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3D Realms Prepares for Legal Battle with Gearbox over Duke Nukem

The problem child of the games industry is involved in a custody battle.

News by Pete Davison, .

You may recall a while back that Duke Nukem creator 3D Realms, now owned by Rise of the Triad reboot developer Interceptor Entertainment, had butted heads with Gearbox, who currently own the Duke Nukem license after publishing Duke Nukem Forever.

Now it seems as if 3D Realms is gearing up for a full-on legal battle against Gearbox in an attempt to bring Interceptor's proposed new Duke Nukem action RPG to market.

The original complaint by Gearbox was brought against 3D Realms and Interceptor back in February of this year. At the time, 3D Realms founders Scott Miller and George Broussard appeared to admit their wrongdoing with a statement that read thus:

"I am aware that Exhibit 2.2 of the APA states that 'all future development in the Duke IP' is a development right exclusively held by Gearbox. As such, only Gearbox has possessed the right to use the Duke IP in the development of any and all new Duke Nukem games, ancillary projects and materials since February 2010. Because such rights belong to Gearbox alone, development efforts such as 3DR's 'Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction' effort with others was not only unauthorized, but a material infringement of the Gearbox's rights. I apologise to Gearbox for the infringement and breach represented by my efforts."

On March 17 of this year, however, 3D Realms issued a formal response to Gearbox in a Texas court, denying all allegations and claiming that Gearbox refused to enter into good faith negotiations over the IP rights. Interceptor Entertainment, developer of the stalled Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction project, also issued a statement clarifying its position:

"As an independent and young studio, we have been very fortunate to work with companies such as Apogee and 3D Realms on amazing IPs such as Duke Nukem and Rise of the Triad. As true fans of these companies, their games and the amazing minds behind them, we have nothing but respect for the intellectual properties they have created as well as their rightful owners. We were extremely excited for our next reveal [originally intended for the end of February], but unfortunately due to the actions of Gearbox Software, Interceptor Entertainment decided to put this reveal on hold in respect of their lawsuit.

"However, 3D Realms and Interceptor Entertainment were rightfully developing our game and as you can imagine we were quite shocked when the accusations by Gearbox arose, as we have always acted within our legal rights. It's unfortunate that Gearbox has shown no intention of finding a peaceful solution with us. We will, however, continue to work towards a solution."

At present, the future of Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction is unknown; this mess will need to be cleared up first before development can proceed.

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Comments 6

  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #1 Funny_Colour_Blue 4 years ago
    ...Really? Like, seriously?Edited March 2014 by Funny_Colour_Blue
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  • Avatar for Damman #2 Damman 4 years ago
    I can only assume that 3D Realms is like Gollum, clutching desperately at a relic from its self-destructive past due more to obsession than sense.

    Ok, maybe not. I suppose Duke is a recognizable IP and potentially worth 'something', but its stock has to be at an all time low. Such a circus this all is.Edited March 2014 by Damman
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  • Avatar for TernBird #3 TernBird 4 years ago
    Seriously, Duke Nukem should just go back to its 90s corner with Popful Mail and Time Gal and just leave us to our new toys.
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  • Avatar for docexe #4 docexe 4 years ago
    …Or you know, the people at 3D Realms and Gearbox could just grow the hell up and reach a compromise.
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  • Avatar for Critical_Hit #5 Critical_Hit 4 years ago
    ... I hate 3D Realms so much.

    Have they never heard of bowing out gracefully? Why can't they do what most older studios do; move on and start up a new studio, and let 3D Realms die. Most importantly - leave Duke in the hands of Gearbox. NOBODY wants 3DR and/or Interceptor to deliver us Duke Nukem. Flying Wild Hog? Sure. Gearbox? Even if you (like me) still hate them because of Aliens: CM, I'd much rather see their new Duke game than the alternative.

    At least Gearbox has all that sweet, mis-appropriated Sega Aliens' money, and profits from BL2, to destroy these goons in court. There's no way 3DRealms has much to work with here... they have whatever Gearbox paid for Duke Nukem, plus the profits from the Rise of the Triad remake. Can't imagine that will hold them for long :P

    How is it that so many - SO MANY - studios have gone out of business, yet 3D Realms is still alive?
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  • Avatar for GameALot #6 GameALot 4 years ago
    I demand to see a Duke game every year. Then I'll die happy.
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