Gearbox, 3D Realms, And Interceptor Settle Duke Nukem Lawsuit

by Mike Futter on Aug 18, 2015 at 12:16 PM

Duke Nukem hasn’t made positive news in quite some time. Today, that changes. Gearbox, 3D Realms, and Interceptor Entertainment have all agreed to end ongoing litigation over the ownership of the property. This follows news in May that the parties had come to an understanding via mediation.

Each of the parties has made a statement on the matter, but the terms of the settlement have not been disclosed. The only element that has emerged is that Gearbox has asserted itself as the full owner of the Duke Nukem IP.

“When Interceptor acquired a license to develop ‘Duke Nukem Mass Destruction’ (‘Duke Nukem Survivor’) from 3D Realms, we did so in good faith and were not aware of any conflict,” writes 3D Realms CEO Mike Nielsen. “We never intended to cause any harm to Gearbox or Duke, which is why we immediately ceased development after Gearbox reached out. To secure the future of Duke, 3D Realms has agreed with Gearbox that a single home serves the IP best. And as big Duke fans, we’re excited to see what Gearbox has in store for the ‘King.’ As for our own games, we’re eager to complete development of the ‘Bombshell’ game and get it in the hands of our fans.”

3D Realms is working with Interceptor on Bombshell. Interceptor’s Frederik Schreiber says that it was his decision to cease development on Duke Nukem Reloaded, a project he worked on as a fan before founding Interceptor to work on the Rise of the Triad reboot. 

“I want to make it clear now, once and for all – It was my own decision to pull the plug on Duke Nukem Reloaded, even though we were fully allowed to continue development,” Schreiber says. “I respect Gearbox for supporting a young developer, and I’m glad we can now put this behind us.”

As for Gearbox, company president Randy Pitchford reveals that he was involved with Bombshell a number of years ago. “I genuinely appreciate Mr. Neilsen’s and Mr. Schreiber’s statement and sincerely offer my best wishes to Interceptor Entertainment and 3D Realms towards their future success and, as someone who was part of the 3D Realms team when Bombshell was first imagined, I am excited to see what they have in store for us with their game,” Pitchford writes.

This long, sordid affair is now at an end. As for Duke Nukem, it’s up to Gearbox to determine if this fight was over a viable IP or one left in the past.

[Source: Gearbox]


Our Take
This was a strange case, but given the oddities surrounding Duke Nukem and the IP ownership, I’m not very surprised. At least this convoluted dispute is over with. Can we just say goodbye to Duke Nukem now? Please?