Hail to the legal filing, baby. Gearbox, owners of the Duke Nukem IP, have filed a complaint against 3D Realms, creators of the Duke Nukem IP. That's because, as Adam spotted earlier this month, 3D Realms have teamed up with developers Interceptor to make Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, apparently without owning any of the rights that would allow them to do that legally.
The complaint is pretty straightforward. Apogee,
the publishing company spun-off from 3D Realms in 2008, has partnered with Interceptor Entertainment to make a top-down, action-RPG entry in the Duke Nukem series. Gearbox say, 'Nuh uh, you're not allowed.'
(Update: Actually, it's not the Apogee which was spun off in 2008. That's Apogee Software, LLC, and they are not affiliated with 3D Realms or listed in the suit. Apogee Software, Ltd is the company which is named. Apologies for the mistake.)
What's slightly weirder is that 3D Realms maybe kinda agree that they're not allowed, as they've apparently signed a declaration admitting that they don't have the rights and were using them anyway.
This isn't the first time Gearbox and 3D Realms have become embroiled in a legal scrap. Last summer, 3D Realms sued Gearbox for supposed unpaid royalties on Duke Nukem Forever. They later retracted the suit and issued a public apology to Gearbox.
Sadly Gearbox have yet to issue a public apology to everyone for releasing Duke Nukem Forever. Heyooo.
I'm trying to work out what I should feel about any of this. Duke Nukem hasn't starred in a good game for almost twenty years, and as much as I appreciate the modernised Megaton Edition of Duke Nukem 3D on Steam, I'm not excited at the thought of the dinosaur returning. So my feeling is that everyone involved in this is a clown's pocket.