Interesting! Since the movies focus on the events revolving the xenomorphs I never thought the rest of the setting was actually covered/detailed. Alien for most people is all about the "space monsters" and Im just worried my players would be disappointed to enter the game and not confront said monsters
But thats what "cinematic play" is for!
You’re right, for years the rest of the setting wasn’t covered in much detail, for a long time all I had to work from was the old RPG book(which was limited in scope) and my own ideas. But over the years, lots of great books and other material came out and expanded upon the universe. Of course much of the focus on a lot of the material is the Xenomorph and how many people it kills.
It all takes place in a big universe, there’s a full blown economy, with over 200 colonised worlds. Weyland-Yutani for example is a relatively small part of all that, sure they’re a megacorp but they’re by no means the largest(well, in my opinion they shouldn’t be). They just happen to do most of their business off world in places where interesting storylines take place: interstellar transportation, mining, terraforming, industrial equipment, interstellar ships.
Apple or Amazon could easily still be around and still be the “biggest companies” in the middle heavens, they’re just consumer focused and don’t fly spaceships and finance colonies. Weyland-Yutani mostly makes industrial equipment, sure if you’re on one of their colonies they’ll sell you anything and everything with their logo on it, but they’re just buying private label products from subcontractors.
Sorry that became a mini rant.
If you’re concerned that players aren’t going to be interested in tooling around the larger universe, well that’s a conversion so you can manage their expectations. As a general strategy I would suggest a short cinematic to scratch the itch, where everyone dies in the clutch of a Xenomorph. Then follow that up with a campaign, so players can explore the setting itself. You can use the flash back mechanic, start the game with a cinematic session and just before the first PC dies(cliffhanger) flash back to “years earlier” or whatever works for your story.
The story you choose for the campaign needs to be something that your players would be interested in no matter what the setting. So if you mostly play lots of hack ‘n slash then Colonial Marines, kicking ass and taking names. Exploring, then maybe Space truckers on the frontier. Lots of roleplaying and character interaction, maybe Weyland-Yutani version of the Office.