Ownership of Duke Nukem Franchise Settled in Gearbox's Favor

Published: August 19, 2015 7:47 PM /


Duke Nukem

The lawsuit between Gearbox, 3D Realms, and Interceptor has come to an end, and Gearbox is now officially the full and rightful owner of Duke Nukem. The involved parties released a joint statement to announce that they have “voluntarily ended all litigation between them.”

The lawsuit was the result of the announcement of Duke Nukem Mass Destruction early last year, where 3D Realms licensed Interceptor to develop a new Duke Nukem game despite Gearbox having acquired the rights to Duke Nukem in 2010.

Interceptor has changed their original Duke Nukem title into Bombshell, an isometric action rpg scheduled to release later this year. Interceptor claims they never intended to infringe upon the Duke Nukem license, stating that:

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

-Joint Statement by 3DR, Interceptor, and Gearbox

While the full terms of this settlement are remaining confidential, it is clear that Gearbox Software now has full ownership of the Duke Nukem franchise. As explanation for why they have voluntarily ended litigation, 3D Realms states that:

“To secure the future of Duke, 3D Realms has agreed with Gearbox that a single home serves the IP best.”

-Joint Statement by 3DR, Interceptor, and Gearbox

Quick Take

Duke Nukem has been a bit of a joke ever since Forever’s decade-long development process and unimpressive reception. My only real memories of the Duke were from Duke Nukem 3D back in the Nintendo 64 days, and given Gearbox’s performance with Aliens: Colonial Marines showing they are capable of trashing anything cherished from childhood, I have little hope this will end well for the Duke. Still, I will hold out hope that my cynicism for Duke’s future will turn out to be unfounded.

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I'm an ex-carnie who has been gaming and writing since I was a kid. Lately you can find me over-thinking in RPGs or failing my way through a plethora… More about Clint