Gearbox Software Files Lawsuit Against 3D Realms over Duke Nukem IP

By CJ Melendez , Updated Feb 24, 2014 12:49 PM EST

Gearbox Software, the folks behind Borderlands, Aliens: Colonial Marines, and the revival of Duke Nukem: Forever are once again at arms with 3D Realms. Gearbox has recently filed a lawsuit against 3D Realms, original intellectual property owner of the Duke Nukem series, and Interceptor Entertainment, developer of the upcoming isometric Duke game for PC and PS4, for a breach of contract.

On February 2, 2010, Gearbox purchased the Duke Nukem IP from 3D Realms. 3D Realms' recent announcement of Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction has prompted Gearbox to file a lawsuit against the company, stating that 3D Realms' licensing of the Duke Nukem name goes against the purchase agreement made in 2010 between the two publishers.

Gearbox's complaint to the United States Federal Court against 3D Realms and Interceptor Entertainment includes requests to stop the release of Mass Destruction, statutory and punitive damages, and attorney fees. Essentially, in non-legal speak, Gearbox wants 3D Realms to pay up for using the Duke Nukem IP with Mass Destruction and pay for damages that result from the confusion it may have created for fans and the company.

The official complaint issued by Gearbox states that 3D Realms failed at releasing Duke Nukem: Forever themselves and that Gearbox acted as a “life preserver” for the company when they had a legal dispute with Take-Two over owed funds.

Phew! Whether you like Gearbox Software or not, it certainly seems like they have legal standing against 3D Realms. Gearbox purchased the Duke Nukem IP and it's theirs. I'm not sure if we'll see an agreement come from this dispute or if we'll see the release of Mass Destruction, but I wouldn't get my hopes up; the two companies seem to have bad blood, as this isn't the first time they've gotten into a legal dispute with each other.

Personally, I think it would make more sense for 3D Realms and Interceptor to create a game in the vibe of Duke Nukem and just let go of the IP; that worked for Mighty No. 9 and Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune.

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