Gearbox lawsuit puts Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction in holding pattern

The situation at Interceptor has gotten complicated over the last few weeks. Following a tease from 3D Realms and Interceptor of an upcoming Duke Nukem game, Gearbox filed suit over use of the character. Interceptor subsequently bought 3D Realms, but has been cagey about releasing more details on their upcoming game. According to CEO Frederik Schreiber and new 3DR lead Mike Nielsen, the radio silence is in direct response to the suit, even though they maintain that they've acted "in good faith."

The game unveil was to be for a title called Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, and a countdown clock on alloutofgum.com was leading to a February 25 reveal. Now, instead, the page shows a looping video of the Emergency Broadcast System. In an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun, the two avoided calling it by name.

"So far we have not officially confirmed anything," Nielsen said. "Due to the lawsuit regarding these fan findings, you could say, we've held off announcing anything further. We just want to make sure where our legal standing is in all of this. We've acted in good faith. We still maintain that. We're working to resolve this as best we can."

Schreiber added that they wouldn't have even started development "if we weren't sure, 100 percent, that we were doing what we're allowed to do." He said that jumping in without doing the legal research first "would simply be too risky for a small company like Interceptor."

Nielsen stressed that the company did the legwork to verify that their licenses were secure and valid, and they still firmly believe that. "But we have to be realistic that we're facing a lawsuit. That's the point we're at now, and unfortunately we're extremely limited in how we can comment on it. All we can say, as we've said many times, and you picked up on it, that we acted in good faith. We'll let our defense speak for itself. We’re still hoping that we can solve this peacefully."

And though the purchase of 3DR seemed curiously timed given the lawsuit, Nielsen said that it "didn't change or sway us from thinking that this was a good business decision, to acquire 3D Realms and try to relaunch it, in a sense, as a publishing brand. That's what we're working on right now. The lawsuit is just part of doing business, I think. You can get sued for a lot of things. We'll take it as it comes. As I said, we're not too worried about the lawsuit. We wouldn't have bought 3D Realms otherwise."