Video Game Litigation Settled in Mediation
A lawsuit brought by Gearbox, maker of the oft-delayed game Duke Nukem Forever, against rival video game maker 3D Realms over an announced Duke Nukem game has been settled out of court after a round of mediation.
3D Realms had announced the game, originally called Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction. Gearbox acquired the Duke Nukem intellectual property in 2010 in a deal that included a provision for 3D Realms to buy back the IP for a set price.
The Duke Nukem franchise dates back to the early 1990s, but it was 1996’s Duke Nukem 3D that made the game famous. With advanced rendering technology for the time, voice synthesis, and R-rated graphics and dialog, Duke Nukem 3D became one of the most famous and well-reviewed games in video game history. A sequel was announced almost immediately in 1996, but the Duke Nukem Forever game had by then become legendary for delays: The game was finally released in 2011 with much fanfare, but poor reviews that complained of outdated technology and poor gameplay and low sales as a result.
The set amount for buying back the intellectual property of the Duke Nukem franchise included the original purchase amount plus payoffs of all loans Gearbox incurred for the original purchase and any expenses Gearbox incurred developing the game that were not erased from profits.
In response to the lawsuit, 3D Realms’ new owner, Interceptor Entertainment, announced they would later the game in development to eliminate the Duke Nukem content and re-brand the game as ‘Bombshell.’