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Duke Nukem creator sues Gearbox Software for unpaid royalties

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Apogee Software is suing Gearbox Software claiming that the developer and publisher owes it more than $2 million in unpaid royalties and fees related to 2011's Duke Nukem Forever, according to a suit filed in Texas state court.

In the suit, Apogee says Gearbox failed to pay them money owed from the 2010 purchase agreement of the franchise and that Gearbox refused to allow the Apogee to conduct an independent audit of the royalties Gearbox has earned on the game.

Reached for comment this morning, Gearbox officials call the claims completely false.

"Ironically, Scott Miller himself provided the best response when he wrote: '..filed lawsuits are entirely one-sided statements, based on knee-deep BS and with more spin than a top,'" a Gearbox official wrote in a statement provided to Polygon. "The reality is that Apogee / 3D Realms (3DR) received the full benefit of its bargain. Gearbox, in its fulfillment of its commitments, enriched 3DR, saved 3DR from its debts and rescued 3DR from its litigation surrounding its failed dozen-plus year attempt to ship Duke Nukem Forever.

"Everyone wished that 3DR's game was better received by the market for the benefit of gamers and profit to its creators. While 3DR might not wish the reality that the results make clear, 3DR turned out to be the only beneficiary of the deal. Gearbox Software, meanwhile, experienced damage to its credibility and loss of its money.

"It's unfortunate that 3DR did not abide by the the objective audit rules outlined in the agreement and even more unfortunate that it chose to blame its failures on Gearbox. Since 3DR seems unable to accept reality and has chosen to become hostile, Gearbox is forced to bring its actual claims of breach of contract against 3DR and is confident Gearbox will prevail.

"Perhaps the lesson learned here is to never enter a gaming business deal with a person who has had more lawsuits than shipped games."