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3D Realms fires back at Gearbox Duke Nukem lawsuit

3D Realms and its owner Interceptor have responded to Gearbox's lawsuit against the two companies' use of the Duke Nukem intellectual property, which alleges trademark and copyright infringement, unfair competition and breach of contract.

At issue is a proposed new entry in the Duke Nukem franchise, Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, described as "an isometric action role-playing game for PC and PlayStation 4, by Interceptor" on the game's Facebook page. Gearbox claims ownership of the Duke Nukem brand, which it bought from 3D Realms in 2010.

The 3D Realms statement is as follows:

"On March 17, 2014, 3D Realms filed its answer to the complaint by Gearbox Software in Dallas, Texas. 3DR denies all allegations set forth in the complaint. In its answer, 3DR has submitted evidence showing that Gearbox at no point intended to enter into good faith negotiations but instead sought to force former owners, Scott Miller and George Broussard, to improperly surrender what rightfully belonged to 3DR.

"It is our position that 3DR retains the right to develop the tentatively titled "Duke Nukem Survivor" game for specific platforms. This game was previously licensed for development to Interceptor Entertainment. Furthermore, it is our position that the Trademark for "Duke Nukem" was never assigned to Gearbox, but remains the sole property of 3DR."

Duke Nukem Survivor is the "working / tentative title" of Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, according to an Interceptor spokesperson.

Interceptor Entertainment added a statement:

"As an independent and young studio, we have been very fortunate to work with companies such as Apogee and 3D Realms on amazing IP's such as Duke Nukem and Rise of the Triad. As true fans of these companies, their games and the amazing minds behind them, we have nothing but respect for the intellectual properties they have created as well as their rightful owners.

"We were extremely excited for our next reveal, but unfortunately due to the actions of Gearbox Software, Interceptor Entertainment decided to put this reveal on hold in respect of their lawsuit. However, 3D Realms and Interceptor Entertainment were rightfully developing our game and as you can imagine we were quite shocked when the accusations by Gearbox arose, as we have always acted within our legal rights. It's unfortunate that Gearbox has shown no intention of finding a peaceful solution with us. We will however continue to work towards a solution."

3D Realms filed a separate lawsuit against Gearbox Software last year, alleging it was owed more than $2 million in unpaid royalties and fees from Gearbox's Duke Nukem Forever. 3D Realms later dropped its suit, and Scott Miller apologized for bringing forth litigation.

"We regret the misunderstanding that instigated our lawsuit," Miller said at the time. "Now that we better understand - and appreciate - the actual nature of our business matters, we have voluntarily withdrawn our claims against Gearbox, with genuine apologies to Randy [Pitchford, president of Gearbox] for any damage that our lawsuit may have caused to the relationship."

Polygon has contacted Gearbox for a response.

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