Late February, Gearbox sued 3D Realms and Interceptor Entertainment over what it says was a violation of copyright. At issue was a newly announced Facebook game called Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction. Now, 3D Realms and Interceptor have issued a formal response to the suit.

"On March 17, 2014, 3D Realms filed its answer to the complaint by Gearbox Software in Dallas, Texas," says the official statement from 3D Realms' CEO, Mike Nielsen. "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."

According to a 3D Realms representative, "Survivor" was the working title for Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction.

The statement was followed up with one from Interceptor Entertainment's Khaled Ibrahimi:

"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."

We've reached out to Gearbox to see if they have any comment.

[Source: 3D Realms via Polygon]

Our Take
This is yet another wrinkle in what was already a confusing story. At some point, 3D Realms, Interceptor, and Gearbox need to get absolute clarity as to who controls what. Both sides in this legal battle are convinced that they control the Duke Nukem IP, and that's clearly not working out very well.