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New Duke Nukem Invites Lawsuit

If you've been following the news, you know Apogee Software and Interceptor Entertainment recently teased a new Duke Nukem game. There's just one problem with that.

Neither company owns the Duke Nukem IP.

That's why Gearbox Software has filed a lawsuit against Apogee and Interceptor based on their intentions to release a "top-down action/RPG" called Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction. You may recall the teaser site that went along with the pseudo-unveiling.

Prior to the lawsuit, that site was counting down to February 25. Now, however, if you click through, you'll see the countdown has been replaced with a fake emergency broadcast signal. If you were wondering, 3D Realms was closed down in 2009 and the studio's legal name is now Apogee Software. As for the suit, Gearbox is seeking damages for trademark and copyright infringement, which "stems from efforts to illegally exploit Gearbox's intellectual property rights in the Duke Nukem video game franchise."

Gearbox's lawyers sent a cease and desist letter to 3D Realms' CEO Scott Miller:

"You and 3DR are colluding with other, equally-unauthorized parties to develop a new video game based upon the Duke Nukem IP. No developer reveres Duke Nukem and its fans more than Gearbox; it’s why Gearbox committed so much to rescuing Duke back in 2010. As you well know: 3DR’s rights were reduced under the terms of that rescue, not expanded."

3D Realms' Miller and George Broussard responded with a signed document acknowledging Gearbox's rights to the Duke Nukem IP. And yet, the teaser site remains...

Well, you know, if Gearbox was my studio, and we had been responsible for putting out that abominable piece of trash that was Duke Nukem Forever, I'd be denying all ownership - and indeed, all knowledge - of owning the franchise. "Who, us? Oh no...we don't own that IP...nope, don't know anything about it. Duke Nukem Forever? ...nope, never heard of that, either."

Tags: duke nukem mass destruction, duke nukem sequel, gearbox

2/23/2014 9:42:17 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (9 posts)

MrAnonymity
Sunday, February 23, 2014 @ 10:36:53 PM
Reply

After reading about this on Game Informer, can't say this should have come as a surprise. "So, let's go ahead and make a game using that property we sold and maybe nobody will notice." Granted, the new Duke idea sounded great, but there are ways to go about these things.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, February 23, 2014 @ 10:49:33 PM
Reply

Lol, Gearbox committed almost nothing to DNF but sewing other people's work together into an unfinished game.

For one, I don't think the top town game was really ever meant to be developed. The reason DNF sold 2 million copies was because media attention over the delay kept it alive and people interested.

As such, I'm inclined to think this may be the first act in another media ploy to regenerate interest so Gearbox can put the plague of DNF behind them and make their own entry that they had planned to when they bought it. There's just no way Apogee thought they could make a game for a property they didn't have rights to.

It's actually not a bad plan.

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Bio
Monday, February 24, 2014 @ 1:26:48 AM
Reply

Gearbox isn't responsible for the failures of DNF, they simply managed to get it released at all. Cobbling together 15 years worth of other people's sloppy, half finished ideas isn't particularly easy, and the only reason they tried to rescue the franchise at all is because Pitchford has a soft spot for Duke.

A Duke game built by Gearbox from the ground up would probably be pretty dang good.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Monday, February 24, 2014 @ 4:23:21 AM
Reply

honestly i cud careless its not my cup of tea

happy gaming =)

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firesoul453
Monday, February 24, 2014 @ 9:46:34 AM
Reply

Why wouldn't Gearbox be like
"Hey you take all the risk financially and we take 25% sales (or something like that), otherwise back down" Its not like Gearbox set the bar really high or something....

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Bio
Monday, February 24, 2014 @ 10:17:27 AM

Because the IP belongs to Gearbox now, and no company would do what you're suggesting; you can't let other people infringe on your copyrights without action, otherwise you can lose your legal claim to them, and given how badly 3DR screwed up DNF over the course of 15 years there's no reason why Gearbox should want to partner up with them.

I'm sure Gearbox has plans for a proper reboot of Duke, after rescuing DNF, and that it's something they don't want anyone who had a hand in screwing Duke up in the first place to have any part in.

Last edited by Bio on 2/24/2014 10:21:35 AM

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firesoul453
Monday, February 24, 2014 @ 12:25:24 PM

I know why they would want to keep their IP, but it seems to me that they have no intention of doing anything but sitting on the IP.

What I don't get is why companies that just sit on IPs won't let other take the risk, especially when the games image cannot get worse.

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Bio
Monday, February 24, 2014 @ 2:27:26 PM

Gearbox has been busy supporting Borderlands 2 ever since DNF came out. Now that Borderlands 2 is wrapping up, who knows what they'll focus on next. They don't need to be pumping out sequels every year, they're not EA or Activision. Borderlands was their biggest game ever, and it took them four years to get out Borderlands 2, because they're a pretty small studio, comparatively.

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firesoul453
Monday, February 24, 2014 @ 8:47:43 PM

....

What are you talking about? I should hope they don't start pumping out a game a year. I mean each COD even takes two years.
I was talking about them being really disappointed in what DNF became.. They seem to be trying to distancing themselves from it. All I was saying is I would hate for it to become an abandoned series. I really don't get why so many companies just sit on IPs won't let other take the risk, especially in cases like this where it would be pretty impossible to make it worse.

Also sounds like you were taking my first post way to seriously.

And its not uncommon for a developer to start making a game before the publisher signed off 100%. Also consider 3D Realms owns a lot of the source code.

No doubt announcing it was a HUGE mistake on their part...

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