Gearbox retains the rights to make Duke Nukem video games.

Gearbox vs 3D Realms Lawsuit Has Been Settled

Gearbox retains the rights to make Duke Nukem video games.

The battle finally is over, we can rest easy. Gearbox has successfully retained the rights to the Duke Nukem franchise of video games.

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Gearbox, the maker of Borderlands, had been embroiled in a lawsuit with 3D Realms and Interceptor Entertainment over the Duke Nukem intellectual property. Previously, 3D Realms did sell Duke Nukem to Gearbox, who finished development on Duke Nukem Forever and released the game as expected.

After this had happened 3D Realms was then purchased by the Danish developer Interceptor, who teased a game called Duke Nukem Mass Destruction. Gearbox sued 3D Realms, who later revealed an  isometric action game called Bombshell, which many believe was an altered version of Duke Nukem Mass Destruction without its titular character in the mix.

In a joint statement issued by Gearbox, 3D Realms and Interceptor, the companies said they had “resolved their differences”, and all litigation between them had ended.

The current 3D Realms boss Mike Nielsen said Interceptor has acquired a license to develop Duke Nukem Mass Destruction from 3D Realms in good faith.

“We never intended to cause any harm to Gearbox or Duke, which is why we immediately ceased development after Gearbox reached out,” 

Nielsen further went on to say that he is rather happy to see what Gearbox has in store for Duke Nukem.

“To secure the future of Duke Nukem, 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.”

However, Gearbox said it would keep the terms of its settlement confidential, but stressed it is “the full and rightful owner” of the Duke Nukem property.

So what’s next for the Duke? At the Develop conference in back in July, Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford said he wants to work on a new Duke Nukem game, aided by an outside developer.

Pitchford explained Gearbox had worked on concepts for a follow-up to Duke Nukem Forever, but getting the game made would likely require Gearbox to rope in extra development support from another studio.

“I did not acquire the franchise merely so people could experience Duke Nukem Forever, That was, sort of, the toll to pay to give Duke Nukem a chance at a future.”

Pitchford had then explained the challenge they’re facing at the moment with working on other titles.

So yes. In fact, we’ve done some concept development. The challenge is that Gearbox is very busy. A faster way would be if the correct developer would become interested and we’d work with them

 So now we await to hope another studio would step up to the plate and work on Duke Nukem’s next title. Who would you like to see work on the next Duke?


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Dustin Frisch
Dustin has a passion for games journalism despite not wanting to go for a degree due to the expensive amount to attend college. He has written for gaming blogs and websites despite all this where he's learned his own craft. You can contact him at dustylee15[@]gmail[dot]com