor.

  • Are you using original musical score and/or making some of your own? Will the audio be bluray-quality (24-bit and/or losslessly-compressed)?

    It looks really awesome and I’m impressed to see all the nooks and crannies of the alien and its limbs rendered in detail. I just hope the audio quality is up to snuff and takes advantage of the PS3s unique capabilities (bluray capacity, HD installs, HDMI 1.3 supporting 24-bit LPCM, etc).

  • @ Feral_Dragon cool name.

  • I can not wait to get this game. Best of luck with its completion. Get er done!

  • Have a friend that’s got some questions rather 5 and they r:
    1-Will there be new weapons,the shotgun and pulse rifle is fine but i’m sure the fans want new toys, also will they have secondary firing options like in aliens vs predator 3?
    2-will there be tools in the game we can use such as medkits,or the plasma cutter which we can use to seal doors?
    3-how long is the game play estimated to be? As long as this game has been in development most assume a 60 or more hour game.
    4-can you give us some examples of upgrades and marine abilities you will have in the game?
    5-how scripted is the game? Will we be able to save marines from possible encounters or are they doomed from the start like in your 2011 game play video?

  • My most anticipated game 2012. As a huge fan of the Alien franchise, it’s calms my nerves to know the devs are passionate about the property. Visiting the iconic places from the films gives me chills. Can’t wait.

  • Can’t wait for this to come out, been following it for years with mixed emotions as it was seemingly dropped, forgotten and then picked up again. Finally, in the recent months, I can finally star getting psyched up for it again. I do have some questions, however.

    Will there be any random elements in the game? What I mean is, will the types of enemies we encounter at each junction be the same format each time or will we run into different dangers each time we play?

    Will the Smart-Gun be a very selective or scenario-based weapon that we only get at certain times, or will we have the option of deploying it when we see fit? How will the HUD be depicted for the smart-fire? Will we be able to toggle smart-fire off to spray down as we see fit?

    We can customize our marines with perks and upgrades as we go in the game, but can we start off with a stock marine of our choice? Further along that way, will we have any customization options on appearance upon creating our marine? Tattoos, armor decals and whatnot?

    For the PC version might we be looking at game customization options such as a Map Editor?

  • Hell yea it lookz cool.One question does it comes with split screen co-op?

  • hey there i have 3 questions for you.

    1: Will there be and alien campaign?
    2: Will you be able to play as an alien in an online mode?
    3: Will there be a collectors edition of the game and if so what will be included in it and what is the estimated price?

    P.S: Thank you for creating this game. Can not wait to be in the boots of a colonial marine once again.

  • Huge, huge huge HUGE fan of the movie. Was actually reciting the script from memory to pass the time at work today.

    I hope you guys are still reading this!

    I think what made the first AvP game so great (I know this is A:CM, but I’m talking about the Marine Campaign in that game), was the randomness of the aliens. I think it is so important for the AI to bounce around the map as it decides, instead of following an actual script, to capture the feel of the movie and really introduce fear into the player.

    ALSO! In Multiplayer, will we be able to control the APC, ALA Battlefield 3? How awesome would that be? Roll into a nest with your squadmates, manning the turret while they get out? Watching the monitors (very similar to the MAV in BF3)? Amazing.

  • You know what would be SO COOL, GUYS? Being able to draw on your armor and guns, and have it show up in MP and SP. Don’t know if we’re there yet, technologically, but MAN would that be cool.

    ALSO! Please, keep the pump shotgun, old school. Don’t update it to look futuristic with glowing sights, please. Keep all weaponry gritty like the movie.

    Also (again, THANK YOU for reading, if you are), are all characters going to be wearing gloves?

    R rating, right? They have to swear like in the movies, right?

    Thank you!


  • Dang…why couldnt this have happened WHEN I lived in Dallas!?!?

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