Duke Nukem Lawsuit Brought Against Gearbox, Valve By Original Composer

09/29/2019 - 13:07 | By: Robert N. Adams
Robert Prince Alleges Copyright Infringement

Duke Nukem lawsuit has been brought by music composer Robert Prince against Valve and Gearbox over allegations that a republished version of the game was released on Steam without acquiring permission for sounds files that were included with the original game.

Once upon a time, Duke Nukem 3D was regarded as a revolutionary first-person shooter; it was one of the first popular games to make use of mouselook movement. (That is, using your mouse to look around in all directions). It was certainly helped along by its amusing writing and overall tone as well.

Unfortunately, the later sequels — primarily Duke Nukem Forever — were troubled with production problems and the franchise has long fallen off of its pedestal. Now, the remake Duke Nukem 3D World Tour was allegedly released without obtaining proper permission for use of some of the game's music and sound files.

Details of the Duke Nukem lawsuit

As Bloomberg Law reports, composer Robert Prince has filed a lawsuit against Randy Pitchford, Gearbox Software, and Valve Software. In it, he alleges that the companies released the game without paying him royalties.

 
 

Once he learned about the game's release in 2016, he got in contact with Mr. Pitchford and informed him that royalties would be paid. According to court documents, Mr. Pitchford stated that Mr. Prince would be "taken care of", something that evidently didn't happen.

The situation is perhaps best summarized by this paragraph in the Duke Nukem lawsuit filing:

Incredibly, the electronic files for the music within Duke Nukem 3D World Tour include text specifically stating that Mr. Prince owns the copyright to the music and has reserved all rights to the music’s use. Yet Gearbox incorporated the music into the game without ever contacting Mr. Prince and without clearing the rights expressly mentioned in the electronic files.

Mr. Prince is demanding a trial by jury, requesting a judgement in his favor and the maximum statutory damages for the alleged infringement. Alternatively, he's put the offer of "actual damages and Defendants’ profits, plus attorneys’ fees and costs, as well as an injunction prohibiting Defendants from infringing his copyrights" on the table.

You can read the full filing at Bloomberg Law. If you'd like to pick up the allegedly infringing game for yourself, you can buy Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour on Steam at the price of $19.99 or your regional equivalent.

What do you think of the Duke Nukem lawsuit? Do you think this case will actually go to court or will the involved parties decide to settle? Let us know in the comments below!


Share On:

Topics | Legal

More Gaming Articles
A photograph of Robert N Adams
Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!