3D Realms Publicly Disputes Gearbox Software’s Duke Nukem Lawsuit
The original creators of Duke Nukem have finally released a statement in regards to Gearbox's allegations that they no longer have the right to continue using the franchise name.
Thanks to Polygon, we have caught wind of the latest development in the ongoing, back-and-forth controversy surrounding the Duke Nukem franchise. In response to Gearbox's lawsuit against 3D Realms and Interceptor Entertainment for illegal use of the Duke Nukem intellectual property, the studio that was synonymous with the Duke have finally issued a public retort denying Gearbox's allegations.
Last month, we reported on a teaser site that was meant to advertise for Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction. The Facebook page for Mass Desectruction described the Duke's return as "an isometric action role-playing game for PC and PlayStation 4, by Interceptor."
Unfortunately, Gearbox Software has blown a legal whistle on both Interceptor and 3D Realms for continuing to use the Duke Nukem brand after buying it from 3D Realms in 2010 in order to help facilitate the release of Duke Nukem Forever, which was stuck in developmental limbo for many years.
3D Realms official, public statement is as follows:
On March 17, 2014, 3D Realms filed its answer to the complaint by Gearbox Software in Dallas, Texas. 3DR denies all allegations set forth in the complaint. In its answer, 3DR has submitted evidence showing that Gearbox at no point intended to enter into good faith negotiations but instead sought to force former owners, Scott Miller and George Broussard, to improperly surrender what rightfully belonged to 3DR.
It is our position that 3DR retains the right to develop the tentatively titled "Duke Nukem Survivor" game for specific platforms. This game was previously licensed for development to Interceptor Entertainment. Furthermore, it is our position that the Trademark for "Duke Nukem" was never assigned to Gearbox, but remains the sole property of 3DR.
A representative for Interceptor has clarified to Polygon that "Duke Nukem Survivor" was the working title of Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction.
Interceptor Entertainment has issued the following statement as a testament to its relationship with 3D Realms:
As an independent and young studio, we have been very fortunate to work with companies such as Apogee and 3D Realms on amazing IP's 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, 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.
Last year, 3D Realms attempted to file a lawsuit against Gearbox Software, saying that Gearbox owed it more than $2 million in fees and royalities for Duke Nukem Forever. Scott Miller of 3D Realms publicly apologized a short time later and the suit was immediately dropped.
As of this time, Gearbox has yet to make any sort of formal response to 3D Realms or Interceptor's comments.