Rights dispute settled out of court
The legal battle between Gearbox Software, 3D Realms, and Interceptor Entertainment over the Duke Nukem franchise has ended, leaving Gearbox the “full and rightful owner” of the property.
To avoid going to court over the dispute, the studios reached a voluntary undisclosed settlement.
The case began in early 2014 after 3D Realms announced Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, a top-down action role-playing game for PC and PS4. This prompted Gearbox to file suit, asserting the companies were trying to “illegally exploit Gearbox’s intellectual property rights” of the franchise.
3D Realms and Interceptor have since rebranded Mass Destruction as a new franchise, Bombshell, which replaces Duke Nukem with a female protagonist named Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison.
Gearbox acquired the property from 3D Realms in 2010 prior to the launch of Duke Nukem Forever, which Gearbox quickly finished and subsequently released in June 2011 to heavy criticism.
Joint Statement by 3DR, Interceptor, and Gearbox [3D Realms]