Gearbox files lawsuit against 3D Realms over ‘Duke Nukem’ again

This time over the music used in ‘Duke Nukem 3D’

Gearbox Software has once again filed a lawsuit against 3D Realms over a Duke Nukem dispute.

Gearbox’s latest lawsuit against 3D Realms stems from the latter’s failure to mention that it did not own the music used in Duke Nukem 3D when Gearbox bought the rights to the franchise in 2010. Last year, Bobby Prince, the composer for the series, filed a suit against Gearbox over the use of his music in Gearbox’s 20th-anniversary version of the game that was released on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in 2016.

Now, Gearbox is countersuing Apogee Software (which owns 3D Realms) and co-founders Scott Miller and George Broussard for an alleged breach of contract in relation to the sale of the Duke Nukem IP a decade ago. ”Gearbox purchased all intellectual property related to the Duke Nukem video game series (the ‘Duke IP’) from 3D Realms,” the lawsuit states, as per PC Gamer.

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“In the [Asset Purchase Agreement], 3D Realms represented to Gearbox that the Duke IP was owned free and clear by 3D Realms and that 3D Realms had the right to use the Duke IP ‘without payment to a Third-Party.’ 3D Realms further warranted in the APA that no copyright was infringed by use of the Duke IP in the Duke Nukem video game series.”

Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford believes Prince’s claim is legitimate, although the final decision rests in the hands of the court. “We’re literally in the middle – either Bobby is right and deserves to be paid, in which case 3D Realms is wrong… or 3D Realms is right and Bobby’s wrong,” Pitchford told Digital Trends. “And we don’t know. So, we need to bring a judge in and have a look at things from both sides.”

Gearbox is seeking damages, as well as legal fees, interest and “further relief” that the court determines is justified.

This is Gearbox’s second lawsuit against 3D Realms. The first was filed in 2014 over Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, an action-RPG that the latter was developing without the approval of Gearbox, which acquired the property in 2010.

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