Gearbox sued by 3D Realms over Duke Nukem royalties

Borderlands maker rejects claims it owes $2 million as part of rights deal

3D Realms has sued Gearbox for over $2 million in royalties it claims remain unpaid following the Borderlands maker's acquisition of the rights to Duke Nukem Forever in 2010.


Law360 reports that original Duke Nukem maker 3D Realms filed a breach of contract suit last Friday in a Texas state court, in which it claims that Gearbox has failed to pay money owed as part of a rights deal.

3D Realms also alleges that Gearbox has blocked an independent audit of the royalties it has earned from the game.

The complaint reads: "3D Realms has therefore been required to file this lawsuit to enforce the purchase agreement, to recover the amounts due and owing from Gearbox and to enforce the audit right provided by the agreement to enable it to conduct an audit of Gearbox's royalties."

Gearbox, which released Duke Nukem Forever in 2011 after 14 years in development, flaty denies the allegations.

"The reality is that 3D Realms received the full benefit of its bargain," it said. "Gearbox, in fulfillment of its commitments, enriched 3D Realms, saved 3DR from its debts and rescued 3DR from its failed dozen plus year attempt to ship [video game] Duke Nukem Forever.

"Everyone wished that 3DR's game was better received by the market for the benefit of gamers and profit to its creators. While 3DR might not wish the reality that the results make clear, 3DR turned out to be the only beneficiary of the deal. Gearbox Software, meanwhile, experienced damage to its credibility and loss of its money."

We said in our Duke Nukem Forever review: "Overall we're glad the Duke came back, and we hope that he stays around, but he sure as hell could have turned up with a little more style."