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Update: It has been reported that 3D Realms is attempting to reclaim the rights of the Duke Nukem IP, according to Eurogamer.

New court documents have surfaced, showing that 3D Realms and their parent company, Interceptor, may have reached an agreement with Gearbox to re-purchase the IP. Both parties must finalize the terms of the agreement within 30 days.

Interceptor has not commented on the lawsuit, but has said that their upcoming release of Bombshell will not change. “Bombshell will never become something else,” said Interceptor Entertainment CEO Frederik Schreiber. “We’re extremely proud of what we have accomplished with Bombshell so far, and are 110 per cent committed to the game and the universe we have created around her.”

Original Story: After a year-long lawsuit between Gearbox and 3D Realms over the Duke Nukem franchise, the two companies have finally settled out of court, which was brought to our attention by Mike Futter at Game Informer.

The lawsuit began last year, when 3D Realms (who would later be purchased by Interceptor) and Rise of the Triad developer Interceptor, were both sued by Gearbox over what would be an unauthorized Duke Nukem game, titled Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction.

Gearbox, who purchased the rights to Duke Nukem Forever after a twelve year period in development under 3D Realms, also purchased all Duke Nukem intellectual property, including the name back in 2010 from 3D Realms. The deal included, according to some legal documents posted on Scribd, that 3D Realms reserved the right to buyback the Duke Nukem IP.

The terms of the buyback included the original buying price, the amount of loans taken out by publisher Take-Two interactive for Duke Nukem Forever, and any expanses incurred by Gearbox for the development of any Duke Nukem game that is not recovered by revenue for the games themselves.

This was not the first law suit over the matter, as there had been a short lived law suit by 3D Realms against Gearbox that they dropped and offered an apology for, over Duke Nukem Forever. At that time, 3D Realms also dropped the auditing rights from the agreement.

On May 12 2015, Gearbox re-asserted its own legal standing on the lawsuit, including the submission to the legal filings from Gearbox. That was also the same day the court accepted a mediated settlement reached back on May 8th, for which terms were not disclosed to the public.

In other words, if 3D Realms had the money to do it, they could buyback Duke Nukem franchise from Gearbox, and make their own Duke Nukem game. However, because they attempted to make a Duke Nukem game without Gearbox’s permission, they were sued by Gearbox accordingly.

As stated before, the terms of the settlement were not disclosed to the public. Both Gearbox and Interceptor, the now parent company of 3D Realms, have been contacted for a comment and we will update when they respond.

Currently, Gearbox is also under a class action lawsuit, along with Sega, regarding the game Aliens: Colonial Marines, where afflicted parties have stated that both Sega and Gearbox falsely advertised the game to the public back in 2013. Last year, Sega offered $1.25 million to settle their portion of the lawsuit, while the suit with Gearbox is still ongoing.

As for Interceptor, the game that originally would star Duke Nukem is now titled Bombshell, and will be released on Xbox One and PSN this summer.

So Duke Nukem is finally settled, and has a home at Gearbox. What do you think about all of this? Leave your comments below.


Robert Grosso

Staff Writer

A game playing, college teaching, erudite-minded scholar who happens to write some articles every so often. Have worked as a journalist, critic, educator and blogger for over five years now, with articles published (as user editorials) on Game Revolution and Giant Bomb as well as a contributor for the websites Angry Bananas and Blistered Thumbs. Now making TechRaptor my home.