Gearbox lawsuit puts Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction in holding pattern

Interceptor's announcement of Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction has been put on hold, pending the suit from Gearbox. In an interview, Interceptor CEO Frederik Schreiber and 3DR head Mike Nielsen talk about the suit, and their reluctance to share more details.

10

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."

Editor-In-Chief

From The Chatty

  • reply
    March 4, 2014 11:30 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Gearbox lawsuit puts Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction in holding pattern.

    Interceptor's announcement of Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction has been put on hold, pending the suit from Gearbox. In an interview, Interceptor CEO Frederik Schreiber and 3DR head Mike Nielsen talk about the suit, and their reluctance to share more details.

    • reply
      March 4, 2014 11:43 AM

      Good luck to these guys. I hope it all works out for them so that maybe they can do something great with what is left of Duke.

      • reply
        March 4, 2014 2:19 PM

        "Good luck"!? They intentionally shopped an out-of-country, gullible publisher to pay for a game they know -Goddamn good and well- isn't their property anymore.
        I, at 35, am a lifetime lover of 3D Realms and Duke, but, come ON. This is beyond ridiculous, and insults any party they have fleeced thus far. Interceptor (publisher) need to get the hell out of this, like, yesterday.
        On a side-note, everyone remember, it looks like Denmark is the closest place to go if you need to play dumb about something under our laws and statutes.

    • reply
      March 4, 2014 8:02 PM

      I hope they get the license from Gearbox to release their game or that they would get the whole IP from Gearbox since Randy and co. are not doing anything with it for over three years now.

      • reply
        March 4, 2014 9:13 PM

        3DR didn't do anything with it for about 14 years.

        • reply
          March 4, 2014 9:20 PM

          Not true, they released a handful of awful Duke games on consoles, and dozens of Duke3D ports.

      • reply
        March 4, 2014 10:25 PM

        that would be a great precedent to set. bail out a dead studio by buying their IP, finishing up the game and releasing it for them, then get the IP snatched away by a court and returned to the dead studio.

    • reply
      March 4, 2014 10:02 PM

      Here is what is going to happen or you can call it a prediction. I don't care.

      This won't go to trial. Interceptor will pay Gearbox for the license and royalty. Gearbox will continue to own the Duke ip. The game will come out and most likely be shitty.

      Why is going down this way? Well Gearbox isn't dumb. They knew Interceptor was poking around. They let them start developing. Because now they have their pants down. They have nothing without the Duke license. Gearbox puts on a little pressure, Interceptor opens their wallets.

      • reply
        March 4, 2014 10:04 PM

        They have Rise of the triads, Blood and the apogee back-catalog. I can easily see a blood HD remake in the pipes, like the Duke 3d and original Shadow Warrior re-releases.

        • reply
          March 4, 2014 10:29 PM

          They don't have Blood or the Apogee catalog.

          • reply
            March 4, 2014 10:40 PM

            Really it's kind of mysterious to me what IP still remained with 3DR. Shadow Warrior I guess.

        • reply
          March 5, 2014 3:39 AM

          duke is a non character, he can be easily replace with wang. there is no way gearbox can cockblock them.

      • reply
        March 4, 2014 10:20 PM

        A trick is someone who gets to fuck someone for money. This was an illusion. And a trick. VOILA!

    • reply
      March 5, 2014 3:42 AM

      don't know much about interceptor but i have zero sympathy for gearbox or 3drealms. both have highly unpleasant outside representation known for saying retarded things over and over.

    • reply
      March 5, 2014 9:30 AM

      What amaze me is this: "Nielsen stressed that the company did the legwork to verify that their licenses were secure and valid, and they still firmly believe that."

      Man, if I wanted to know if I was in the clear using an IP I sold to another company, maybe it would be wise to ask said company if they're ok with this and get written confirmation they won't sue... you know, like any intelligent being would do...