The long running, high profile lawsuit between Gearbox Software, 3D Realms, and Interceptor Entertainment over the rights to Duke Nukem has finally come to an end. The battle is over and Gearbox has emerged as the “full and rightful” owner of the Duke Nukem license.
All three of the companies argued over who should own the character and now that decision has been made by a court of law. The exact terms of settlements have been kept private but it was announced that all parties “voluntarily” ended the litigation.
Frederik Schreiber, the boss of Interceptor said: “I’m really happy that the lawsuit between Gearbox, 3DR, and Interceptor has come to an end.” In 2010, Schreiber announced a new Duke Nukem game called Reloaded, but this game was canceled. Schreiber said of the game: “It was my own decision to pull the plug on Duke Nukem Reloaded, even though we were fully allowed to continue development. I respect Gearbox for supporting a young developer, and I’m glad we can now put this behind us.”
CEO of 3D Realms, Mike Nielsen said in a statement that his company “never intended to cause any harm” to Gearbox or the Duke Nukem franchise. “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,” he said. “We never intended to cause any harm to Gearbox or Duke, which is why we immediately ceased development after Gearbox reached out.”
Interceptor first announced Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction in early 2014 and was sued just days later by Gearbox who said the company was “illegally exploit Gearbox’s intellectual property rights in the Duke Nukem video game franchise.”
Finally, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford released a statement saying: “I genuinely appreciate Mr. Nielsen’s and Mr. Schreiber’s statement and sincerely offer my best wishes to Interceptor Entertainment and 3D Realms towards their future success. And, as someone who was part of the 3D Realms team when Bombshell was first imagined, I am excited to see what they have in store for us with their game.”
The last true Duke Nukem game to be released was 2011’s Duke Nukem Forever. Given how badly that game went down, it seems unlikely we’ll see Duke back anytime soon.