The accusation was made on a blog called Sega Awakens, supposedly written by an employee of the publisher who uses the pen name Bryan Danielson. Destructoid also claims to have independently verified the information.
“Gearbox stole from SEGA, they robbed us, lied to us about the game, and tried to get another company to make the game instead,” wrote Danielson.
“Pitchford and Gearbox wanted to focus heavily on Duke Nukem Forever, but how would they get the money to hire some of the 3D Realms team and even buy the intellectual property? Sure, they made a lot from Borderlands, but guess where they got the money to fund Borderlands in the first place? Yup, SEGA.
“So Gearbox essentially lied to SEGA, mishandled funds, broke agreements and contractual obligations to work on other projects, didn’t want to work on a game they were contractually obligated to work on and gave it to another team, poor organization and direction on ACM, took on too many projects from different companies at once, and other things that we may not even know about. Hell, part of me believes that Gearbox wanted this thing delayed as much as possible so they can get more funding money to embezzle from SEGA.”
Danielson had harsh words for his alleged employer as well, saying that Sega should not have tried to recoup its losses by foisting the critical flop on gamers.
“I strongly believe that SEGA should not have released the game and made the fans pay for it,” he continued. “This game should have been cancelled permanently, and the final product is undeniable proof of it. Despite that, I believe SEGA wanted to try to get some of the money back, at the fans’ expense. SEGA should have also watched the project and development a lot better, because there was a lot of warning signs that said this was a disaster in the making.”