Duke Nukem is one of the most iconic video game franchises of all time, winning plenty of fans for the titular character’s memorable quips and X-rated humor. Unfortunately, whilst classics such as Duke Nukem 3D are still remembered fondly, Duke’s recent offerings have been less than stellar. Duke Nukem Forever squirmed its way out of development hell, only to be met with scathing reviews and claims that is was the worst sequel of all time.
When Danish developer Interceptor Entertainment teased Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, many fans were intrigued to see whether the series could sparkle once again. The game’s reveal, however, opened up a legal stand-off between 3D Realms, Gearbox Software, and Interceptor Entertainment, with Gearbox claiming that neither company had any rights to use the Duke Nukem property. Now, with the lawsuit settled, all parties have released a statement on the matter.
Gearbox Software now has outright control over the Duke Nukem property, explaining that is is now the “full and rightful owner of the Duke Nukem franchise” over on the Gearbox Software website. Gearbox also explained that it has “voluntarily ended its litigation against Interceptor Entertainment and 3D Realms,” but is choosing to keep the terms of its settlement confidential. Initially, when the lawsuit was filed in 2014, Gearbox was pursuing damages for a number of factors, including trademark infringement and breach of contract.
Mike Nielsen, CEO of 3D Realms, went into more detail regarding the action that 3D Realms has chosen to take. Nielsen explains that the company was “not aware of any conflict” when Interceptor acquired the Duke Nukem license, and proceeded to immediately cease development on Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction when the lawsuit was filed. The CEO also stated that 3D Realms has agreed to Gearbox’s claim to the property “to secure the future of Duke.”
Similar points were made by Interceptor Entertainment’s Frederik Schreiber, whose company bought 3D Realms in 2014. “I’m really happy that the lawsuit between Gearbox, 3DR, and Interceptor has come to an end,” said Schreiber, continuing to state that he has been a “huge fan of Duke for many years.” Schreiber also added that he is personally “excited” to see what Gearbox Software plans do do with the Duke Nukem franchise.
Many fans of the series will also be wondering where the developer will go next. Duke Nukem Forever was a critical disaster for Gearbox, although the game was still able to generate a profit. Recently, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford has stated that the company plans to use a smaller developer on the license in future. Whether players will trust the next game with Duke remains to be seen, however, and gamers are bound to be cautious after Duke Nukem Forever. Let’s see what Gearbox has in store.
Source: Gearbox Software