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Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction already in legal trouble, despite not even being revealed yet

Jonathan Lester
Duke Nukem, Gearbox, Interceptor, lawsuit

Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction already in legal trouble, despite not even being revealed yet

Gearbox unleashes the lawyers

Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction is set for a full reveal this week, after being outed as a top-down RPG based on the classic shooter license. Interceptor and series creator Scott Miller promised to kick ass and chew bubblegum, but Gearbox are having absolutely none of it, since they technically own the IP themselves. Unleash the lawyers!

Despite Mass Destruction not even being an official game yet, Gearbox is already suing Interceptor for seven counts of “trademark infringement, unfair competition, copyright infringement, and breach of contract," as spotted by Joystiq. They've definitely got precedent in their favour, having inherited the rights to Duke Nukem after taking on the underwhelming Duke Nukem Forever several years ago, and successfully defending against a similar claim from 3D Realms.

"Apparently, after selling its Duke Nukem IP rights to Gearbox in 2010, 3DR sought to privately convince others that the sale never happened," states Gearbox' complaint. "The result is the unauthorized development effort that reportedly exists between 3DR and Interceptor."

However, back in 2011, Interceptor cancelled Duke Nukem 3D Reloaded and promised to return using a non-commercial license. "Interceptor Entertainment still has the good will and non commercial license provided to us to use the Duke Nukem brand for our creative ambitions," they claimed on their official website [now defunct, thanks Kotaku!]. "We hope to resume that work again when the time is right."

We'll find out what happens when -- and if -- Mass Destruction breaks cover later this week. For now, tell us, would you play a Duke Nukem RPG?

Add a comment5 comments
SSPanther  Feb. 24, 2014 at 12:32

My immediate thoughts of a Duke Nukes RPG is something along the lines of Borderlands (another Gearbox title). Okay, Borderlands isn't top down but the mechanics of levelled loot and level unlocked player abilities could work within the Duke Nukes universe. Just not sure whether anything new and exciting could really be done with a top down view. Still, maybe Gearbox are hoping for some sort of Duke Nukes / Borderlands love child???

Late  Feb. 24, 2014 at 12:59

If you're developing a top-down rpg, which inherently has a playing style completely different to all Duke Nukem titles made to date I don't understand why you'd risk associating it with the franchise if there's a possibility you don't have the licence to do so.

Why not just call it a whole new IP, and swerve any legal complications?
You can still have a main character that appears keen on steroids, likes the ladies, has a massive ego, loves puns, has a puerile sense of humour, and likes to kick alien ****. That's not copyrighted. If it were, no films would have been produced by Hollywood in the 80s and 90s.

JonLester  Feb. 24, 2014 at 13:31

@Late: A part of me wonders if that might be the plan - whip up some publicity on the back of the license, then reveal a game that's legally distinct yet close enough to the original source material to entice the fans. We'll probably find out this week.

Lawfull  Feb. 24, 2014 at 14:04

I think people will look differently at this when 3DR and Interceptor releases there point of view regarding this lawsuit from Gearbox.

Lawfull  Mar. 2, 2014 at 11:39

News! 3D Realms sold!!!

Danes are buying computer games legend!
A Danish investment company bought the computer games manufacturer Apogee Software and 3D Realms ..

Investment Company SDN Invest bought computer games manufacturer Apogee Software and 3D Realms .
If you 've played video games in the 1990s, Duke Nukem is probably ringing a bell.
The producer behind the game is called Apogee Software and 3D Realms , and the future comes the American game company to be in Danish hands.

Protect a legend
"With this acquisition, we aim to strengthen 3D Realms and protect the legend that it is," said Mike Nielsen, newly appointed CEO of Apogee Software and 3D Realms .
Mike Nielsen is in addition to its new director position also the founder of the investment firm SDN Invest and co-owner of the website Coolshop.dk .
Laying the groundwork for the acquisition of the American game manufacturer signify Mike Nielsen, Americans have been relatively inactive in the market the last 10-14 years .
"But their back catalog is quite large with Duke Nukem, Commander Keen, Shadow Warrior and a number of other major franchises, " he says.

Valuable fire
"The brand itself is very valuable, and we want to ensure the survival and return to the level that it is known for" said Mike Nielsen.
The ambition of the purchase, according to the CEO to relaunch 3D Realms , so it is again a name that also the new generation of gamers will get to know .
"I think a lot of the games industry from my story in Cool Shop. There is great potential stored in original content and that's exactly what 3D Realms has historically been very strong to. This is what we must have in once again." said Mike Nielsen.

Secure purchase price
Mike Nielsen expresses that "it generally just has a lot of sense with the purchase when the opportunity presented itself".
"I can not disclose the purchase price when the transaction in nature is confidential. All parties have made a really good deal, and there is no doubt that it is particularly good because we complement each other so well," he says.

So far remains Apogee Software and 3D Realms in the U.S. city of Dallas , Texas, where it has occurred.

"But that's not to say what the future holds," said Mike Nielsen.

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