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The Duke Nukem rights lawsuit is definitively over

Duke Nukem belongs to Gearbox, forever.


Gearbox, Interceptor and 3D Realms have ceased tussling over the Duke Nukem rights.

The suit was quietly settled back in May, but the three companies have only now issued public statements on the matter.

"Gearbox Software has voluntarily ended its litigation against Interceptor Entertainment and 3D Realms, and wishes to keep the terms of its settlement confidential except to confirm that Gearbox Software is the full and rightful owner of the Duke Nukem franchise," Gearbox said.

3D Realms CEO Mike Nielsen and Interceptor president Frederik Schrieber both provided personal comments to the effect that they made an honest mistake, but now everything is jolly, everyone loves each other and Bombshell is an exciting project. Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford also gave a statement saying he appreciates these sentiments.

Interestingly, Schrieber also went out of his way to clarify that it was his own decision to cancel Duke Nukem Reloaded and move on to found Interceptor, in case there was any dobt on that head.

Wondering what all this is about? Back in 2014 Interceptor revealed a new project called Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, formerly known as Duke Nukem: Survivor.

Interceptor had obtained permission for the project from original Duke Nukem developer 3D Realms, but it turned out 3D Realms didn't own the rights, so Gearbox took Interceptor to court over it.

3D Realms apologised for the mistake immediately, and Interceptor rapidly retooled its game as Bombshell, with nary a hint of Duke Nukem. It might have ended there, but 3D Realms later chose to assert its rights to Duke Nukem, and the legal scuffle continued.

The statements are available in full on the Gearbox website, and have been republished on GamesIndustry.

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