Gearbox once again sues 3D Realms over Duke Nukem

Gearbox once again sues 3D Realms over Duke Nukem

Gearbox Software is once again getting legal over everyone's favourite shooter franchise, Duke Nukem.

As reported by Digital Trends, the Borderlands maker has filed a new lawsuit against Apogee Software aka 3D Realms – and its co-founders Scott Miller and George Broussard. In 2009, Gearbox bought the Duke Nukem IP from 3D Realms and it seems that it wasn't aware it didn't own its music until now. 

"Gearbox purchased all intellectual property related to the Duke Nukem video game series (the 'Duke IP') from 3D Realms," Gearbox said in its lawsuit, as reported by PC Gamer.

"In the [Asset Purchase Agreement], 3D Realms represented to Gearbox that the Duke IP was owned free and clear by 3D Realms and that 3D Realms had the right to use the Duke IP 'without payment to a Third-Party.' 3D Realms further warranted in the APA that no copyright was infringed by use of the Duke IP in the Duke Nukem video game series."

This follows the composer of Duke Nukem 3D Bobby Prince suing Gearbox and its boss Randy Pitchford, as well as Valve, due to his music appearing without permission in the 20th Anniversary World Tour Edition of Duke Nukem 3D, which was released in 2016. Prince claims that he licensed some of the game's music to 3D Realms, which means that the company didn't deliver everything it was meant to when it sold the IP to Gearbox.  

Back in 2014, Gearbox sued 3D Realms after the company started developing RPG Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction without its permission. By the end of 2015, the case had been settled with the court finding that Gearbox was the rightful owner of the Duke Nukem IP. 

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.