Publicly responding to the lawsuit filed by Gearbox Software a month ago
alleging its trademark violation and copyright infringement of the Duke Nukem IP, 3D Realms -- under the stewardship of its new European owners
-- has issued a statement denying any wrongdoing:
"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.
According to Polygon
, the project referenced as Duke Nukem Survivor is the working title of Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, the multiplatform Duke Nukem RPG that developer Interceptor Entertainment had been preparing to announce prior to the lawsuit.
The development studio issued a further statement of its own:
"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."
The comments of course, unambigiously contradict the claims made by Gearbox Software in the lawsuit, which claimed that "Apparently, after selling its Duke Nukem IP rights to Gearbox in 2010, 3DR sought to privately convince others that the sale never happened. The result is the unauthorized development effort that reportedly exists between 3DR and Interceptor."
It seems that who is in the right will largely depend on the wording of the agreements signed when Gearbox took over development of Duke Nukem Forever from the then-flailing 3D Realms. All this over a franchise that hasn't seen a successful game in over a decade.