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Iron Maiden lawsuit forces renaming of Duke Nukem successor

Say hello to Ion Fury, made in a 20-year-old FPS engine

Screenshot of 2018 game Ion Maiden. Voidpoint/3D Realms
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison, the spiritual successor to Duke Nukem (who owes her creation to a 2014 lawsuit) now has a new name for her latest game. It’s Ion Fury, replacing Ion Maiden, which attracted the notice of heavy metal band Iron Maiden earlier this year.

A statement from 3D Realms on Thursday straight-up acknowledged the title change is “to avoid legal issues with a certain popular heavy metal band.” Ion Fury, the statement said, will make a full launch on PC on Aug. 15; it has been in Steam Early Access since February 2018.

In May, Iron Maiden’s holding company sued 3D Realms over both the Ion Maiden name and its logo, which the company said closely resembled the “steel cut” typeface of the band’s trademark.

ion maiden logo bearing striking resemblance to iron maiden logo
The original logo for ‘Ion Maiden,’ now Ion Fury.
Steam (screenshot)

The band sought millions in damages and several injunctions, including the destruction of any products bearing the “Ion Maiden” title and the cancellation of the domain — which now redirects to But the case is still listed as pending before U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

The new logo for 3D Realms’ next game, now with 23 percent less infringement.
Voidpoint/3D Realms

Ion Fury is the follow-up to 2016’s Bombshell. That game began as Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction until a 2014 lawsuit from Gearbox Software, which forced 3D Realms to create a new character and storyline.

The latest game is built in the Build engine, the same software behind 1996’s Duke Nukem 3D and 1997’s Shadow Warrior. Thursday’s news release said Ion Fury “fuses nostalgic looks with today’s technology to create the ultimate shooter.” Ion Fury will incorporate modern features like auto-saving, headshots, widescreen support and improved physics with its retro visuals.

“After careful consideration, we’ve decided to rename our first-person shooter ‘Ion Maiden’ to Ion Fury,” Mike Nielsen, the chief executive of 3D Realms, said in a statement. “A lot of thought went into this, but most importantly, it would be a disservice to our loyal fanbase and the fantastic developers to drag out a long lawsuit.”

Ion Fury will launch later for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, 3D Realms said. No specific date was given.

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