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.