If Duke Nukem were real, he'd be loving this legal stand-off. As a stuck-in-the-past relic, one only recently dragged out of retirement for an ill-advised comeback, I'm sure the attention would be most welcome. The latest development comes in direct response to Gearbox's lawsuit, which claimed that 3D Realms and Interceptor were violating their Duke restraining order intellectual property. 3D Realms have issued a statement that both denies the allegations and makes counter-accusations against Gearbox.
Before we continue, take a moment to appreciate a sentence in which Duke Nukem is accurately described as "intellectual" property.
In their statement to Polygon, 3D Realms say that Gearbox forced Scott Miller and George Broussard to "improperly surrender" Duke.
"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 apparently the working title for Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction.
Also to Polygon, a spokesperson for Interceptor - who recently purchased 3D Realms - had the following to say:
"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."
At this point it might be a good idea to remind everyone that "Always bet on Duke" was a catchphrase, and not a legally binding contract. YOU CAN STOP BETTING ON DUKE!