Duke Nukems latest IP battle has apparently been settled, with 3D Realms, Interceptor Entertainment and Borderlands developer Gearbox set on the arrangements of a final agreement.
A Neogaf user managed to find court documents surrounding the lawsuit, which indicate that there’s a month left to finalize the terms and agreement. Whilst the possibility remains for the developers to resume legal action at a later date, the case for now is effectively closed – raising the possibility of IP rights to be transferred back to 3D Realms.
The fight originally started back in February 2014, when Interceptor teased that they were working on Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction amongst 3D Realms. Calling it a violation of its original 2010 deal, Gearbox later filed a lawsuit for the IP rights of the game. Mike Nielsen – a partner at Interceptor – said in statement late 2013 that the company aims to strengthen 3D Realms and to “protect the legend that it is”.
“The [3D Realms] brand itself is very valuable,” Nielsen said at the time. “We want to ensure the survival and return to the level at which it is renowned.”
While Mass Destruction was never officially announced, it was heavily hinted at by Interceptor. Many believe that the game was later re-worked as a new IP, resulting in Bombshell – an isometric shooter featuring a female lead character.
With the lawsuit out of the way, one can only hope that this now means the end of further legal battles and the prospect of actually getting a decent Duke Nukem game, after the abortion that was Duke Nukem Forever. Released back in 2011, Duke Nukem Forever was critically panned upon release, and remains a laughing stock to this day. With dated visuals, unacceptable load times and generic gameplay, critics were universally harsh in their assessment of the title, though Gearbox – who finished the game after many years of it being stuck in development hell at 3D Realms – staunchly defended it at the time, even going so far as to blacklist some gaming sites for giving the game a low score in their review.